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Over 85 percent of schools offer vegetarian meals: MOE

2010/11/07 19:32:42

Taipei, Nov. 7 (CNA) Around 86 percent of elementary, junior andsenior high schools in Taiwan have provided vegetarian lunches tostudents to promote healthy lifestyles and help reduce globalwarming, according to the results of a survey released by theMinistry of Education (MOE) on Sunday.

The survey, conducted in mid-October, shows that 2,328 out of3,517 public schools around the country have offered vegetarianmeals, with 676 schools providing a vegetarian diet at least onceevery two weeks or once every month.

Forty-six schools have offered vegetarian menus twice per week, and three schools polled have followed the vegetarian diet more than three days in a week, the survey revealed.

The latest figures show that promotion of vegetarian meals hasbeen well accepted in comparison with an earlier survey conducted inFebruary, when only 1,201 schools, or 34 percent of the total,offered vegetarian diets.

Deputy Minister of Education Lin Tsong-ming said that globalwarming is threatening human survival, and over-consumption of meathas also caused significant health problems for many people.

Contrary to public perception, vegetables provide more nutritionfor the human body than animal products, Lin said.

For example, he said, dried bean curd contains more protein thanshrimps, the iron content of the seaweed is nine times more than thatof liver, and black sesame seeds contain 10 times the calciumquantity of goat milk.

Yunlin County has the largest number of schools providingvegetarian dishes as the county started to promote a healthy diet in2009. It has received a warm response and strong support fromstudents' parents.

(By Lin Szu-yu and Maia Huang)