AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – An Austin area school district has launched a “Meatless Monday” pilot program, and the Texas Agriculture Commissioner isn’t happy about it.
The program at the Drippings Springs School District offers meat-free lunch options on Mondays to students in its three elementary schools.
Among the food items offered to students this Monday were a black-bean burrito, vegetarian chili with cornbread, baby carrots and sliced peaches. On past Mondays, students could choose cheese sandwiches, cheese ravioli, spinach salad and vegetarian soups.
Students can still eat meaty meals on Mondays, but must bring their lunches from home.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples is raising objectionsto the program.
Staples said in an opinion piece published in the Austin American-Statesman that “meatless Mondays” are part of an “activist movement” advocating a vegetarian diet for Americans. He is in charge of the agency that administers school lunch programs in the state.
“While we have plenty of room in the Lone Star State for vegetarians, we have no room for activists who seek to mandate their lifestyles on others,” he wrote.
Texas Department of Agriculture Spokesman Bryan Black says that’s just not right.