SAN DIEGO – “Meatless Mondays” are coming to some San Diego Unified schools next year.
During Tuesday’s board meeting, San Diego Unified School District trustees voted 4-1 in favor of “Meatless Mondays” in elementary and K-8 schools.
Officials said nearly 28-percent of children in San Diego are overweight or obese.
“We have done a lot of research,” said Beiser. “We’ve looked at Johns Hopkins University, who started this idea a couple years ago, as a way to address the extreme problems of childhood obesity and diabetes in our country.”
But trustee Scott Barnett doesn’t believe enough research has been done on how the policy will impact children.
“I cannot support this resolution,” said Barnett. “We need to do more analysis, more study, real impact about how our kids are going to be impacted by this before we make a blanket policy change.”
Beiser and Evans did receive a lot of support from the community. Parents and students attended the meeting and waved “Meatless Mondays” signs.
Jennifer Douglas attended with her 8-year-old son, Joel Vettel.
“The goal is not to make everyone a vegetarian,” said Douglas. “It’s just to be more conscious of what they eat and to try new foods that don’t have meat, because there’s a lot of options out there.”
She, and some other supporters, said they hope the district will find healthy, high-protein choices to replace the current meat options.
“When you don’t eat meat you have to be careful,” said Douglas. “Because you can end up eating a lot of cheese and a lot of salt. So it’s important that you eat vegetarian food that is healthful and low fat and a lot of fruits and vegetables.”
Vettel said he hopes the new policy will encourage his friends to try new foods.
“They will probably try it,” said Vettel. “And they’ll say ‘oh, that’s good!’”
Board members said they’ll consider bringing the concept to all district schools.
Some local colleges are already participating in “Meatless Mondays,” as well as the Los Angeles Unified School District.