This morning in The New York Post, a newspaper usually known for gossip, conservative rhetoric and grisly photos of murder victims and/or model offspring of celebrities, there’s a heartwarming story about a public elementary school in Queens that is now only serving vegetarian food in its cafeteria. Five days a week.
The story, ‘Garden’-variety school lunches,” features a sample menu headlined “Fiesta Time!” with items including a black bean and cheddar quesadilla, red roasted potatoes, PB&J, fresh fruit and “assorted milk.” What gives? According to the Post, PS 244 in Flushing is the “first traditional public school in the country to serve all vegetarian all the time.” Parents, who were consulted on the changeover, are still free to pack meats in the students’ lunches.
“It’s been received very well; that’s why there so much excitement about it,” Amie Hamlin, director of the school’s partner, the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food, told the Post.
How do the students feel? The Post reports: “The pint-sized food critics convinced school chefs to ditch the unseasoned tofu and serve smaller cubes seasoned with jerk sauce and paired with noodles.”
It should be noted that PS 244 is in Flushing, home to a diverse population with many students from East Asian backgrounds. So while the all-veggie menu is probably more suited to Queens than to Laredo, Texas, it presents an intriguing possibility for improving children’s healthy eating habits.
What about you? Do you think public elementary schools should switch to all-vegetarian cafeterias? Let us know in the comments.