Just ahead of Earth Day, a “Food for our Future” campaign driven by students will mean there will be no meat on the menu at Bend-La Pine Schools.
All 33 schools in the district will go meatless for both breakfast and lunch on Friday. It’s the first time the district has done this. The students behind it say they want to show how leaving meat off the menu for just one day can have a positive impact on the world as well as one’s diet.
Caprese focaccia sandwich, veggie pasta with alfredo or marinara sauce, veggie pizza and cheesy breadsticks are among options available.
“We think of it like the bike-to-school day, which we know is good for our health and the environment,” Taylor English, a senior at Summit High School and an organizer of Friday’s meatless menus, said in a statement. “Having this school-sponsored event encourages us and reminds us of the choices we can make to better our health and the health of the planet.”
The district said English and Summit senior Shannon MacDonell researched the impact of livestock production on the climate, including methane emissions and deforestation.
“We wanted to make a difference,” MacDonell said in a statement. “Many people’s reaction to a meatless meal is, ‘Okay, I care about the environment, but where do you get your protein?’ Did you know that the average American eats twice as much protein as recommended? Or that since 1961 the meat consumed in the U.S. has gone up 40 percent?”
The district said Friday’s meal offerings dovetail with the school district’s sustainability and healthy eating goals.