All 1,800 New York City public schools will soon offer plant-based meals for breakfast and lunch as part of a new Meatless Monday initiative launched by vegan Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. The initiative will start in the 2019-2020 school year, following a successful pilot program in 15 Brooklyn schools in spring 2018.
"In less than 18 months, we can announce that Meatless Mondays has spread to more than one million children at every school across the city, putting us on the path to make our kids, communities, and planet healthier,” Adams tells Plant Based News. "I am grateful to Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza, as well as our incredible parent and student advocates who have made this a reality. I could not be more energized by our progress and more ready to take on the work ahead."
The plan will reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the New York City public school system, the nation's largest, and improve the health of its 1.1 million students, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a recent news conference.
“For those who scoff at this notion, I have some simple advice: Look at the science… Look at the data,” Staten Island Borough President James Oddo tells CNN. “Look at the childhood obesity. Look at pre-diabetes diagnoses. Look at the fact that 65 percent of American kids age 12 to 1 4 shows signs of early cholesterol disease. Then, perhaps you will embrace the fact that we can’t keep doing things the same way, including welcoming the idea of Meatless Mondays.”
New research continues to highlight the health benefits of a vegan diet, with recent studies linking the consumption of plant-based foods to a lowered risk of everything from heart disease to diabetes. Research has also found that transitioning to a plant-based diet may be the answer to feeding the rapidly growing global population, with one 2018 report in Our World in Data indicating that the land used to grow edible plants worldwide supplies more calories than that devoted to raising and feeding livestock, which is nearly four times larger.
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