Billie Eilish Advocates for More Plant-Based Meals in Schools
Proponents of plant-based eating come in all shapes and sizes, from mayors of major cities to Oscar-winning actors to Olympic athletes. Just last week, musical superstar, Billie Eilish, along with her mother, Maggie Baird, joined forces with Congressional Representatives, Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) and Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), to advocate for more plant-based meals in schools.
Eilish spoke out to Capitol Hill in support of the Healthy Future Students and Earth Act (H.R.4108). The bill, introduced in June 2021, would create a pilot grant program to help school districts overcome challenges to serving healthy, climate-friendly meals.
“I’m proud to advocate for this legislation that will help to fight climate change, combat food insecurity, and promote health equity,” said Billie Eilish, Grammy Award winning artist, songwriter, and activist. Eilish was also the executive producer of the film, They Are Trying to Kill Us, about the intersections of food, disease, institutional racism, and poverty.
While it may seem like having nutritious, plant-based food options available to students is an obvious choice, it isn’t as simple as it seems. Food policy is complicated, and many legislative barriers exist that promote the inclusion of animal products, especially fluid milk and dairy products. But providing school districts with the resources they need to make delicious plant-based meals gives students the opportunity to make better food choices — whether for their health or the health of the environment.
That being said, in recent years there has been monumental progress in adding more plant-based meal options to school lunch menus. Major cities around the United States have already taken steps to making healthier choices available to students. Just last month, New York City Mayor Eric Adams launched Vegan Fridays across the NYC public school system. This is in addition to the Meatless Monday initiative already in place. And as more people become aware of the connection between food, personal health, and the health of the planet, we should see the plant-based movement continue to thrive.
Want to see a Meatless Monday program in your local school system? Click here to find the resources necessary to get the ball rolling.