Los Angeles, California has the second-largest school system in the United States, and serves 650,000 meals every day. So it might seem daunting to have such a big institution embrace plant-based diets – but that’s what they’ve done.
Since 2012, the Los Angeles schools have participated in Meatless Monday every week (Meatless Monday is a campaign to get people around the world to go meat-free one day a week). The schools also educate students about the benefits of a plant-based diet, and require that any chicken served other days be hormone- and antibiotic-free. And in 2017, Los Angeles launched a pilot program serving vegan options with every meal in seven high schools.
Also in October 2019, the mayor of Copenhagen joined 13 other mayors affiliated with the C40 in signing a commitment to become a Good Food City, which includes considerably reducing meat served in their public institutions as part of their response to the global climate emergency.
In a declaration during the Mayors Summit of the C40 cities network in Copenhagen, the undersigned mayors committed to align their food procurement to a ‘planetary health diet’ – rich in plant-based food with less food from animal sources – by 2030. This would equate to a maximum average of 300 grams of meat per person per week.
Change isn’t always easy in such a huge system, but Los Angeles has shown it is up to the challenge. They should expand the program to two dedicated vegetarian days each week by 2020.
Greenpeace’s global challenge:
Our supporters are challenging cities to race to the top on meat reduction to protect our climate, forests, and water. We aim to have at least 50 cities commit to serving two vegetarian meals (no meat or dairy options) in all public canteens weekly by the end of 2019. We expect to have at least 100 global cities make this or a greater commitment toward less and better meat and more plant-rich meals by 2020.