Oct 15, 2021 - Food and Drink

CPS launches meatless Thursday

A screen shot of a Chicago school menu.
Last month Chicago Public Schools kicked off "Plant-Forward Thursdays," a day when no meat is served in school meals. Screen shot from CPS website.

Chicago Public Schools and the environment both face major crises these days. So we were thrilled to discover good news for both buried in one line of a CPS lunch menu.

  • "Plant-forward Thursdays kick off on 9/9 with Egg Fried Rice!"

Why it matters: In a district that serves daily lunch to the majority of its 300,000-plus students, one meatless day could remove the environmental impact of several tons of meat every week. And that's not even counting the meatless breakfasts, snacks and dinners CPS serves on Thursdays.

  • One study showed that if Americans adopted a meatless day once a week, without leaning too much on cheese, we could reduce our food related greenhouse gas emissions by 22%.

On Thursday's plates: Vegetarian shepherd’s pie, lentil Joe sandwiches, bean dip with crackers, egg salad sandwiches, cheese quesadillas, buffalo grilled cheese, roasted butternut squash & black bean chili.

Context: CPS's Plant Forward Thursday joins Meatless Monday programs that have been going on in other districts for years.

What they're saying: CPS officials had no comment about this story or word on when Axios could try a Lentil Joe sandwich.

đŸ’­Monica's thought bubble: Most districts, including New York Public Schools, have trumpeted their meatless programs. It's weird that CPS officials won't talk about it at all.


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