These NYC Politicians Are Working to Ban Bologna, Ham, and Hot Dogs From School Lunches

Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams and New York City Council members Fernando Cabrera of the Bronx, Helen Rosenthal of Manhattan, and Justin Brannan of Brooklyn have introduced a resolution urging the Department of Education to remove processed foods, including meats, from public school meals.

Leading the resolution, Adams knows firsthand the impact of one’s diet. He went vegan after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Within a year he had lost 30 pounds and reversed his diabetes.

After reading studies from the World Health Organization that labeled processed meats a carcinogen, placing them in the same category of cancer risk as asbestos and cigarettes, Adams became deeply concerned about the health of students. He says, “If we want to change the culture of bad food, we need to rethink the way we feed our kids in the schools.

The U.S. government banned many uses of asbestos over 30 years ago because we knew it was dangerous, yet schools serve our young people bacon, hot dogs, ham, and bologna—processed meats known to be just as hazardous.

But meat isn’t just bad for our health; it’s also unspeakably cruel. Farmed animals are treated like unfeeling objects, and their short lives are marked by unimaginable abuses: intensive confinement, agonizing mutilations, and violent deaths.

A Mercy For Animals undercover investigation at a farm that supplies Hormel, one of America’s largest bacon and deli meat producers, revealed mother pigs confined to filthy metal crates, workers ripping out the testicles and cutting off the tails of baby pigs without any pain relief, and sick and injured piglets suffering from untreated injuries and illnesses.


Swapping processed meats for healthy plant-based foods would not only help teach students about nutrition and improve their health but spare countless animals a life of misery at factory farms.

Last year all 1,800 public schools in New York City started to offer at least one vegan option and Los Angeles Unified School District rolled out a vegan pilot program to offer more plant-based lunch options to students at no additional cost. These shifts toward plant-based school lunches are shaping the way future generations will eat.

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