This week, we launched Highgate’s first ever ‘Plant Power Day’ to promote the many benefits of a plant-based diet.
Pupils from the Senior School Environment Committee have been working with the Catering Department to make food at Highgate as healthy as possible and improve our eco-footprint in the canteen.
Everyone was invited to vote for their preferred plant-based dishes for the day’s lunch menu. The three top choices were Giant Vegetable Spring Rolls, Mexican-Style Taco Bake and Sweet Potato, Chickpea and Spinach Curry, alongside the usual selection of pasta, baked potatoes, soup, salads and fruit.
Sarah Mynott, Lead Teacher for the Environment, explained: “Eating a more plant-based diet helps tackle the climate crisis, saves the lives of animals and makes us healthier. The collective action of 2300 people is powerful, making a significant difference to our carbon emissions and reducing our harmful impact on animals and the natural world.”
By cutting out meat-options on Plant Power Day, we avoided using the 800 chicken breasts, 40kg of red meat, 5kg of grated cheese and 3.6kg of tinned tuna that would have featured in a typical Wednesday menu, as well as subsidiary items like cream, eggs, butter and mayonnaise.
Highgate’s long-running vegetarian day ‘Meat-Free Mondays’ has been in place for the last 5 ½ years and demonstrates the significant impact that we can make as a community. Over the past five years, we have saved the equivalent carbon emissions of driving for nearly 4 million miles; the lives of almost 500,000 fish and the existence of 6,850 tennis courts’ worth of rainforest.
To mark the event, pupils and staff were invited to submit their favourite savoury or sweet plant-based recipes to be included in a Highgate recipe book and shared within the community.
Sarah continued: “Hopefully today’s tasty menu, along with the Highgate recipe book – which contains over 70 fantastic recipes and recommendations from staff and pupils – will give people some great ideas for dishes they can make at home.”
To find out about the environmental benefits of eating more plants and inspirational dishes to try, the Veganuary website is a great place to start.