Sunday, October 18, 2009

Progressive? I think not!

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) gave Baltimore Public Schools the "Proggy" Award for 2009 for establishing Meatless Mondays in their school system this year. Tony Geraci, the school district’s food and nutrition director was quoted in the Baltimore Sun as saying: “Tapping into a national campaign, the ‘Meatless Monday’ program is intended to make lunches more healthful, stretch the district's food budget and raise awareness about the environmental impact of large-scale meat production.”

Progressive? What?! Instead of progressive, I would desribe that as ignorant. The sole part of Geraci's quote that I can agree with is the part about stretching the budget. Protein is understandably the most expensive part of any diet. Expensive but necessary. But making it more healthful? Environmental impact? What about telling both sides of the story? Unfortunately though, where PETA is concerned, there is only one side to tell.

While I fully support the inclusion of an animal protein source in diets, the following points specifically speak to the value of including beef.
  • Eating less lean beef will not solve the greenhouse gas problem, but it will negatively affect our diet quality by restricting a rich source of important nutrients. Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide, and beef provides the most readily available and easily absorbed source of iron.
  • For America’s farming and ranching families, our land is not just where we raise cattle, it’s also where we raise our families. That means we have a personal stake in the quality of our environment; we always are looking for new ways to improve the air, land and water on or near our property.

I'm not so much disappointed in PETA as I am the move that Baltimore Public Schools made in pursuing this so called progressive decision. Maybe next time they will do a little more research when it comes to doing something that affects the 82,500 students in that district.

1 comment:

Candice said...

I agree with you, Katy. It scares me to think about all the ways that school age children are being bombarded with special interest groups' agendas. People need to be speaking with people who are in production agriculture to understand how we take care of our livestock, ground, and water so that we can survive and that farms and ranches can be passed down from generation to generation. And why must the so-called environmental well-being of this nation be balanced on the backs of the American farmers and ranchers? Keep up the good fight and keep on educating the American consumer!