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Introducing meat analogues to school catering: an instant hit?

In a primary school in Budapest, Hungary, 265 pupils tried meat-free spaghetti Bolognese, made entirely from pea protein instead of meat. The common aim of the project partners is to familiarise pupils with plant-based meat analogues. The researcher chefs involved in the development replaced minced meat with specially developed pea protein-based meat analogue to make the meals. At the end the children expressed their opinions revealing that 91% of them liked the lunch.

Climate Change and Environment
Food and Natural Resources

On Santa's day 265 pupils tried meat-free spaghetti Bolognese, made entirely from pea protein instead of meat. Although some restaurants are already offering similar meals, due to the rigorous quality requirements this is the first initiative to introduce meat analogues to school catering. The Hungarian innovation tried at first by children of a primary school in Budapest. The common aim of the Food Control Group and the Új Budai Alma Mater Primary School is to familiarise pupils with plant-based meat analogues that are becoming more and more popular across the globe. "Our school is committed to raising children's awareness on the importance of a healthy diet. Besides serving nutritious and tasty meals, it is also essential to reduce the adverse environmental effects caused by food production. So it is important for children to learn about the new "greener" foods," school director Orsolya Parditka Balázsné Giczi said. The researcher chefs involved in the development replaced minced meat with specially developed pea protein-based meat analogue to make the meals. Thus the Bolognese sauce prepared in the SoReCa kitchen of Food Control Group was guaranteed to contain no allergens, additives, or flavour enhancers. At the end of lunch the children expressed their opinions through PUSH'n GO machine, revealing that 91% of them liked the lunch made from meat analogue. "We do not want to educate children against meat consumption, however it is our responsibility to move our diets toward sustainability, and familiarize children with new high-quality foods," project manager András Tóth said. Based on results so far, with success! The CreaVeg meat analogue products are 100% Hungarian development of SoReCa Ltd, Food Control Group and KSERIS Knowledge Transfer Ltd, and this October the Project was awarded a Seal of Excellence by the EU Horizon 2020 program.

Keywords

school catering, meat analogue, sustainable diet