"Where's the beef?" Not at some school cafeterias on Mondays throughout the country.
Cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets and other animal-based proteins will be taking a backseat as more schools embrace "Meatless Mondays." Schools in California, Maryland, Texas and even Long Island are replacing traditional, kid-friendly staples with tofu and other vegetarian foods.
As Newsday reported earlier this year, the Wyandanch school district embraced "Meatless Mondays" in March, which is part of an international campaign to encourage less consumption of meat for health and environmental benefits. And just this week, hundreds of school cafeterias across South San Francisco joined the meat-free movement.
"In 2003, the concept of Meatless Mondays was ignited by a former advertising executive, Sid Lerner of New York City, working in conjunction with the Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for a Livable Future," the Newsday article stated. The initiative has spread to 30 countries with more than 1 million U.S. schoolchildren participating.
"Meatless Mondays" has turned into quite a hot debate. Animal rights activists praise the decision, while some feel politics are being forced into the lunch line. Some students and parents are happy about it, and others would prefer to bring the meat back.
I'm not against serving tofu and other soy-based proteins as alternatives for students. But why eliminate the meat completely? Offer grilled cheese and pizza along with salads, tofu burgers and chicken nuggets. As a parent, if you don't embrace the change, maybe on Mondays your kids can brown bag it to school.