School Cafeteria Food – Is Going Vegetarian The Answer?
Do you remember the excitement you had going to the cafeteria in school?
Remember the good smells that greeted you as you walked in the door? That might be changing for some schools in the near future.
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 and tofu in an Asian sesame sauce.
What? Let me just stop here for a moment. I get the fact they want kids to be healthy. However they are in my opinion forcing kids into a situation of eating something they may not want to eat. Sure the kids could bring their own lunch, but how will that sit with the administration? What if a child brings a leftover hamburger from the night before. Will they be forced to sit outside away from the others because it does not conform to the new menu?
The kids - in age ranging from Kindergarten to 3rd grade have adapted to the new food offerings in the cafeteria. This particular school in the only one that is 100% vegetarian. They understand it's about what is the healthiest option for them. They are taught to make healthy choices and it starts right here in the cafeteria.
What started out as a trial run upon opening, has turned into a full time "meat free" zone in the cafeteria. The school even tested several meals to a select group of kids to see if they liked or disliked.
It will be interesting to see if this trend will spread further into the larger cities and eventually go nation wide. More than likely in some schools, it will be met with stiff opposition from the students themselves who enjoy meat with their meals. Yes, offer alternative choices for those who want it, but leave it up to each child if he or she wants to drop meat from their diet.