Capstone Project Title
Melissa Erickson, Joe Burk
The central question of this capstone is: What are the problems and solutions of adopting a plant-based diet into lower income (as defined by Title 1) public schools (grades K-12) ? A plant-based diet is a diet that “consists of all minimally processed fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, herbs, and spices and excludes all animal products, including red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products” (Ostfeld, 2017, p. 315). The purpose of this capstone is to begin plant-based initiatives within lower income school districts which would provide students with the opportunity to consume more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes. This is an important change from students’ current meat-centric and sugary Western diet, which places students at elevated risk for heart disease, various cancers, and Type II diabetes. Furthermore, their current diet is environmentally unsustainable, as it contributes to global warming and deforestation. This evidence led to the development of a presentation that advocates for more plant-based diets in lower income public schools. Plant-based diets would benefit many but the necessity for implementing plant-based diets is especially great for those in lower income schools and communities. The adverse health effects of the Western diet have afflicted our nation disproportionately, as rates of cardiovascular disease, Type II diabetes, and certain types of cancer are influenced by socioeconomic status. ( Stronks, Dan De Mheen, & Mackenbach , 1998). The intended audience for this presentation is district leadership (principals, superintendents, and school board members) in order to begin a plant-based initiative within lower income school districts. Initiatives such as this have begun to take place in California, New York, and Brazil and this capstone intends to begin the process in Minnesota.
Plant-Based Diets, Low-Income Schools
Rock, Jesse, "The Implementation Of Plant-Based Diets In Lower-Income Public Schools" (2019). School of Education Student Capstone Projects. 338.
School of Education Student Capstone Projects