12-Year-Old Vegan Chef Omari McQueen Calls For End to Mandatory Meat in School Meals
The UK’s youngest award-winning vegan chef, Omari McQueen – who’s also the founder and CEO of vegan dip company Dipalicious – has spoken out in support of PETA’s campaign calling for the government to remove the requirement for servings of fish, meat, and dairy from the School Food Standards and replace it with more flexible nutritional guidelines.
In a recent letter to the Department for Education – supported by Paul, Mary, and Stella McCartney, founders of Meat Free Monday; the Royal Society for Public Health; and others – PETA notes that the current mandate for animal-derived foods limits schools’ capacity to serve children climate-friendly vegan foods. The regulations are out of step with the government’s own nutritional advice to the public – the Eatwell Guide – which allows for nutritional needs to be met without meat and dairy.
Omari explains why he’s supporting the campaign:
“It’s so important to eat tasty foods that keep us healthy and energised during the day, are kind to the planet, and don’t hurt animals. Because we don’t need meat or dairy, schools should be able to choose if they want to serve them.”
Omari, who received PETA’s Compassionate Kid Award in 2018, decided to go vegan at the age of 8 after doing research into the meat, egg, and dairy industries for his YouTube channel. He now has a selection of vegan dips, snacks, juice packs, and seasonings available on his website, and last year, he opened his own pop-up restaurant at BOXPARK in Croydon, south London. He’s just announced the launch of his first book, Omari McQueen‘s Best Bites Cookbook, planned for January 2021.
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