Impossible Foods has received the USDA’s child nutrition (CN) label. Now the door is open to bring plant-based meats to schools, thus upping kids’ awareness of how animal agriculture speeds up climate change.
The CN accreditation means that Impossible meats — thanks to high-quality soy protein — provide sufficient nutrition to be served in school breakfasts and lunches. Each year, children at U.S. schools eat about 2.4 billion breakfasts and 5 billion lunches.
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This month, Impossible Foods will kick off a pilot program at school districts nationwide, including Aberdeen School District in Washington state, Palo Alto Unified School District in California and Deer Creek Public Schools in Oklahoma. The cafeteria chefs will dish up recipes like Impossible Frito pie, spaghetti with Impossible meat sauce and Impossible street tacos. Impossible Foods will donate cases of faux meat during the pilot, which will run until the end of the academic year. The company will solicit feedback from student diners to gauge the program’s success.
“Making Impossible products available everywhere people consume meat, which for kids often includes schools, is key to the mission of the company,” said Pat Brown, CEO and founder of Impossible Foods, as reported by VegNews. “Schools not only play a role in shaping children’s dietary patterns, they play an important role in providing early education about climate change and its root causes.”
Impossible Foods contracted with a third-party research firm this spring to survey kids. About 1,200 children ranging from 5 to 18 years old answered questions about their feelings on climate change and their willingness to change behaviors to help the environment. Eighty percent of those surveyed were aware of climate change, but few realized its connection with farmed animals. When educated about how animal agriculture affects global warming, 63% answered they were “somewhat” to “much more likely” to decrease their meat consumption.
“Our research shows that kids care about climate change, and they want to do something about it. But they’re still far more likely to take actions like recycling or limiting food waste than they are to stop eating meat, even when they’re educated about climate change contributors,” said a report issued by Impossible Foods. “That’s why it’s so important to give them an easy solution that they resonate with. The Impossible Burger taps into two key needs for kids: the desire to eat something tasty, and the urge to feel like they are making a difference—in this case, saving the world.”
Lead image via Impossible Foods