Salad bars to widen vegetarian options in schools
Schools in Seoul will get salad bars to promote healthier eating.
The Korea Childcare Promotion Institute, which is part of the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, announced Monday that it will install Green School Meal Bars in 76 schools across the capital. Green School Meal Bars are self-service buffets offering salads and other vegetable on top of the school meal menu. It is supposed to encourage students to eat less meat, reduce their carbon footprints through diet and also accommodate vegetarian students.
The education office received applications from schools in April and selected 45 elementary schools, 14 middle schools, 12 high schools and five special schools. They will be given a budget of 2 million won ($1,540) each to be used such as for adding salad bars, purchasing vegetables and for labor costs.
It will also help nutrition teachers with research; develop low-carb vegetarian meal plans; offer parent training programs; and offer vegetarian events in a bid to spread the value of a vegetarian diet.
The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education released a mid- to long-term development plan for ecological conversion education last June, following demands from Youth4ClimateAction to improve environmental education and guarantee vegetarian options. As part of the development plan, the education office released a separate plan in March and vowed to expand the Green School Meal Day, a day when schools provide plant-based meals only, from the current one to two times a month to three to four times by 2024.
The moves come as there is growing interest among students about reducing their carbon footprints and in vegetarian options in school meals.
Last June, a group of students and parents filed a petition to the National Human Rights Commission of Korea demanding more vegetarian options at school. In March, the rights watch dog said education authorities should overhaul regulations and come up with support measures to guarantee vegetarian diets.
BY SEO JI-EUN [firstname.lastname@example.org]