Michela Carissimi teaches English at IISS Luca Paciolo, a high school in the Italian capital, and has been a MFM supporter since 2010.
“I have always thought it could be really formative to spread the MFM philosophy among my students and it has been a real success,” Michela says.
“The idea of reducing the amount of meat we eat, and of not eating meat for at least one day a week, is really helpful for our planet and also our health.”
And given that Italy is one of the culinary capitals of the world, where better to start?
In a bid to help her class understand more about the food on their plates, she set the 24 14-year-old students a project based around the campaign.
After a preliminary chat about MFM, students assessed the various health effects of different food groups. Next they filled in a questionnaire about what they ate, before moving on to discuss the issue of spiralling meat consumption, helping them to learn what effect increasing meat consumption is having on the environment, animals and people.
The project culminated with different groups being asked to devise and cook a full Italian meat free menu, including Mushroom and Potato Soup, Spaghetti with Capers and Olives, and Potato Casserole with Radicchio.
“They have followed with passion and interest the whole project, discovering with wonder how the consumption of meat has a negative impact on our planet,” says Michela. “At the same time they enjoyed creating meatless recipes and are proud to see them published on the Meat Free Monday website.”
Students at the school, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, have been won over by Michela’s passion for meat-reducing, and have been involving their families in efforts to start the week without meat.
One student said: “Working on the MFM project has been really fun and interesting, we learnt a lot about food and the importance of a healthy diet.”
Headteacher Cosima Stefania Elena Chimienti, said she was proud the school was taking part in an initiative of global importance, adding: “I hope that this could be a good example for present and future generations in respect of our planet.”
If you are a teacher or student interested in bringing the MFM message to your school, then be sure to check out our education materials.