Way to go, New York City! All 1,200 schools in the New York City public school district will now offer a vegan hummus option every day at the beginning of this school year, thanks to The Coalition for Healthy School Food (CHSF), a non-profit that helps introduce plant-based foods into schools. Vegan options for students that are available on the school’s vegetarian menu will range from Mexicali Chili, Lentil Stew, Lentil Sloppy Joes, Braised Black Beans with Plantains, and Zesty BBQ Crunchy Tofu. These yummy meals will be on rotation for the vegetarian menus.
And this isn’t CHSF‘s first initiative to help students have access to fresh, healthy food. CHSF has worked with the city’s department of education to help three NYC schools, Active Learning Elementary School in Queens (PS244), Peck Slip School in Manhattan (PS343), and The Bergen Elementary School (PS1) in Brooklyn, to transition to an all-vegetarian menu.
And how are the students and administrations handling this change? They are loving it! PS1 Principal Arlene Ramos said that students asked for healthier, meatless options. If that wasn’t exciting enough, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, who recently went vegan and reversed his type 2 diabetes, backs the new menu wholeheartedly. “It is particularly exciting to learn that this is a youth-driven initiative,” Adams told VegNews. Seems like vegan school lunches are taking off! Seven schools within the Los Angeles school district launched a vegan pilot program earlier this year.
And not only are the new lunch menu’s healthier and tastier, these new lunch options have a much lower carbon footprint. The animal agriculture industry is responsible for 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. It also occupies 45 percent of arable land and uses 23 percent of the world’s fresh water. In fact, a Friends of the Earth (FOE) study found that if every school district in the U.S. adopted this type of food policy, it would be equivalent to taking “150,000 cars off the road every year.”
We hope that more schools in America, and around the world, keep moving towards a plant-based diet. Why would anyone say no to healthier, better tasting, more environmentally-friendly food?
Image source: The Coalition for Healthy School Food/Facebook