Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08), joined by 31 of his House colleagues, urged President Biden to encourage the federal government to offer a vegetarian entrée at all federal facilities—from cafeterias in federal agencies and military bases to museums and national parks.
Plant-based meals offer myriad health benefits, such as lowering the risks of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer, supporting immune systems, and lowering inflammation. In addition to the health benefits, plant-based foods can also help reduce America’s carbon footprint when animal agriculture continues to be a major contributor of greenhouse gases.
“More and more Americans are interested in vegetarian options—especially younger Americans, who are seeking out healthier options that also reduce their carbon footprint,” wrote the lawmakers. “Although the Food Service Guidelines for Federal Facilities recommends that federal facilities ‘offer protein foods from plants’ and defines an entrée as ‘meat’ or ‘meat alternate,’ vegetarian entrées are still not routinely provided at federal facilities…To help ensure the federal government is leading through its own food practices, we urge you to make a vegetarian entrée available everywhere the federal government is serving our people a meal.”
The letter precedes the upcoming White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health to be hosted this September, where the Biden Administration will convene public and private sector leaders to chart out a national plan on ending hunger, improving nutrition and encouraging physical activity.
Joining Rep. Raskin’s letter and efforts to expand vegetarian food options nationwide are 31 congressional colleagues: Reps. Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Karen Bass (CA-37), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Judy Chu (CA-27), Emmanuel Cleaver (MO-05), Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Rosa L. DeLauro (CT-03), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Lloyd Doggett (TX-35), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Ted W. Lieu (CA-33), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), Jim McGovern (MA-02), Jerry McNerney (CA-09), Grace Meng (NY-06), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL), Deborah Ross (NC-02), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), David Trone (MD-06), Nydia Velázquez (NY-07), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) and Susan Wild (PA-07).