New York City Schools Could Become First to Ban Processed Meat

Posted on by Neal Barnard, MD, FACC

sausage-egg-cheeseExciting news from New York: Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and Council Member Fernando Cabrera have just introduced a resolution to the New York City Council that would remove processed meat from the city's school lunches. The landmark resolution cites a 2015 report from the World Health Organization that declared processed meat, such as hot dogs, pepperoni, bacon, sausage and deli meat, carcinogenic to humans. Studies show that just one hot dog or two strips of bacon per day can increase the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. In recent years, colorectal cancer rates have been steadily rising in young people. That’s why current menu options like Turkey Sausage Crumble, Egg, and Cheese Wrap for breakfast and the Meat Lovers Pizza with Bacon and Sausage for lunch don’t belong in schools. “We cannot continue feeding our children substances that are scientifically proven to increase their chances of cancer later in life,” says Borough President Adams, who reversed his type 2 diabetes by adopting a plant-based diet in 2016. “I know from my own experience with being diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic that it is so important to take ownership of your health and take control of what you eat,” added President Adams. “We must feed our kids nutritious meals that will nourish their bodies and help them perform better academically. Kids want to be healthy and strong, so let’s help them get there by feeding them healthy meals.” By adopting the resolution to ban processed meat, New York City would add to its impressive record as a leader in offering healthy school food. New York City schools already offer daily plant-based meals to every student, and the district is home to the first all-vegetarian public school in the nation. Join us in urging the New York City Council to support this resolution. Photo from here, with thanks.