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Elementary School Cafeteria Goes Vegetarian

new york tofu beans meatless

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#1 Hum

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 16:36

A New York City elementary school cafeteria is one of the first in the nation to go meatless.

Students at P.S. 244 , the Active Learning Elementary School, are being treated to eclectic fare, including black bean and cheese quesadillas, falafel and tofu in an Asian sesame sauce.

"It's been a really great response from the kids, but they also understand it's about what is the healthiest option for them," principal Bob Groff told ABCNews.com. "Because we teach them throughout our curriculum to make healthy choices, they understand what is happening and believe in what we're doing too."

When the school opened in 2008, they started serving vegetarian meals three days a week. The campus became a vegetarian test kitchen for the city, Groff said.

"We then started to try out recipes with small groups of students, see what they liked, see what they didn't like," he said.

The recipes were a hit, Groff said, prompting the school to expand its meat-free meals to four days a week and then adopting a 100 percent vegetarian kitchen in January.

"The big thing I would like people to know is, this isn't just about a vegetarian menu," Groff said. "It's about living a healthy lifestyle and educating students on what options are out there."

All meals have to adhere to USDA standards, he said, making sure students get plenty of nutrients, including protein, for their growing bodies.

That means nutrient-dense foods such as chickpeas, kidney beans and tofu.

If the herbivore-friendly grub doesn't suit students, Groff said they're always welcome to pack their lunch, including meat.

The school operates on an application and lottery system, meaning it's not zoned to a particular neighborhood. It serves 400 students from pre-kindergarten through grade three.

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#2 The Laughing Man

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 16:43

That's kind of avoiding the issue instead of tackling it. How about create healthier foods without the loss of meat products

#3 OP Hum

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 16:46

Not really 'veggie' if you include cheese and dairy products.

#4 FloatingFatMan

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 23:08

Not really 'veggie' if you include cheese and dairy products.


Losing the dairy is vegan, not veggie.

#5 Growled

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 23:43

I knew this was somewhere in either New York or California the second I read the title.

#6 Anibal P

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 23:50

I'd rather have my kids fed religion over this useless fad diet that is really unhealthy

#7 OP Hum

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 23:52

^ Why is it 'unhealthy' ?

I've lived long periods just fine, without meats, dairy.

#8 Growled

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 23:54

If the herbivore-friendly grub doesn't suit students, Groff said they're always welcome to pack their lunch, including meat.


Glad they included that option because I hate veggie food. I would take my lunch.

#9 DAOWAce

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 01:11

That's kind of avoiding the issue instead of tackling it. How about create healthier foods without the loss of meat products

Exactly.

The processed garbage, artifical ingredients, pesticides and GM foods (and animal feed) are the problems in our (America's) food system, not meat.

I keep trying to educate people on this, but it's unfortunately an endless (and sometimes rage inducing) battle. Good thing the publicity of this stuff keeps growing every month.

Speaking about meat: It's is an essential part of our diet; we are not herbivores. While being vegetarian can benefit people in certain ways (and protect the environment with less animal extinctions and habitat destruction through excessive hunting), it's not what we were designed for, and can actually cause harm in the long run.

I've been waiting for nearly a decade for this country to get back on track. Can only wonder how much longer we have to wait..

#10 Growled

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 01:14

I've been waiting for nearly a decade for this country to get back on track. Can only wonder how much longer we have to wait..


You and I may not live long enough.

#11 BajiRav

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 01:16

I'd rather have my kids fed religion over this useless fad diet that is really unhealthy

WTF? Why is vegetarian diet is a "useless fad"?

#12 compl3x

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 01:29

I'd rather have my kids fed religion over this useless fad diet that is really unhealthy


The earliest records of (lacto) vegetarianism come from ancient India and ancient Greece in the 5th century BCE.[17]


Uh huh. Fad. Right.

I don't know why anyone would think increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables in one's diet would be "really unhealthy". Totally looking forward to see how this statement is substantiated.

Speaking about meat: It's is an essential part of our diet; we are not herbivores. While being vegetarian can benefit people in certain ways (and protect the environment with less animal extinctions and habitat destruction through excessive hunting), it's not what we were designed for, and can actually cause harm in the long run.


Completely false. A properly prepared vegetarian diet is entirely healthy and safe.

#13 DAOWAce

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 02:08

Completely false. A properly prepared vegetarian diet is entirely healthy and safe.

We're not living in old times.

Most food is so drastically different from how it was when it was first cultivated. If not the food, then the soil, the air and the water. Nothing is 'pure' anymore, as much as we wish it was.

Absolution from meat can harm us. Note I said can here and earlier. Not everyone is affected in the same ways. But, speaking from personal experience, the people who I know that are vegetarian suffer from one problem or another that none of the meat eaters I know have. Mayhap they don't have a proper vegetarian diet, but with the way life is in present time (time and finance constraints, lack of access to a variety of raw food, if access to any at all), it's a wonder anyone can have a proper diet, even health advocates like myself. :(

#14 compl3x

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 02:28

We're not living in old times.

Most food is so drastically different from how it was when it was first cultivated. If not the food, then the soil, the air and the water. Nothing is 'pure' anymore, as much as we wish it was.

Absolution from meat can harm us. Note I said can here and earlier. Not everyone is affected in the same ways. But, speaking from personal experience, the people who I know that are vegetarian suffer from one problem or another that none of the meat eaters I know have. Mayhap they don't have a proper vegetarian diet, but with the way life is in present time (time and finance constraints, lack of access to a variety of raw food, if access to any at all), it's a wonder anyone can have a proper diet, even health advocates like myself. :(


None of which corroborates your earlier statement that vegetarian diets "cause harm in the long run". You're right that fresh produce is expensive, which makes vegetarianism prohibitive for a lot of people and if you don't prepare your vegetarian diet properly, making sure you have a diverse range of food to get all your nutritional requirements, that it can be unhealthy, but if you remove those 2 issues vegetarianism is completely safe and a great way to improve general health.


I'd probably even go as far as saying a vegetarian diet practised poorly would be better for people's health than the garbage people cram in their face from fast-food joints. A lot of people suffer from a lack of necessary nutrients provided by fast and processed food. At least a crappy veg. diet would give people some nutrients.

#15 Original Poster

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 13:35

.... a vegetarian diet is normally more fattening and has less nutrition especially if you do cut out on the fatty products..
a balanced diet includes meat (fish included) and yes I can say this I spent 3 years studying biology nutrition was one of my subjects... you live a much healthier life with meat included... I know tons of vegetarians their lives are just them getting sick every other week... an omnivore can survive on a vegetarian diet but will be lacking performance wise

pushing vegetarianism is just as bad as pushing a religion in my books... vegetarian foods ARE NOT the healthiest option, this is why the education system sucks, because they are getting taught by idiots