Seattle mom pushing for 'Meatless Mondays' in schools

SEATTLE -- Meat is on the student lunch menu every day in Seattle public schools, but if one mom has her way, kids will be eating a different source of protein on Mondays.

"A lot of kids, mine included, have a difficult time trying new things," said Megan Murphy. "Taking meat off the menu once a week encourages students to venture into new territory."

This mother of two went to Seattle schools headquarters to hand 1,500 signatures to the district's director of nutrition. The petitions ask the district to adopt what's called "Meatless Mondays".

"There are two other meals in the day where they can have meat. So I think lunchtime at school on one given day is really not a big deal," she said.

"Meatless Mondays" is a national and global movement backed by the Humane League. Organizers say not serving meat once a week helps reduce childhood obesity and chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

They also say it reduces greenhouses gases emitted by the meat production industry and saves animals.

"There isn't the push-back that you would expect," said the Humane League's Rachel Huff-Wagenborg. "It's encouraging people to try new foods and introduce them to new tastes and develop young palates to eat healthy for a lifetime."

She pointed out that dozens of large cities across the country, including Bellevue, San Diego, Los Angeles and Philadelphia are already doing it.

Seattle's Director of Nutrition said the district has decided not to start the program next school year, but she's open to the idea and will consider it as an option in the future.

Currently Seattle schools offer vegetarian lunches daily.