Pastrami sandwiches are seen at the Carnegie Deli on September 30, 2016 in New York before the iconic restaurant closed ( AFP / DOMINICK REUTER)

New York City meat ban claims are false

Copyright © AFP 2017-2023. All rights reserved.

New York City's popular pastrami, corned beef and hot dogs are not going away anytime soon. Social media posts claiming Mayor Eric Adams is banning animal products are false; while the city encourages residents to consume more plant-based foods to decrease their carbon footprint, it is not prohibiting meat consumption.

"NYC Mayor said he will start banning meat and dairy products," says the title of a Rumble video published April 18, 2023.

The clip shows Adams speaking about the importance of reducing greenhouse emissions linked to food.

Screenshot of a Rumble video taken April 24, 2023

The claim also circulated on Tiktok and Facebook. An April 18 Fox News segment featured a reporter asking New Yorkers what they think of the purported ban.

But the claims misrepresent an April 17 announcement from Adams, who said he wants to reduce the city's greenhouse emissions from food.

"New York City is leading the world when it comes to combating climate change because we're using every option on the menu in our fight -- and that includes changing our menus, too," Adams said in a press release (archived here).

"Plant-powered food isn't just good for our physical and mental health, but good for the planet as well ... That's why today, we're committing to reducing the city's food-based emissions at agencies by 33 percent by 2030 and challenging our private sector partners to join us by cutting their food emissions by 25 percent in the same time period."

The mayor, who has said he follows a primarily plant-based diet, added that city schools have implemented a "plant-powered Friday" menu with a non-meat option.

However, New York City Public Schools says on its website that students can choose from other items and that milk is always available. Similar selections are available in city-operated hospitals.

Claims that Adams aims to ban meat "are 100 percent false," a city hall spokesperson told AFP. And the city's actions pertain to food purchased for public facilities, not all private vendors.

Research shows shifting to plant-based diets can help reduce greenhouse emissions. AFP has fact-checked related misinformation here and here.