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Vegan Meals in California Schools: Bill Passed Unopposed

by | April 9, 2019

AB 479, or the “Healthy School Lunch Act,” recently passed the California State Assembly Education Committee and is on way to becoming a full-fledged law. The healthy and environment-friendly bill aims at enhancing the health of students while minimizing environmental impact by aiding schools (with subsidy) to include more plant-based milk and plant-based food in their menus.

vegan meals
Credit: by Monkey Business Images/ Shutterstock

Vegan Meals Food Bill Passed with Zero Opposition

AB 479, introduced last month by California Assembly member Adrin Nazarian, would primarily function within the California Department of Education (CDE) by subsidizing schools in California with a reimbursement (of which the amount is yet to be determined) for providing students with plant based food and drinks above baseline. It must be noted, via The Farm Bill, animal-based products sold in public schools already are subsidized heavily.

In addition to incentivizing plant-based foods served in schools, the Bill would also require that the CDE extend grants to third parties for staff development and training, encouraging students, development of recipes, collecting baseline data and other technical developments. The Bill has reportedly traveled to the California State Assembly Committee on Appropriations with zero opposition. A similar Bill, SD 1138, was passed last year that requires all state-operated hospitals, schools, and nursing homes offer at vegan meals in their menu so that inmates can choose based on individual needs and preferences.

The official California Legislative Information website states:

“This bill would establish within the State Department of Education the California Climate-Friendly Food Program to provide incentives for making healthy and low-carbon food and beverages available to public school pupils,” among the other detailed directives.

A farsighted Decision

vegan meals
Credit: by Anna Pelzer/ Unsplash
Vegan Meals in Schools

There is argument that plant-based food is not only a healthy diet, but that it is also essential in the fight against global climate change. For instance, a report by Friend of the Earth stated, if all schools were to favor one plant-based burger instead of beef-patty, even once a month, the act would save as much as a whopping 1.4 billion pounds of Carbon dioxide per year. If an act as little as giving up one beef burger a month can impact the environment so positively, just imagine a collective movement of people going vegan! What do you think? Let us know in comments.


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Debayan Paul

Digital Writer | West Bengal, India | [email protected]

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