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19th August 2020, 15:16

Government to offer more vegan and vegetarian options at official events as part of sustainable catering initiative 

The Government is to offer more vegan and vegetarian options at official meetings and functions.

The commitment forms part of a wider policy on sustainability across the public sector and will see caterers selected on the basis of how environmentally friendly they are.

Developed by the Office of the Commissioner for Sustainable Development and Future Generations, the new policy will see the Government select caterers that use seasonal, organic, or locally produced food where possible.

The Government says plant based food tends to be better for the environment, with the production of red meat such as lamb and beef generating a much larger carbon footprint than grains and vegetables.

According to Havard Medical School, reducing the amount of animal products you eat can also have health benefits, such as lowering the risk of heart disease. A plant based diet can save lives too. This according to animal rights organisation PETA - which says a person going vegan can save up to 100 animals a year from painful deaths.

The new policy also focuses on waste reduction - both in food and packaging. This includes a requirement for more reusable or biodegradable crockery and the avoidance of bottled water.

Environment Minister John Cortes says the move responds to the growing awareness of the environmental and health impacts of our diets. Dr Cortes adds he hopes the change will promote good practice in the community.

A separate strategy on sustainable catering in schools, the hospital and homes will also be developed.