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Old 05-01-2013, 07:42 PM  
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Elementary School Cafeteria Goes Vegetarian

Elementary School Cafeteria Goes Vegetarian

By Alyssa Newcomb | ABC News


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, falafel and tofu in an Asian sesame sauce.

"It's been a really great response from the kids, but they also understand it's about what is the healthiest option for them," principal Bob Groff told ABCNews.com. "Because we teach them throughout our curriculum to make healthy choices, they understand what is happening and believe in what we're doing too."

When the school opened in 2008, they started serving vegetarian meals three days a week. The campus became a vegetarian test kitchen for the city, Groff said.

"We then started to try out recipes with small groups of students, see what they liked, see what they didn't like," he said.

The recipes were a hit, Groff said, prompting the school to expand its meat-free meals to four days a week and then adopting a 100 percent vegetarian kitchen in January.

"The big thing I would like people to know is, this isn't just about a vegetarian menu," Groff said. "It's about living a healthy lifestyle and educating students on what options are out there."

All meals have to adhere to USDA standards, he said, making sure students get plenty of nutrients, including protein, for their growing bodies.

That means nutrient-dense foods such as chickpeas, kidney beans and tofu.

If the herbivore-friendly grub doesn't suit students, Groff said they're always welcome to pack their lunch, including meat.

The school operates on an application and lottery system, meaning it's not zoned to a particular neighborhood. It serves 400 students from pre-kindergarten through grade three.
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:44 PM   #2
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My Aunt was the head cook at our local small school for 35 years. They make everything from scratch, but Michelle's "recommendations" drove her to retire early.

I was shocked at what the guidelines and restrictions are now.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:00 PM   #3
mlyonsd mlyonsd is offline
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It is a complete travesty for a kid to grow up and never experience chili/cinnamon roll or chicken fried steak at school lunch. Absolute travesty.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:40 PM   #4
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:44 PM   #5
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I wonder when the first 100% Soylent Green school cafeteria will open...
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:51 PM   #6
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"It's been a really great response from the kids, but they also understand" = It's been a really shitty response.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:53 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by mlyonsd View Post
It is a complete travesty for a kid to grow up and never experience chili/cinnamon roll or chicken fried steak at school lunch. Absolute travesty.
Square pieces of pizza with those things that look like tiny watermelons!
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:54 PM   #8
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:57 PM   #9
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:08 PM   #10
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I'm not sure that there was ever a whole lot of actual "meat" in most school lunches anyway. Meat-like maybe.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:10 PM   #11
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Well this is one of those qualified dumb ideas....Most of vegetarianism is meh...whatever if you want to do it, it's probably not going to screw you up too badly. The one real limiter is the issue of complete proteins. Drink milk, dairy, poultry, fish, sure not an issue. Properly balance which clusters of incomplete proteins (i.e. complementary proteins) so that you functionally create complete proteins then also not terrible. The probably is the last bit really isn't easy, especially among kids who are more likely to be finicky eaters. They may eat more of one incomplete protein and not enough of the other to balance it.

The problem is that protein is very important to proper growth and health and if you're short changing the protein levels this could have uncertain consequences for the proper health and growth of the children.

And why? Because you somehow believe that being vegetarian is healthier? Everything in moderation, frankly the bigger issue is calorie counts. The kid eating too many calories veggie only is not going to be healthier than the kid eating a properly balanced diet. Hell if he's eating more carbs and less protien he is likely to be less healthy. Grain based carbs are often worse than lean protiens.

****ing a school isn't about saying a kid has to learn one way anymore than it is about saying a kid has to eat one way. You need to give them choices, help them to make better choices but don't brain wash them into thinking your ideas are the only relevant ones.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:11 PM   #12
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I'm not sure that there was ever a whole lot of actual "meat" in most school lunches anyway. Meat-like maybe.
USDA Grade D Beef(but still edible) is still at least 50.1% beef!(and yes that is a big concern, we should be focusing on providing better 'quality' meals).
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:39 PM   #13
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This is a bit much. No meat? These kids won't develop properly without a crispy crispito with cheese.
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:39 PM   #14
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I'm not sure that there was ever a whole lot of actual "meat" in most school lunches anyway. Meat-like maybe.
Yeah, and this.

But still, vegetarian is pushing it. Just get better meat you cheap bastards.
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:25 PM   #15
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