Preserving the Environment

One of the Country’s Largest School Districts Joins Meatless Monday

November 13, 2014
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One of the Country’s Largest School Districts Joins Meatless Monday
The Boston Public School system will begin a "Meatless Monday" program to promote healthier eating and lessen the environmental impact of meat production. Lance Cheung/USDA
This city's 128 public schools are going veg one day a week.

A single day can make a world of difference.

The Boston Public School system will be adopting the practice of Meatless Monday — a non-profit initiative with the aim of reducing global meat consumption by 15 percent — to promote better health and help save the environment.

According to a news release, the 57,000 students enrolled in Boston’s 128 public schools will have vegetarian choices such as black bean burrito bowls, garden salads topped with chickpeas, protein-packed chili and other healthy entrees that, hopefully, won’t leave anyone wondering “where’s the beef?”

“Offering students nutritious meals as part of the Meatless Monday programs allows us to meet the diverse needs of the families in our district while getting the week off to a healthy start,” Deputy Director of the Boston Public Schools’ Department of Food and Nutrition Services, Deborah Ventricelli says in a statement. “Now, every Monday, our students know they can look forward to a high-quality meatless option in addition to the choices they already have.”

The school district is working with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to implement the once-a-week break from eating animals. Kristie Middleton, a food policy manager at the HSUS says, “Students will also be seeing posters in cafeterias encouraging them to take a holiday from meat in order to do their part to save the environment and to eat healthier.”

MORE: A Titanic Shift: James Cameron’s School is the First in the Nation To Go 100 Percent Vegan

EcoWatch reports that the schools started Meatless Monday after receiving more than 1,000 requests from parents and students.

As we’ve mentioned before, Americans are way over-proteined — consuming more meat than nearly every other population on the planet. Although the American Heart Association recommends eating less than six ounces per day of meat, many of us eat double that amount, putting us at a much higher risk for cardiovascular disease.

Meat-eating also puts stress on the environment. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, meat production is responsible for 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions — more than all forms of transportation combined. Eliminating meat for a single night a week is the same as taking 30 to 40 million cars off the road for a year.

While we’re not telling you to wave bye-bye to burgers, eating less meat is not only better for your health, it’s better for the planet’s health, too.

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