Tag Archives: New York City Schools

Countries encourage plant-based foods for the planet

It’s now well established that the production of animal products is bad for the environment, whether it’s the air and water pollution caused by the production of manure, the destruction of the rainforests to clear grazing land for cattle, the soil erosion caused by free-range cattle, but most importantly the excessive greenhouse gases released from cows in the form of methane.

Many cities and even countries have started to recognize these essential facts, and to acknowledge that changing our diet is critical, especially to prevent the continuation of global warming. By pushing plant-based food consumption and supporting alternative protein development, some governments, at the local, state or national level, have started to take important steps to reduce meat consumption.

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Vegan Fridays for NY City schools

Upper East Side, Manhattan, New York

All New York City schools are debuting Vegan Fridays. Following the adoption of Meatless Mondays by all 1,700 public schools in NYC in 2019, they are now adding an additional day each week when all meals offered will be vegan, with such options as bagels and jelly, veggie tacos, Mediterranean pasta, black bean and plantain rice bowls and more.  The meals will phased in, with non-vegan options available for children upon request, and will be available free to the 930,000 children who attend NYC public schools.  Due to federal guidelines, dairy milk will also continue to be available.

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First All-Veg Public School

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott and student Arianna Francisco have a vegetarian meal together.

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott and student Arianna Francisco have a vegetarian meal together.

America’s first all vegetarian public school has just started operating in New York City. We won’t hide our excitement. We hope that now that the ice has been broken, and positive reports from students are rolling in, that this will be the start of a new trend.

“The founding of our school was based on health and nutrition and teaching kids how to make healthy choices, in the belief that they would be more successful academically and in their life,” Principal and school co-founder Robert Groff said.

The School, which opened in 2008, gradually started offering vegetarian meals more and more days a week, reducing the days per week they served traditional cafeteria food like chicken nuggets. “But then we started to watch the kids; one, what they would bring in to school, and two, what they would gravitate towards in the cafeteria” Groff said. The switch to meatless — which the school did in partnership with nonprofit organization New York Coalition for Healthy School Food — was seamless. Read more