Farmers from Lyon protest against meatless menus


BWithout salad, followed by an herb omelette on organic spinach with bechamel, cheese and fruit: This is the standard menu for the school canteens in Lyon on Tuesday, which provoked a nationwide storm of indignation. The meat-free food that the green mayor of the third largest French city has decided for school children due to stricter corona rules is not to the taste of leading government members. “We shouldn’t put ideology on our children’s plates,” said Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie.

The standard menu is a “social disgrace” and “ludicrous with a view to a balanced diet,” said the minister on Tuesday on the RTL radio station. He challenged the Greens to maintain an “ecology of isolation” that “is at the expense of the weakest who cannot afford a balanced diet”. In his opinion, a portion of meat is part of a balanced diet.

“Fish and animal proteins planned”

Mayor Grégory Doucet had previously explained that he had decided on the meat-free standard menu in order to facilitate the distribution of food in the school canteens and to improve compliance with the stricter distance rules. “Fish and animal proteins are planned,” emphasized Doucet. Usually there are several menu options that take into account religious dietary regulations, especially those of Muslim students, but also food allergies.

But the Minister of Agriculture does not understand why meat should be avoided. He said that he called the prefect to check the legality of the measures. The minister knows that the agricultural lobby is on his side. On Monday afternoon, a dozen farmers drove with tractors in protest in front of the imposing town hall of Lyon.

“No Christmas tree, no Tour de France, no meat in the canteen, what’s next?” Asked the chairwoman of the FNSEA agricultural association, Christine Lambert, on Tuesday on the Public Sénat television channel. She alluded to the fact that the green mayor of Bordeaux did not put up a “dead tree” in front of his town hall during Christmas time and that the mayor of Lyon criticized the cyclists on the tour as “machos” and had skipped a stage through Lyon.

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The head of the most important agricultural association senses a pact with the Islamist left (“islamo-gauchisme”) behind the meat ban: “That must be a deal by the local government that lives out its ideology.” Lyon is the only city in France that does not have meat serve more. “What an intolerance among the Greens!” Lambert said indignantly. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, who wants to make a name for himself as a champion against Islamist separatism, spoke of an “unacceptable insult to farmers and butchers in France”. The Greens would pursue a “moralizing, elitist policy” that excludes the lower classes. “For many children there is only the canteen to eat meat,” said Darmanin.

Also trouble at the cabinet table

The canteen meal also caused trouble at the cabinet table. Environment Minister Barbara Pompili, a former Green, spoke of a “prehistoric debate”. She recalled that the “Climate and Resilience” law, which had just been passed by the cabinet, provides for an experiment with vegetarian dishes in the school canteens. The proportion of organic products in the canteens is also to be increased to twenty percent.

The breakaway La République-en-Marche MP, Matthieu Orphelin, sees President Macron’s campaign strategy imitated by Donald Trump behind the attack on the Green Mayor. “The ministers should actually pacify the country, but they are doing exactly the opposite. They are constantly trying to split it, ”said Orphelin, a close confidante of former Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot.

An angry farmer unloads tires in front of the town hall in Lyon on Monday.

An angry farmer unloads tires in front of the town hall in Lyon on Monday.

Image: AFP

“Macron knows that green issues are an important milestone in the presidential election campaign,” Orphelin told the Liberation newspaper. That is why he tries to denounce the Greens as dangerous ideologues. He had already done that in the debate about the 5G network. Macron made fun of the opponents of the 5G network and compared them to the Amish, who emigrated from Europe to America in the 19th century and who still live without telephones, television and the Internet and who travel by horse and cart to this day.

The President made fun of himself: “I hear many voices telling us that we should address the complexities of today’s problems by returning to the oil lamp! I don’t think the Amish model is the answer to the challenges of today’s ecology. “

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Farmers Lyon protest meatless menus


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