FOE gave kids a lunch menu designed to eliminate foods it says are “unsustainable for our planet.” The new menu features far less meat and more plant-based food. Any meat or cheese the school did use came from “pastured, organic dairy cows.” The student’s lunch menu went from beef hot dogs and pepperoni pizza to vegan stir fry tofu and vegan tostadas. The new FOE-approved menu served meat and cheese-less frequently and reduced the portion sizes.
“This is a landmark moment for school food,” Jennifer LeBarre, head of nutrition services for Oakland Unified School District, said in a FOE press statement. “We were so excited to see how the data showed that we could reduce our carbon and water footprint by serving healthy, delicious food –– like the vegetarian tostadas with fresh made in-house salsa, that kids absolutely love –– all while saving money.”
The key findings in an analysis presented by Friends of the Earth claimed the menu change reduced the carbon footprint of the school’s entire food service by 14 percent and saved $42,000 by decreasing the amount spent per meal by 1 percent.
Executive director of nutrition services for Oakland Unified School District Jennifer LeBarre said the data was a landmark moment.
“We were so excited to see how the data showed that we could reduce our carbon and water footprint by serving healthy, delicious food — like the vegetarian tostadas with fresh-made in-house salsa, that kids absolutely love — all while saving money,” she said in a Friends of the Earth news release.
The report claimed that if every school district in the U.S. followed Oakland’s example, the reduced carbon dioxide emissions would be equal to removing 150,000 cars from American roads.