After experimenting with Meatless Mondays, the New York City Council has now taken a big decision. Processed meat is banned in NYC public schools and universities to improve the health of children.
No more processed pepperoni, sausages, hot dogs, ham, and bacon will be sold in cafeterias. The Council had adopted Resolution 238 in 2018, which led to a test-run of Meatless Monday programs. After it turned out to be successful, now the public schools have decided to completely ban processed meat. The reason behind this ban is health risks, like cancer, posed by these foods.
The World Health Organisation has been warning against the carcinogenic effect of processed and red meat for a long time now. It also showed how these foods lead to obesity, diabetes and other heart-related diseases in children. Such diseases, according to researchers, are preventable by changing eating habits.
The National Cancer Institute too had also published a report on how processed and red meats are causing cancer. It shows that our generation is four times more vulnerable to develop cancer than those who lived in the 1950s. All this is attributed to the junk food we eat, little to no exercise and the lack of dietary fibers in our food.
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According to Eric Adams, the president of Brooklyn Burrough, processed food is akin to giving cigarettes to children. Only cigarettes and alcohol do not cause cancer, chicken nuggets and slices of bacon do too. Hence, Eric Adams believes that since we do not hand cigarettes to children, we should not hand them processed food too.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recently released a paper that asserts that people following a plant-based diet develop health conditions at a slower rate than people who include processed meat in their diet. Thus, the NYC ban on processed meat can be a great step towards ensuring a healthier life for children. Giving children a wholesome nutritional diet will ensure good health. It will also boost their academic performance in the long run.
The Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD) was the first school in America to ban processed meat in 2018. Now it has been applied to all schools.
The plant-based food might gain impetus now that processed meat is banned in NYC public schools. This can be a good step towards providing nutritious food for the next generation.
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IMAGE CREDIT2: Pongpon Rinthaisong