Published on October 20th, 2013 | by No Artificial
Public School That Went Vegetarian Shows Student Gains
Students at the top-rated Public School 244 in Flushing, Queens, NY have longer attention spans and higher scores since the institution went vegetarian, school authorities said.
Public School 244 in Flushing, Queens, NY is the first public school in the nation to serve all-vegetarian meals for breakfast and lunch.
According to school officials, attendance, test scores and energy are all improved since the institution stopped serving meat in its cafeteria.
“We believe that [students] achieve better when they have healthier food choices and are educated about those food choices.”, said Principal Robert Groff, who helped found the school in 2008.
Groff explained the school went vegetarian because the plant-based choices were better than the carnivorous ones offered by the city.
“I’ve never been presented with an option that’s ‘organic lean chicken,’” he said.
Students are allowed to bring their own carnivorous lunches from home, but about 90% of them prefer the vegetable-rich cafeteria meals.
Kids also attend weekly nutrition classes where they learn about making smart food choices, Groff said. And when their energy lags, the kids get “energy breaks” that allow them to get up for a minute and be active.
Public School 244 was officially acknowledged by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, for their efforts at becoming the country’s first public school to serve vegetarian-only menu.
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott explained the launch of the vegetarian food-fest should be duplicated in schools across the city and country.
“I don’t eat fried foods. I don’t drink soda. I try not to have sweets too often,” said Walcott, who tested the veggie victuals. “And that’s what we want for our students … to make sure they eat healthy both at home and school.”