Mayor Adams Considers Plant-Based Diets for Healthier School Lunch Options

Mayor Adams Considers Plant-Based Diets for Healthier School Lunch Options

By Yehudit Garmaise

Mayor Eric Adams said New Yorkers should not just re-consider their over-reliance on fossil fuels, but their over-reliance on meat and milk products, as well, he said yesterday when he rolled out his newly-created Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice.

“We have to do a better job in the food that we serve, and we have to move away from our fixation on the products that are also destroying our environment,” said Mayor Adams, who is New York City’s first vegan mayor. “That is often not talked about. We talk about ‘we need electric vehicles,’ but no one talks about the plate: which is destroying mother nature, and it is destroying our mothers and our children as well.”

Providing easier access to healthy foods for all New Yorkers is a crucial part of the mayor’s environmental justice agenda, said Adams, who famously starts his day every morning with a smoothie packed with berries, kale, cacao, and other healthy powders.

Five years ago, after Mayor Adams was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, he undertook a plant-based diet that he has said restored his health, reversed vision loss and nerve damage, and allowed him to lose 35 pounds.

“We can save more lives with plant-based diet if people would only realize they are enslaved to fats, oil, sugar, and things that are killing their bodies,” said Adams, who wrote a book about the power of a healthy diet in, Healthy at Last: A Plant-Based Approach to Preventing and Reversing Diabetes and Other Chronic Illnesses.

While adults often have hard times changing their lifelong eating habits, Mayor Adams said at City Hall that children crave healthier options than the processed and high sugar food they are often served.

“The children have been calling me and saying they want better food in schools, and I'm going to do the best I can to give them the options of a healthier diet so we can stop feeding the crisis,” said the mayor, who pointed to the high sugar content of chocolate milk, which he supported banning in public schools when he was Brooklyn borough president.  

“In one voice, we talk about fighting childhood obesity, diabetes yet you go into a school building every day and you see the food that feeds our health care crisis,” said Mayor Adams.

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