“Meatless Mondays” Arrive at BLS
On Monday, March 12th, the BLS cafeteria introduced its new “Meatless Monday” program. The BLS Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) worked with CulinArt, the school’s food service provider, to get this exciting new initiative off the ground. Every Monday, the fourth floor cafeteria will be serving a variety of freshly made meat-free dishes along with its usual offerings, making the first day of the week that much more bearable for the school’s many kosher and vegetarian students.
However, SALDF co-chair Cody Carlson is quick to point out that the program isn’t just aimed at students with dietary restrictions: “Meatless Mondays are a great way for students who aren’t interested in going completely vegetarian to lean into eating healthier, reducing their carbon footprint, and preventing animal cruelty simply by passing on the meat one day a week. With convenient, affordable, and most importantly, tasty options available at the Café every Monday, it couldn’t be easier.”
Dana Wolfe, ’12, a committed omnivore, agrees. “I spent my 1L summer working for the Street Vendor Project, where I fell in love with kebabs, dumplings, and jerk chicken,” she told the Advocate. “But I know that not eating meat is certainly better for the environment. ‘Meatless Mondays’ are an easy way to remind myself every week of the bigger social and environmental impacts my food choices have.”
Wolfe’s fellow Meatless Monday participants include Oprah Winfrey, Mario Batali, Gwyneth Paltrow, Padma Lakshmi, and Al Gore. The program was initiated in 2003 by a partnership between Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Center for a Liveable Future.
Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer has also advocated for the adoption of Meatless Mondays at New York’s public schools. “We can’t legislate – nor should we – what people eat, but we can offer people smart food options so they can make informed decisions,” he said on NPR recently.
Since it began three weeks ago at BLS, Meatless Monday dishes have included polenta with black bean salsa ($3.95), quinoa and vegetable curry ($4.95), savory vegetable Panini ($5.95), French Onion soup ($4.40/lg), and grilled vegetable barley salad ($2.95).
Last week, SALDF teamed up with CulinArt to get the word out by serving free samples of some of the new foods you can expect to see. SALDF also encouraged bolder students to take the “Meatless Monday pledge.”
“We’re really grateful to the folks at the Café for listening and responding to student concerns,” says Carlson. “By joining the many schools that participate in Meatless Mondays and continuing to work with us to get rid of eggs from battery caged hens, the team at the BLS Café have affirmed our school’s commitment to sustainability and social responsibility.”
Photos courtesy of Cody Carlson and BLS SALDF