Duke University is responding to requests from vegetarian students for more food options by adopting the Meatless Mondays initiative and offering a dining site dedicated to vegetarian, vegan and raw food. Duke Nutrition Services dietitian Toni Apadula said Meatless Mondays also are a chance to educate students who may want some additional vegetarian dishes or are interested in trying a plant-based diet.
The San Diego school board on Tuesday will consider whether to adopt "Meatless Mondays" for elementary and K-8 schools beginning in the fall. Schools already serve a meatless option each day, but if the proposal is approved, the dishes would become staples on Mondays in an effort to promote nutrition and curb childhood obesity.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is funding a new meal program in a Washington state district that provides after-school meals for low-income students. The youth center serving the meals also is able to provide meals on Saturdays and is working to improve kitchen facilities. Center officials say the meals meet USDA standards for school meals.
Many chefs once opposed the idea of changing dishes to accommodate vegetarians, patrons suffering from food allergies and anyone else with dietary restrictions. That's changing along with high-end restaurant menus as more Americans adopt Meatless Mondays and groups raise awareness about celiac disease and gluten intolerance. "I've realized it's not that hard to give the same dining experience to someone who doesn't eat gluten as long as you keep an open mind as to what you can and can't do," chef Noah Sandoval says.
Chef Mario Batali has introduced Meatless Monday menus at his restaurants. Batali, whose repertoire includes a slew of meaty dishes including ingredients such as boar sausage and veal shank, hopes to raise awareness about eating more plant-based foods and consuming sustainable, humanely raised meat in moderation.