from the Guardian: Day of the lentil burhgers: Ghent goes veggie to lose weight and save planet

15 May

Prior to spending the weekend in the beautiful Flemish town of Ghent, my understanding of a Belgian menu extended the short distance from moules and frites to chocolate. And so I traipsed to Belgium fully armed with raw fruit balls, raw spinach pesto, a pineapple(??), and ingredients for a raw mango salsa. It was a complete waste of time and bag-carrying energy.   

Ghent may not have a raw-specialist restaurant but it does have three times as many vegetarian restaurants per capita than London and has just declared that every restaurant will go vegetarian every Thursday from now on. Now that’s groundbreaking for us vegetable lovers!

In the meat loving, chocolate and cheese eating moules and frites capital of the world, is the world's first no-meat-thursday town

In the meat loving, chocolate and cheese eating moules and frites capital of the world, is the world's first no-meat-on-thursdays town

The Guardian picked up the story.  Here’s an extract:
The city council says it is the first town in Europe and probably the western world to try to make the entire place vegetarian for a day every week. Tom Balthazar, the Labour party councillor pushing the scheme, said: “There’s nothing compulsory. We just want to be a city that promotes sustainable and healthy living.”

Every restaurant in the city is to guarantee a vegetarian dish on the menu, with some going fully vegetarian every Thursday. From September, the city’s schools are to make a meat-free meal the “default” option every Thursday, although parents can insist on meat for their children. At least one hospital wants to join in.

A small, dreamy city of spires, bicycles, and canals, prospering since the Middle Ages, Ghent may be on to something. It appears to be tapping into a zeitgeist awareness of the cost to human health and the environment of intensive meat and dairy farming. Other towns in and the Netherlands are making inquiries; there has even been one from Canada.

Read the full article here.

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