Originally published October 29 2015
James Cameron announces plan to open America's first vegan elementary school
by Julie Wilson staff writer
(NaturalNews) Food production is one the greatest contributors to environmental degradation as it pollutes our air and water, increases carbon dioxide emissions and threatens important biodiversity and wildlife. The meat industry, in particular, negatively impacts the environment the most as animal waste routinely contaminates air and drinking water. Responsible for nearly 10 percent of total carbon dioxide emissions, meat production requires vast amounts of land for grazing and feed production, which in turn eliminates essential wildlife habitats.
Consuming meat at nearly every meal is a practice encouraged by society at a young age. Although unsustainable, in its current form, eating meat is a big part of American culture; think hot dogs at baseball games and turkey for Thanksgiving. While some children grow up and make the decision to ditch meat from their diets, vegetarians only account for about 5 percent of the U.S. population.
Environmentally focused private school offers students a "strong seed-to-table program"While not the norm, avoiding meat as well as other animal products forces us to focus on plant-based foods, which some believe are truly the key to good health and nutrition. Strong supporters of this concept are highly respected Hollywood icons James and Suzy Amis Cameron, who founded their own private school in Calabasas, California in 2006.
Director of the two biggest box office films of all time, James Cameron is an environmentalist who deeply cares about food, a passion that motivated him and his wife to found MUSE School. The environmentally focused private school operates two campuses that cater to 140 students in grades ranging from elementary to middle to high school.
MUSE provides its students with a "strong seed-to-table program" that's made possible by the school's own food production. With the help of the school's full-time, year-round gardener and educator, Paul Hudak, students have built 28 raised beds that grow peppers, greens, tomatoes, herbs and other edibles, plus flowers, reports NPR.org.
MUSE students help sell food they've grown in local restaurants"We are gradually moving toward a plant-based menu because we do call ourselves an environmental school," said Amis Cameron. "Within the next year and a half, we will be plant-based."
Currently, the school is able to grow produce year-round, supplying 20 percent of the food eaten in the cafeterias. "Once we really get cranking, I think we'll be up to 40 or 50 percent," said Hudak.
Amis Cameron, and her sister who also helped found the school, promote sustainability on campus by using recycled materials to build classrooms and installing solar flowers that power the school with renewable energy. They also hired a resident falconer, whose hawks eat rodents, eliminating the need for pesticides.
The Camerons say they went vegan in 2012 after watching a documentary that conveyed the benefits of a plant-based diet as well as unveiled the sinister connection between meat production and environmental degradation.
"But what has really been a major eye opener is the connection between food and the environment," said Amis Cameron. "Now, we're benefiting greatly from eating plant-based, as are our children, but the environmental piece has become really our sole focus."
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Using a series of innovative parts that can be produced by a 3-D printer, with very little effort you can grow strawberries, tomatoes, potatoes, root vegetables, greens and much more. To learn more about Food Rising technology click here.
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