Brentwood pilot Green & Lean scheme

Brentwood School is taking part in a Green & Lean scheme, which aims to promote diets which are both healthy and sustainable

Students at Brentwood are tucking into a set of 10 different sustainable meals, which have an increased nutritional content, use ingredients which are responsibly sourced, and a reduced carbon footprint. 

Green & Lean has been launched by caterer Sodexo and conservation charity WWF. Staff and pupils at Brentwood have the chance to try each of the special dishes twice over the six-week trial. Meals include beef dishes, curry and frittata.

Sodexo’s executive development chef for Independent Schools, Tom Allen, said; “It was really important that the meals we created tasted great. The idea was to make small changes to popular, well-loved dishes that would up the nutritional content and reduce the environmental impact, without dramatically changing the taste or the look of the dish. 

For example, the Green & Lean lasagne contains more carrots, onions and celery than [our] original recipe and less beef mince. It also contains wholemeal rather than white flour pasta.”

Plant-based foods have to account for at least two thirds of the volume of each meal; refined grains are replaced with whole grains; and meat and fish has to have relevant certification, such as MSC or RSPCA Assured. They include favourites such as beef lasagne, chicken and leek pie and Lancashire hot pot. 

Nick Hughes at WWF said; “The food we eat – growing, producing and consuming it – has a massive impact on the planet. We have found that food is responsible for around 30% of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions.”

Brentwood School is one of the eight schools taking part in the trial. All the schools have received promotional materials to help explain the ethos and principles of Green & Lean to students and staff.

The 10 criteria for Green and Lean meals are:

  • Plant-based foods account for at least two-thirds of the volume (g) of each meal
  • Animal protein accounts for no more than one-third of the volume (g) of each meal
  • Fruits and vegetables are sourced according to seasonality
  • Refined grains are replaced with whole grains
  • No salt is added to the finished meal
  • Sugar is Fairtrade and added sparingly to meals
  • Dairy products that are lower in fat should be used
  • All fish is MSC certified; pork and chicken is RSPCA Assured; beef is British
  • All meals are served to standardised portion sizes 

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