This week, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer released a report titled “A Blueprint for a Sustainable Food System,” in which he proposed several health-promoting measures for New York City schools. As ways of addressing the fact that one in five NYC kindergarten children is obese, Stringer suggested the following measures:
- Require Food Curriculum in Public Schools
- Expose City Students to Farms and Gardens
- Institute Meatless Mondays in City Schools
There have been both positive and negative responses to the “Meatless Mondays” proposal, in particular. I, for one, am in favor of it—as long as the food being served includes real vegetables and whole grains rather than just pizza, french fries, and ketchup. For example, vegan chili is incredibly easy to make in large quantities for cheap and is packed with nutrients.
One of the main concerns of people unfamiliar with vegetarian eating is protein. Nine times out of ten, the first question is, “WHAT ABOUT PROTEIN?” Contrary to popular belief, once you know what to do (key word: nutrition education), it’s incredibly easy. And anyway, as a country, Americans get much more protein than we technically need. One meal without animal protein is not going to cause your kids to shrivel up and die.