Tempe To Promote Meatless Mondays, Some School Districts Follow Suit

Published: Friday, August 14, 2015 - 9:11am

Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell will proclaim Mondays to be “Lean and Green,” a move to encourage residents and restaurants to go meat free at least one day a week. And some Tempe school districts will also join in on meatless Mondays, offering students a plant-based lunch option.

As it turns out, meat can be very political. Amanda Conti with the Kyrene School District learned that the hard way.

Two years ago, the district attempted to go meat free for two Mondays in the month of December. Some parents pushed back, arguing the district was not giving their child a choice. This time around, things will be different.

“We will have meat entrees still available to kids, but every day we will feature a Lean and Green item on the menu," Conti said.

Several public health organizations recommend reducing meat consumption to improve health and prevent certain diseases.

However, in a statement the Arizona Beef Council said, “the claim that removing meat from one’s diet is healthier just isn’t true. Research shows that the healthiest diets include moderate portions of nutrient-rich meat and poultry.”

Tempe Councilwoman Lauren Kuby helped bring the proclamation to the mayor’s desk.

“By saying, 'let’s eat lean and green one day of the week, or even one meal of the week,' that is not to close down the whole animal-agriculture system," Kuby said.

Both the Kyrene School District and the Tempe Union High School District will roll out Lean and Green options starting in October. 

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