It’s Monday, March 18, and every Monday is meatless in the Big Apple.

Bye-bye, sloppy joes. Hello, tofu! Last week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that starting next school year, the Big Apple’s public school lunchrooms will not serve meat on Mondays.

“Cutting back on meat a little will improve New Yorkers’ health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement (which was released, naturally, on a Monday.) “We’re expanding Meatless Mondays to all public schools to keep our lunch and planet green for generations to come.”

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Indeed, there’s no shortage of evidence that intensive meat production plays a significant role in climate change — animal agriculture accounts for more than 14 percent of global greenhouse emissions. Although the NYC public school district is not the first to adopt the policy, it is the largest, with more than 1,800 schools and 1.1 million students.

The announcement follows a yearlong pilot program to determine if NYC students (and their parents) would be down for lunches devoid of all animal products except eggs and cheese. The result: the program was both cost-effective and popular with students. That’s right, they have no beef with it!

So, so long, Monday mystery meat! You will not be missed.

Paola Rosa-Aquino

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