Vegan Lunches Lower Carbon Footprint when Offered

Posted on May 27, 2019 by

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If you’re vegan, Fleetwood school lunches are not for you. At FAHS, all school lunches consist of some form of animal product. Soy Milk is sold, but for an upcharge.  At present, the healthy, cruelty-free options are either more expensive or not available.

In 2019, many schools have adapted food options for everyone.  Is FAHS behind?

“With four detailed case studies, the report builds on a 2017 analysis that showed how the Oakland Unified School District reduced its carbon footprint by fourteen percent and saved $42,000 over two years, just by serving less meat and more plant-based foods. If every public school replaced a beef burger for a veggie burger just once a month, it would save 1.4 billion pounds of CO2 every year, the report noted.” LiveKindly said.

“Fleetwood Food Service does what it can to keep its footprint as small as possible and still stays within the state-federal regulations. Many of the vendors we use are environmentally aware,” Food Service Coordinator Jeffrey Woodall said.

But does being “aware” mean that these vendors are actively doing something to combat this issue? Or are they just paying it lip service?

According to The Huffington Post, Tyson, one of the food companies that supplies FAHS with food, combined with four other big meat and dairy companies, are responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than any of the world’s largest oil and gas companies.

“Greening school food should be a primary ingredient in combating climate change—just as important as making schools more solar-powered and energy efficient. Research shows that meat-centered diets play a major role in rising temperatures: animal-based food production spews tons of greenhouse gas emissions and guzzles oceans of water,” Green School National Network said.

One of the most pressing questions is, how difficult would it be to implement vegan options into the daily cafeteria menus? According to some, the answer is, “not difficult.”

“The New York City Office of SchoolFood” (SchoolFood), which oversees menu planning for all of the public schools in New York City, planned vegetarian and alternative menus for Peck Slip School with input from the Coalition for Healthy School Food. The meals on the vegetarian menu are designed to be not only vegetarian but also less processed than typical school fare. There’s an alternative menu with meals that eliminate beef and pork and may include a bean or tofu option. SchoolFood makes an effort to purchase local, regional, or New York state products, whenever possible,”  Today’s dietitian said.

“Creating vegetarian menus isn’t especially difficult,” Amie Hamlin, executive director of the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food, said.  “SchoolFood service directors have to contend with small budgets and many regulations, but partnering with nonprofit organizations that specialize in school nutrition can make their jobs a little easier.”

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