SARASOTA, Fla. – Students in Sarasota County Schools will no longer be able to find meat on the Monday lunch menu starting next week.
ABC 7 reports the school system is the latest to adopt “Meatless Mondays.”
From the news station:
Students will be able to fill their trays with such dishes as hummus and vegetable subs, veggie pasta bakes, spaghetti marinara and fiesta taco salads. Meatless Mondays are planned for the remainder of the school year; vegetarian dishes will continue to be offered as options for students dining on other days as well.
Some Texas school districts have implemented the program as well.
“With more parents and kids asking for vegetarian choices, we just decided to give it a try in Dripping Springs for a year,” Child Nutrition Services director John Crowley tells KVUE.
That prompted Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples to call for ending the meat ban.
Writing for the Austin American-Statesman, Staples says:
Restricting children’s meal choice to not include meat is irresponsible and has no place in our schools. This activist movement called “Meatless Mondays” is a carefully-orchestrated campaign that seeks to eliminate meat from Americans’ diets seven days a week — starting with Mondays.
For those Texans who choose not to eat meat, I say more power to you. If you want to take the personal challenge to go meatless on Mondays, go right ahead. However, we cannot force such an agenda-driven diet on anyone who has not chosen such a diet — especially our school children.
Meat is a critical part of a balanced diet, and provides us with high-quality proteins and essential amino acids. It bothers me when a particular group tries to convince the public that meat consumption is unhealthy and environmentally unfriendly. Worse still are the activists behind the campaign who have been tied to anti-animal agriculture campaigns.
Chicago’s Academy for Global Citizenship also participates in the program.
“Our students embrace tofu, whole grain pizza and Meatless Mondays as an aspect of their healthy and caring community,” a school representative writes on the USDA website.