'Meatless Mondays' on the horizon for New York City schools

Starting in September, New York city's 1.1 million school students will eat vegetarian meals on "Meatless Mondays," Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.

"Cutting back on meat a little will improve New Yorkers' health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions," said the mayor.

The program, which began in 15 Brooklyn schools with vegetarian breakfasts and lunches on Mondays almost a year ago, will be extended to the whole of the massive school system.

"Reducing our appetite for meat is one of the single biggest ways individuals can reduce their environmental impact on our planet," said Mark Chambers, Director of the NYC Mayor´s Office of Sustainability.

Hundreds of public schools in San Francisco and other California jurisdictions have already offered their students a "meatless Monday."

A new Democratic bill in California even proposes offering state students a vegan choice.

"For those who scoff at this notion, I have some simple advice: look at the science. Look at the data. Look at the childhood obesity. Look at pre-diabetes diagnoses. Look at the fact that 65 percent of American kids age 12-14 shows signs of early cholesterol disease," said Staten Island Borough President James Oddo.

"Then, perhaps you will embrace the fact that we can't keep doing things the same way, including welcoming the idea of Meatless Mondays," Oddo said.

Source(s): AFP