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AMI Urges Baltimore City Public Schools to Drop 'Meatless Mondays'

Monday, October 5, 2009

(American Meat Institute)

AMI is urging Baltimore Public Schools to reconsider its decision to hold “Meatless Mondays,” noting that meat and poultry products are an essential part of a balanced diet.

“Meatless Mondays” an initiative sponsored by the Grace Spira Project at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The name Spira refers to animal rights activist Henry Spira, founder of Animal Rights International.  Baltimore’s school system is the first to adopt the initiative, and the move means 80,000 students will have no meat option on Mondays. Three out of four students in the Baltimore Public Schools system are eligible for free and reduced meals and school meals may be the only significant source of meat and poultry in their diets.

 “Surely you have always offered a vegetarian option on your menu,” AMI President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle wrote in a letter to Andrés A. Alonso, chief executive officer, Baltimore City Schools. “Now you are removing a meat or poultry entrée on Mondays and depriving children and their parents of the ability to determine what is appropriate for their diets and their own personal circumstances.”

Boyle urged Alonso to visit the Project’s series of videos at www.MeatTrix.com to better understand the organization behind the initiative. These videos seek to manipulate and mislead children through a cleverly produced, but factually inaccurate cartoon takeoff of the film “The Matrix.”  Ultimately, the group seeks an end to the United States’ efficient and advanced food production system that delivers to Americans the most abundant and affordable food supply in the world. 

“I am confident that you are concerned not just about the education of your students, but also about their health and nutrition status. I urge you to reconsider this decision and allow children every day that they attend school to access the most nutrient dense food available:  meat and poultry products.  Your children, in particular, deserve this choice,” Boyle concluded.

 To view this letter in its entirety, click here: http://www.meatinstitute.org/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/53820

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