Meatless Mondays at council canteens
Writer: Alvin Yap
Published: Fri, 24 Feb 2012
PETALING JAYA: Council canteens across the city have started to serve vegetarian meals every Monday to promote a healthy diet among staff.
Mayor Datuk Roslan Sakiman said the state-wide programme, which kicked off at the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) this week, is aimed at getting more greens into staff during their working hour meals.
(From left): Deputy Mayor Puasa Mohd Taib, Liu, Roslan, Hee and Loh at the launch of the Green Monday Project.
“MBPJ is glad to be chosen to lead the campaign to get more people to adopt a vegetarian diet,” said Roslan during the campaign launch at D’Kelana community hall at SS7 hall on Monday.
He said MBPJ canteens will serve full vegetarian meals consisting of vegetables or soy-based meatless alternatives, adding the health and wellbeing of council staff would improve with the new weekly diet.
“I call it Meatless Monday, and hope that staff will refrain from having meat which has a lot saturated fat,” he said.
The Monday meals would be prepared by cooks who have undergone training in handling and cooking vegetables without losing the nutrients.
Earlier, Dr Rishya Manikam, from the Univerity Malaya Medical Centre (UUMC), also gave a talk on the health benefits of going on a vegetarian diet.
The strict vegetarian refuted claims that meatless diets lacked proteins and caused tiredness.
“It’s a myth that you don’t get enough proteins from a non-meat, all vegetarian diet,” said the head of Trauma and Emergency at UMMC.
Dr Rishya said vegetarian meals had benefits of being low in fat while being cheaper to purchase.
He lauded MBPJ’s initiative to make its staff eat a vegetarian meal once a week.
Meanwhile, Tzu Chi Foundation spokesperson Tey Siong Chew said keeping to a vegetarian diet was the quickest way to reduce the carbon footprint and save the earth from pollution.
“A given number of lifestock produces more green house gas in a year than a fleet of cars,” he claimed when giving a video presentation on having a green diet.
He cited a United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) international panel of sustainable resource management report which said that lesser consumption of animal products was necessary to save the world from the impact of climate change.
Later, state executive councillor Ronnie Liu said the Green Monday Project would spur the public in adopting a vegetarian diet and would be a shot in the arm for the agriculture sector in Selangor.
He said other local governments would also adopt the initiative and added he was glad civil service staff once again led the way in adopting healthy practices.
On a related matter, Liu said the state had identified corporate sponsors interested in paying for 200 boxes of take-away vegetarian meals during state or local government functions.
“These companies want to do their part to promote a healthy diet,” he said.
However, he declined to name the sponsors, adding that the state would announce the identity of the corporate good Samaritans soon.
The event was also attended by Petaling Jaya Selatan MP Hee Loy Sian and Kelana Jaya MP Loh Gwo Burne.