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Schools encouraged to offer vegetarian lunches

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Ministry of Education officials said that elementary and junior high schools should provide one vegetarian lunch per week to students to promote healthy lifestyles and help reduce global warming.

Deputy Minister of Education Lin Tsong-ming said the ministry has issued notice to schools on the proposed weekly vegetarian meals, but added that the ministry will not force every school to follow the recommendation.

One person following a vegetarian diet per day can reduce carbon emissions by 7 kg, said Lin, citing research results.

If every person in the country adopted the habit of having a meat-free day, emissions could be reduced by 161,000,000 kg, he added. However, students will still be allowed to bring their own food to school if they do not want to eat vegetarian meals, ministry officials said.

Some primary and secondary schools, mostly in southern Taiwan, have already started their own practice of offering a vegetarian menu.

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