Another public school in New York City just went all vegetarian – and this time it was the kids who asked for it. This is the third New York City public school to go all veg. The school’s principal, Arlene Ramos, revealed that students asked for healthier, meatless options and that she is proud to be able to introduce the new menu. “My students have expressed an interest in healthier eating, and the school gave them the option to choose this menu I am very proud of their decision.” Lentil sloppy Joes, pasta fagioli, Mexicali chili, braised black beans with plantains, and teriyaki crunchy tofu will now be the lunch options for the 1,250 pre-K through 5th graders at Public School 1, Bergen Elementary School.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams—who adopted a vegan diet last October to conquer his type 2 diabetes—supports the menu update. “It is particularly exciting to learn that this is a youth-driven initiative,” Adams said. The drive for all New York City public schools to go all veg is a campaign of New York Coalition for Healthy School Food headed by Amy Hamlin. We’ve previously written about the other schools that have gone all veg.
For years we have heard every excuse from many of Washington’s public schools. But, if a city as big and diverse as New York can do it, we’re sure Seattle can as well. Let’s hope New York City will set an example for Seattle and other cities to follow.
Veggie burgers ain’t what (and where) they used to be. The food industry has been making one innovation after the other and spreading the availability of veggie burgers far and wide, including some unexpected places.
The new McVegan
A few days ago, news broke that rocked the veggie burger landscape: McDonald’s, yes McDonald’s, is testing a vegan burger. Meet the McVegan. Hoping to quietly test the McVegan away from the attention of the American public, McDonald’s went to a far away, really far away, place, Finland. Yup! the future of the new McDonald’s vegan burger is in the hands of the Finns. But don’t worry, they won’t let us down. The new McVegan is already getting rave reviews. If the test goes well, we may just find the new vegan burger right here at home.
The Impossible Burger
Meanwhile, when the good people at Impossible Foods said they were going to make a veggie burger so realistic it will bleed and even char just like a juicy hamburger, many people said that’s “impossible.” But they’ve done it, and it is quickly being made available around the country. The burger contains no animal fat, yet the flavor profile mimics that of 80/20 ground beef. Before it’s seasoned and layered with toppings, a nearly three-ounce patty clocks in at 220 calories and costs $13 – a little pricey but the price has been coming down.
Many people see a very profitable future for the new Impossible Burger. That’s why Impossible Foods secured $80 million over five years to develop the product that was later backed by Bill Gates and Khosla Ventures. The Impossible Burger is not yet available here in Washington but it’s getting close. The Impossible Burger is available in St. Helena in northern California. Because they use no animal products, the Impossible Burger uses a fraction of the Earth’s natural resources. Compared to cows, the Impossible Burger uses 95% less land, 74% less water, and creates 87% less greenhouse gas emissions. And of course, no animals were hurt in the making of these burgers!
It’s worse than we thought. A new study showed that livestock cause the emission of even more methane than previously thought. Methane is a greenhouse gas 30 times more powerful at warming the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. Previous estimates of the global livestock industry’s methane production had been underestimating their total output, according to a new study by the Joint Global Change Research Institute. Read more
We’re happy to see the growth of food made with plant-based ingredients. It’s never been easier to be a vegetarian. Our choices and access to plant-based foods continues to grow and grow. Here are the latest four pieces of news:
Plant-based food – the leading trend
At a recent Natural Products Expo, plant-based foods was the leading trend in the food industry. Environmental, health and ethical concerns related to the production and consumption of animal products has moved purposefully plant-based foods, once relegated to the vegan and vegetarian minority, into the mainstream. Innovative new meat and dairy alternatives are improving upon taste and texture all the time, therefore widening the appeal of a plant-based way of eating. Read more
A plant-based diet is a powerful way to substantially cut your risk of colon cancer. It’s long been known that vegetarians have a very significantly reduced risk of colon cancer. Several studies have shown that vegetarians reduce their risk of colon cancer by 46%-88%, they have a 54% reduced risk of polyps, and a 200% reduced risk of advanced polyps which can become malignant. Since colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death, these percentages are very important. While we’ve known this for quite a while, we didn’t know why until recently – now we do! Read more
British star Ricky Gervais rose to fame as David Brent, the lead character in the original British version of The Office, back in 2001. He went on to become a well-recognized comedian, appearing on a variety of TV and radio shows, and in several movies. He’s made several popular tours as a provocative standup comic including one show named “Humanity”.
Ricky has been a big supporter of animal rights for many years. He has spoken out against fox hunting and bull fighting. In his Humanity show, he recently said:
…it’s awful to think of people eating dogs, but some people eat pork. I don’t, but some people do. And a pig is just like a dog, there is no difference between them…
When Ricky was recently invited to participate in the Hot Ones interview, where host Sean Evans interviews a star while they eat ever-spicier chicken wings, Ricky opted for vegan chickn wings from the “Temple of Seitan”. He also mentioned that his cheese days were over, so it certainly appears that Ricky is well on his way to being vegan. Good for you, Ricky!
American singer-songwriter, Erykah Badu, is known as the queen of neo soul. She has produced six albums, and released many popular singles. Her work has often been compared to jazz great Billie Holiday. She’s also played a wide range of supporting roles in movies as an actress.
Erykah has been vegetarian since her senior year of high school back in 1989 and has eaten like a vegan since 1997, although she chooses not to call herself a vegan since she says, “I don’t subscribe to any type of organizations. It’s just what’s best for my body.”
Her favorite foods are mostly raw salads, with avocados, fruits, and vegetables. Health and vitality have always been a priority for her, since for her vegan food is soul food in its truest form. “Soul food means to feed the soul,” she said.