The Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California, is preparing to host the first vegan graduation.
To celebrate the graduation of 266 students, this May, the institute will serve more than 1,500 guests a selection of plant-based dishes including vegan meats, cheeses, and Mediterranean platters.
The 100 percent plant-based buffet was influenced by Professor Jason Scorse, the chair of the International Environmental Policy program and the director of the Center for the Blue Economy.
According to a press release, Scorse is the reason the whole graduate school has shifted towards a more plant-focused lifestyle, with more vegan options served across the campus. He also helped to introduce a policy whereby all campus events must offer at least 50 percent plant-based options on the menu.
“I am very proud that our institution has made such a commitment to promoting plant-based foods throughout the campus activities,” Scorse said in a statement.
Jeff Dayton-Johnson, the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Middlebury Institute, added that the school “has a long track record of promoting sustainable practices” and is striving to make its campus completely carbon neutral.
Californian Schools Embrace Vegan Food
Public schools in California could soon be embracing plant-based foods, too. A new bill introduced earlier this year would ensure that vegan meals are available to more than six million students.
Bill AB-479 — known as the Healthy Climate-Friendly School Lunch Act — would offer state funding for plant-based milk and meals to be served in K-12 public schools across the state.
Adrin Nazarian, the Assemblymember who initially introduced the bill, said, “AB-479 will increase access to healthy food options for low-income communities and reduce our carbon footprint at the same time.”
“Our state is a global microcosm with many different cultural needs,” he continued. “California’s school meal policy should not only reflect this diversity but also incorporate the extensive research on the health benefits of plant-based nutrition.”
In New York City, public schools are also embracing vegan food. Meatless Mondays will be introduced in the area in the 2019 to 2020 school year to improve overall student health and to be kinder to the environment. The city’s mayor Bill de Blasio said, “we’re expanding Meatless Mondays to all public schools to keep our lunch and planet green for generations to come.”