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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Culture: Could vegetarian options compete against obesity?

I read on CNN today that high schoolers in Georgia (home of fried everything, so an interesting birthplace) are demanding a decent vegetarian option in their cafeterias. The first school in the country to offer a veg line, cooks were exepecting to feed 30 kids. Turns out, nearly 1/3 of the school's 1200 students are choosing veggie burgers, veggie spring rolls, and tofu sloppy joes. That's a particularly interesting number considering Atlanta schools estimate they only feed one out of five kids--and these are kids who can't leave campus for lunch. School leaders suspect that kids either don't eat lunch or munch on junk food to get through the day.

I think it's interesting that kids are into vegetarian food at all and wonder how much of the attraction comes from being different. I also wonder about the ratio of girls/boys. In the face of national concern over childhood obesity, this might be an encouraging alternative--and maybe will force schools to reevaluate the health benefits of a piece of cafeteria pizza and chocolate milk.

1 comment:

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