Marina Banister

Youth councillor Marina Banister is urging city council to opt for veggie and fruit platters over sausage and cheese. (CBC)

Edmonton's Youth Council urged city council Tuesday to go meat and cheese free.

Going vegetarian is environmentally sustainable and could even save $1,500 a year on food on council's food bill, the group argued.

"The science is conclusive that says that reducing your meat consumption does result in a positive environmental outcome," Marina Banister, chair of the youth council's sustainability committee, told CBC News prior to the meeting. "It's such a small change that we're asking for.

"We're not asking them to become vegetarian or vegan in their personal life."

Andrew Knack

Coun. Andrew Knack said the vegan discussion is worth having. (CBC)

Coun. Andrew Knack agrees removing meat from the catering menu is largely symbolic.

"For what is an incredibly small change to how council operates right now — I mean, we only had two meals catered in 2014 and we get the odd snack tray on long council days — it's generated a lot of attention.

"Which is actually part of the purpose of why I know youth council wanted to bring it forward. It's not just to put this recommendation before us, it's to make sure that people are having that conversation."

Mayor Don Iveson said the idea of vegan-only catering has been polarizing. 

"I'm concerned that this is unnecessarily all or nothing," he said.

Following the presentation, council agreed to move the debate to Council Services Committee meeting on Oct. 19.