Topic: school lunches
If high school students were allowed to vote, they probably wouldn’t be leaning towards President Obama right now because they are pissed at his wife. As part of her “Let’s Move” campaign aimed at getting kids healthier, Michelle Obama has supported a new plan that limits school lunches to 850 calories for high school students–an amount that is clearly not enough if you ask them. So a group of teens are protesting that decision in a video that is going viral. More
A Republican congressman from Iowa, Rep. Steve King, wants to eliminate the calorie caps that have been put on American school lunches. He calls the limits on calories on school lunches “the nanny state personified.” Right: because in a country where childhood obesity has more than tripled in the last 30 years, we should definitely be serving our children lunches of unlimited calories. More
Gotta love a politician who loves his puns—especially if he also wants to get unhealthy pizza out of school cafeterias. I’m talking about Rep. Jared Polis, a Democrat from Colorado, whose proposed SLICE Act would end school lunch programs’ reliance on tomato paste—i.e. pizza sauce—as a qualified vegetable. More
Last week I wrote about how Governor Rick Perry and two other governors were setting a bad example by sampling pink slime just to prove to all of us over-reacting Americans that it’s perfectly safe. One reader commented to me, “200 of my neighbors just lost their jobs today because of stupid people like you. They thank you.” Then I got an email from a friend who stated that boycotting pink slime will only make prices go up and lead to more economic struggles for blue collar factory workers. While I do feel bad when anyone loses a job, if these beef plants lose money for feeding Americans crap, then that’s a good thing. When is money going to stop being more important than health in this country?
The USDA is sticking to its guns when it comes to the safety of the so-called “pink slime” beef product that has outraged parents and consumer over the last two weeks. But, because of the aforementioned parents, the government branch has conceded to offer schools the option to use something else for their burgers, NPR reports. Yay? More
The internet is not happy about the use of the now-notorious, ammonia-filled “pink slime” beef product that, while McDonald’s recently decided to stop using, is still being served in the form of hamburgers in school lunches. Petitions are springing up, Twitter users are swearing off burgers for good, and people are generally surprised that ground beef–one of the meat products that is both historically the least safe and most packed with byproducts–may not be made entirely of pure, prime cuts. But here’s the thing about the “pink slime”: it’s not that different from other cheap ground beef, and, in many cases, may actually be safer. Maybe we should focus less on how gross “pink slime,” and more on how much crappy, unsafe ground beef we’re eating (and feeding our kids). More
A new poll says 30% of parents have seen at least one worrisome behavior in their children that could be associated with an eating disorder—and they’re blaming it on school-based anti-obesity programs. Of course, lowering childhood obesity rates is a good thing, but it seems a lot of school programs are taking a dangerous approach: Instead of teaching kids how to life a happy, healthy lifestyle through positive role models, they teach them how not to be obese. The difference—inspiration vs. fear—makes all the difference between controlling obesity and, it appears, eating disorders. More
Look out Jamie Oliver, Bill Clinton may be taking over your job!
The former president has announced a new initiative to get kids healthier and provide more nutritious lunch options at 13,000 schools across the country. As part of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, the William J. Clinton Foundation has partnered with the American Heart Association to reduce childhood obesity nationwide by 2015 and get kids moving and eating better. More
Seattle may be on the cutting edge of nutrition for students with one of the nation’s strictest bans on junk food, but that may not last much longer. According to their school board, they are losing a lot of money because–shockingly enough–kids don’t want to purchase orange juice and granola bars. I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but schools should be allowed to sell junk food.
Yesterday, NPR ran a story about instant soup (like Cup Noodles and other forms of ramen) and the safety risk that’s posed by placing Styrofoam cups brimming with boiling water in the hands of children. And while it’s true that scalding liquid in flimsy disposable vessels is clearly unsafe, just-add-water noodles and soups, which are often offered at elementary and middle schools as lunch options, are dangerous for another reason–they’re horribly, horribly unhealthy. Can we can Cup Noodles already? More
Last week, I wrote about Congress’ now-famous “pizza as a vegetable” decision, which made sweeping cuts to a bill that would change the current standards of nutrition for public school lunches, and what’s presently considered “healthy” for kids. Included in the cuts? Language stating that a tiny serving of tomato paste is considered equal in nutrition to a half cup of fresh fruits or vegetables. Now, many are trying to split linguistic hairs, including the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein, who would like everyone to know that the bill never explicitly points to pizza–and that tomato paste is totally healthy for kids.
Perhaps, but unlike actual fruits and vegetables, tomato paste is never served alone. In school cafeterias it is transmitted on a vehicle of carbs – like pasta and pizza. And allowing a small serving of tomato paste to count as a vegetable means that schools will be passing off empty calories as nutritious meals. More
There are some sections of the population who consider pizza to be a vegetable–but then again, most of them also consider recess or lunch their favorite subjects, because they are under the age of 11. So what’s Congress‘ excuse for deciding that a meal of pizza and tater tots is nutritious enough for school lunches? More