French government officials have a big problem with the mayor of Lyon.
Lyon Mayor Grégory Doucet, a member of the French Greens party who took office in July 2020, is coming under fire for his decision to remove meat from school cafeterias in order to streamline lunch service and promote more balanced meals amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gérald Darmanin, France’s interior minister, called Doucet on Twitter, claiming the policy was an “unacceptable insult to French farmers and butchers.” He also accused the Greens in general of making decisions without regard to the country’s working class with its “scandalous ideology.”
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“Many children often only have the canteen to eat meat”, argued Darmanin, member of La République En Marche! of President Emmanuel Macron. match.
Julien Denormandie, French Minister of Agriculture and member of En Marche! party, also accused Doucet of “putting ideology on our children’s plates.”
“Let’s give them what they need to grow well. Meat is one of them”, Denormandie wrote.
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Doucet, meanwhile, has responded to such allegations, claiming that the new policy would not only speed up school lunch service (and promote social distancing in doing so), but would also promote more sustainable, local, and healthy food in the schools of the city. city.
He also argued that Gérard Collomb, the city’s former mayor and member of En Marche! party, had “taken exactly the same measure” in the early months of the pandemic, when he was still in office.
“We have not heard you make these comments to Gérard Collomb,” he wrote.
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Doucet has previously said that more changes are needed to preserve Lyon’s overall culinary heritage, and has argued against the massive importation of meat in favor of promoting local farmers. The city has also unveiled a plan to offer more organic and local food, and to offer schoolchildren “2-4 vegetarian meals per week,” by 2022.
Even though meat is not on the menu for Lyon schoolchildren, fish and eggs will still be available.
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Lyon, the third-largest city in France, is often referred to as the capital of French gastronomy, famous for dishes including stews, terrines or stews, often made with meat or offal.