Second All-Veg Public School

Principal Maggie Siena

Principal Maggie Siena

Here’s something to cheer about. The second public school in history has just gone all vegetarian. PS (Public School) 342 in New York City has recently announced the move, only 18 months after the first public school, PS 244 became the first ever public school go all-vegetarian.

Principal Maggie Siena said in a statement, “We decided to implement the vegetarian menu because of the health benefits of a diet including more legumes, vegetables and whole grains and our concerns about the environmental impact of meat production. As it turns out, the vegetarian dishes are pretty delicious, too — we are seeing more kids trying and liking chickpeas, brown rice and whole wheat pasta — kale salad was a huge hit.”

The implementation of the vegetarian menu was done with the help of the Coalition for Healthy School Food, a non profit dedicated to getting whole plant foods into schools across the New York City area. Congratulations go to Amie Hamlin, their executive director, for helping this through. They were behind the first school going all vegetarian and now they’ve done it again. Amie says, “they get more fiber, they get less cholesterol, less saturated fat and more of the healthy fighter nutrients that come from plants.”

Parents and kids alike seem happy with the change in both schools. When the first school went all vegetarian, their principal reported that improved test scores and longer attention spans by its students happened within nine months.

At two public schools in New York City, the closest thing to mystery meat one will find on the lunch tray is tofu. Seattle, your turn next!