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Green Over Red: NYC Ditches Meat In Favor Of Veggies…And Cash

We have previously covered NYC Mayor Eric Adam’s plant-based exploits, but let’s do a quick recap. Adams took office as Mayor of the Big Apple in January of this year and immediately went to work on pushing a plant-based agenda under the guise of improving the city’s health. 

Mayor Adams was celebrated by the plant-based community as the city’s “first vegan mayor” but quickly came under fire from critics once they found out he eats fish. Of course, there is nothing wrong with eating fish, but it is misleading to call yourself a vegan while regularly eating fish. A politician doing something misleading is hardly news, but this set the stage for further criticism as the “vegan” mayor continued to push his plant-based agenda forward. 

Adams waited just two months in office to announce that NYC schools would be required to serve completely vegan lunches on Fridays. This was in addition to the already “Meatless Mondays” that have been a part of the NYC school lunch program for some time. Again, the Mayor faced criticism as students took to Twitter to share pictures of these sad vegan lunches

And apparently, that was just the beginning. Last week, Mayor Eric Adams announced the rollout and expansion of plant-based meals as the default option for patients in NYC public hospitals. 

There is nothing wrong with kids and hospital patients getting more fruits and vegetables in their diets. The problem is that these plant-based initiatives aren’t adding fresh produce to the meals they serve. If that were the case, it would make sense. Instead of adding nutrient-rich produce, these changes in food policy are taking away important protein and essential nutrient sources. 

It is very difficult to get an adequate amount of many vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients on a plant-based diet. B12,  D3, DHA, EPA,  zinc, iron, calcium, selenium, carnosine, and choline are all some examples of essential nutrients that we need and are found almost exclusively in animal products.

The vegan lunch switch in NYC likely boils down to money

Even if schools and hospitals were to supplement the plant-based diets they serve with some of these nutrients (which they don’t), the quality and bioavailability of most of this stuff in supplement form pale in comparison to getting them from whole food sources. 

So why is it that Mayor Adams is so dead set on serving nutrient-deficient meals to city kids and hospital patients?  Money, probably. Many of the plant-based food options now served in schools and hospitals come in a package, meaning they come from Big Food. Winning over contracts for all the NYC public schools and hospitals is a big financial win for the food corporations serving those meals.

Unfortunately, NYC public officials have no real financial incentives to source their school and hospital lunches from local purveyors of whole, nutrient-rich foods. So instead, kids and hospital patients get a plant-based burrito filled with beans and a bag of vegan Fritos. 

The key takeaway? Kids in their prime age of growth and development and recovering hospital patients should have access to healthy food choices. That is hopefully something we can all agree on. Let’s give them access to a cornucopia of fresh fruits and vegetables, but let’s not take away their access to meat, dairy, and eggs. 

Let’s hope Mayor Adams’ policies don’t serve as an example for the rest of the country. We need solutions, and this doesn’t cut it. 

**The Daily Tonic is a two to five minute read sharing science backed health news and tips, all while getting you to crack a smile or even lol on occasion. Click HERE to sign up today!**

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