In an effort to fight global warming, a California school district has eliminated certain foods from its students’ lunch menus, including meat and cheese.
Partnering with Friends of the Earth — an environmental activism group — Oakland schools have aimed to make student lunches more “climate friendly,” according to The Daily Caller.
The new lunch offerings did not include any foods that Friends of the Earth considered “unsustainable for our planet,” which apparently included any meat or cheese that did not come from “pastured, organic dairy cows.”
Instead of the usual beef hot dogs and pepperoni pizza, the children have been given vegan stir fry tofu and vegan tostadas. Their portion sizes were also reportedly reduced.
Jennifer LeBarre, head of nutrition services for Oakland Unified School District, called the transition a “landmark moment for school food.”
“We were so excited to see how the data showed that we could reduce our carbon and water footprint by serving healthy, delicious food –– like the vegetarian tostadas with fresh made in-house salsa, that kids absolutely love –– all while saving money,” LeBarre said in a FOE news release.
Although neither the school district nor the environmentalists conducted a study into whether these new “environmentally friendly” lunches were actually improving students’ health, they have nevertheless claimed that the new lunch program was “healthier” than before.
Why? Because to activists, nutrients from plants are automatically better than nutrients found in meat, of course.
However, a 2007 Stanford University School of Medicine study found that diets that were low in carbohydrates and high in protein (meat diets) were actually better for overall health than diets that were high in carbohydrates, such as vegan diets.
Not only did those who participated in the study’s low-carb, high-protein diet lose more weight, they also had greater decreases in blood pressure and greater increases in high-density lipoprotein — the “good” cholesterol.
So, while the Oakland school district may be concerned about saving the environment with their new “eco-friendly” lunches, they should also take into consideration the health needs of the growing students they are responsible for feeding every day.
In fact, for some low-income students, the only nutrition they get is from school breakfast and lunch programs.
There’s nothing wrong with getting students to eat healthier foods, but simply choosing those foods based on their supposed environmental impact isn’t necessarily the right way to do so.
Children need certain nutrients — many of which are found in dairy and meat products — in order to properly grow and develop, which is certainly more important than any decrease in carbon dioxide emissions the lunch program may generate.
Would you want your children to eat this vegan-like diet at school? Like and share on Facebook and Twitter and let us know.
What do you think about this California school district’s new approach to student lunches?
(via: Conservative Tribune)