Lyon, France –
Greer Duset, the mayor of Lyon with a lenient demeanor, hardly seems revolutionary. But he stopped France by announcing last month that Lyon’s 29,000 elementary school meal menus no longer contain meat.
An ecological dictatorship that could signal the end of French gastronomy, even French culture. The ministers of the government of President Emanuel Macron clashed. If Lyon, the city of beef snouts and pig ears, of succulents and kidneys, could do such a thing, the apocalypse was certainly imminent.
“The response has been overwhelming,” said Duset, 47. He is an insignificant man whose mischievous cunning and goat give him the air of one of Alexander Dumas’ three guns. Elected a political neophyte last year, he obviously finds it a little ridiculous that he, the lesser apostle, should sit with more in a 25-foot-high hollow town hall office adorned with a brocade and busts of his fame.
Fixing the local school curriculum that has divided the nation is unbelievable.
“My decision was purely pragmatic,” he insisted, blinking his eyes, a way to quickly speed up lunches in times of social distance by offering one menu rather than the traditional choice of two dishes.
Not so much the Minister of the Interior, Erald Darmanin. He wrote in his tweets that leaving meat was “an unacceptable insult to French farmers-butchers”, which betrays the “elite-moral” attitude. Agriculture Minister Jul Julien Denormand called the mayor’s hug without a meat meal “socially shameful” or “nutritionally deviant”.
All of this prompted Barbara Pompili, the environment minister, to talk about “primitive” views that were full of “broken clichés” about those men, in fact, calling her two colleagues in her cabinet Neanderthals.
This hot exchange showed a few things about little. Macron’s government and party, La République en Marche, continue to have failed marriages of left and right. The growing popularity of the Greens, ruled not only by Lyon but also by Bordeaux and Grenoble, has exacerbated the cultural clash between the urban environmental crusaders and the “defenders of the French tradition in the village”.
By no means do I want to convey that I recommend for the mother to be inactive.
The mayor, it must be said, made his move in a city with a vibrant gastronomic tradition. Lyon’s meat culture is on display at Boucherie François on the Rhone Century. The calf’s liver and kidneys shone. Fried beef cuts wrapped in lard are abundant; yellow և white chicken heads rolled on the counter; saucissons, some with pistachios, took all the cylindrical horses. The pastry-wrapped frying pan showed foie gras filling; տր The trots and ears of pigs betrayed the carnivores of this city.
“The mayor made a mistake,” said François Teixeira, a butcher who worked in François for 19 years. “This is not good for Lyon.”
Of course, the mayor’s decision came at a sensitive time. French law is outraged that the country, through politically correct environmental dogmatism, is moving towards a negative growth of bicycles, electric cars, vegetation, locals, planetary savings – a general shortage that is far from stuffing goose liver for personal restraint. Last year, the mayor of the Green Party of Bordeaux, Pierre Hurmick, got nervous when he rejected the traditional Christmas tree in the city, because it is a “dead tree”.
The culinary step of the class was part of the “ideological agenda”. The right-wing Values Actuels weekly published a cover story. “Lyon restaurants were just an excuse.”
Duset, who describes himself as “flexible” or prefers vegetables but eats some meat, claims that the Ministry of Education forced him to. Doubling the social distance in schools by 2 meters or more than 6 feet, it obliged the mayor to speed up the meal by offering only one meal.
“There is a mathematical equation,” he said. “You have the same number of tables, but you have to put fewer children on them. You can not start the lunch break at 10 o’clock in the morning.”
But why nix meat? The mayor, who has a 7-year-old child in elementary school, rolled his eyes.
“We did not go on a vegetarian menu. “Children can eat fish or eggs every day.” With so many students no longer eating meat, he said, “we just took the lowest common denominator.”
Dussett said that was not an ideological decision, even if during his six years in office he aimed to adapt school curricula to “most of the plant proteins.”
The mayor continued. “There is not much choice these days. You have no choice but to go to a museum, theater or cinema. “It is indecent for the right-wing opposition to say that I am violating our freedoms in the context of the state of emergency.”
Macron has taken a balancing act in accepting his Green Future, “as he put it last year, rejecting the ‘Amish model’ for France.” The president tries to distinguish between rational and punitive or extreme environmentalism.
The president, as usual, throws his net in the run-up to the June regional elections, seeking to appeal to conservative farmers while engaging in some of the Greens’ vote. During a recent visit to a farm, he attacked attempts to falsify new agriculture based on “agricultural barriers and demagoguery.” Referring to the obvious Lyon fiasco, he said that “good sense” should prevail in the balanced diet of children, noting that “we lose a lot of time during idiotic splits.”
His government has proposed a constitutional amendment, the first since 2008, which, if approved in a referendum, would add a sentence to the fact that France “guarantees the preservation of the environment, biodiversity and fights against climate change.”
The donkey opposed the change. It has yet to be reconsidered by the right-wing Senate. Another bill provides for more favorable reforms for a greener future, including a ban on fossil fuel advertising and the elimination of short-haul domestic flights.
Duset is not impressed.
“Macron is not an environmentalist. “He is a modern conservative,” he said. “He knows there is a problem, so he is ready to make some changes, but he does not measure the problem. Can you tell me he took a strong step? ”
Meatless lunches are still served at the Lyon school. The kids just look good. Last week, the Lyon administrative court rejected an attempt by some parents, agricultural unions and local conservative politicians to overturn the mayor’s decision, ruling that the “temporary simplification” of school schedules did not pose a health risk to children. Duset said that when the health crisis subsides, but not before, he will be able to offer a choice of school menus again, including meat. At the same time, the Minister of Agriculture Denormand asked the head of the Lyon district to study the legality of throwing meat.
“Mr. Denormandie’s accusation that we are anti-social is false,” Duset said. “He said that we are rejecting meat from the poorest people in existence, which is false, which is false. He should have been fired immediately. “
Boris Charityers, a member of the Bor Ners Association, said the mayor was being closely monitored.
“We are vigilant,” he said. “We do not want this to be a final decision. “Our children cannot be held hostage to environmental political beliefs.”
As for the butcher Teixeira, he was grateful for the huge selection of meat.
“We have the teeth of a dog,” he said.