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Seoul Students To Have ‘Green Meal Day’ Three to Four Times a Month
Seoul Students To Have ‘Green Meal Day’ Three to Four Times a Month0By 2024, all students in Seoul will eat vegetarian meals at school three to four times a month to commemorate “Green Meal Day.” On these days, schools will offer vegetarian meals via a so-called “Green Meal Bar.” The number of schools with Green Meal Bars in Seoul is also expected to increase from the current total of 76 schools.

These changes are part of the “Mid-term Development Plan for Food Ecological Transformation Education (2022-2024),” which was released by the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education (SMOE). According to this plan, Green Meal Day, currently recommended twice a month, will be executed three to four times a month by 2024. The purpose of this day lies in reducing carbon emissions that arise from excessive meat consumption and respecting the human rights of students who find it difficult to consume meat.

On Green Meal Day, students are served vegetarian meals through the Green Meal Bar. The Green Meal Bar is a separate serving table within a school cafeteria that provides an assortment of vegetarian dishes. In April, the SMOE selected 76 schools to jump-start the operation of the Green Meal Bar. The chosen schools were provided W2 million to install the Green Meal Bar and cover labor costs.

Although Green Meal Day is for a good cause, some people have responded negatively to the changes. Those who oppose Green Meal Day claim vegetarian meals are not always healthy and they might be ineffective in reducing carbon dioxide. They also say that nutritional imbalances may occur from consuming vegetarian alternatives because vitamin B12, an essential nutrient, exists only in meat. Furthermore, students often resort to consuming instant food when they are dissatisfied with the vegan options, so this habit may worsen students’ health. Opponents also say that vegetarian meals, more importantly, may not contribute drastically to reducing carbon emissions because the livestock industry accounts for merely 4 to 5 percent of domestic carbon emissions.

To address these pessimistic concerns, schools may initiate the following. Firstly, schools can increase students’ awareness of climate change and provide education to alter students’ perceptions of a vegetarian diet. Secondly, ingredients and recipes may be researched in advance so that essential nutrients are not left out of the vegetarian school lunches.

Seohyun Park
Staff Reporter
 
인쇄기능입니다.
1. What is the purpose of instituting "Green Meal Day?"
2. What concerns do opponents of Green Meal Day have?
3. What can schools do to address the apparent drawbacks of Green Meal Day?
 
1. How many servings of fruits and vegetables do you typically eat in a day?
2. What do you think about the terms and purpose of Green Meal Day?
3. What is an example of a vegetarian dish?
4. What are the benefits and drawbacks of going vegetarian?
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