School Lunch Debate

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Going Through the Lunch Line by Rebecca Blyler

Some food for thought: School lunches have become a issue of controversy. Who would have thunk!?

Let me set the table. In 2010 the federal government instituted a new “healthy” lunch program for public schools. On the White House website this law appears as part of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign and is named the “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.” The website states the aim of the law is to “provide all children with healthy foods in schools....and to improve nutrition while focusing on reducing childhood obesity.” Among other things the law gives the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) the authority to set nutritional standards for all foods regularly sold in schools. One of the ways they hoped to
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Before the new lunch program was implemented, a typical lunch might be a hot dog on a white bun, a cup of applesauce, carrots and celery sticks and chocolate milk. Today, whole grain pasta, a whole grain roll with kiwi and broccoli are served. Kiwi? Does anybody actually eat kiwi? Green is fine for lawns or leaves or even as a fashion statement, but not on my plate, please! According to the USDA’s guidelines to schools, everything is whole grain from the pizza crust to the bread to the pasta. Calories, portion sizes and fat content have been cut so that milk is white and skim and yogurt is non-fat. The high school calorie limit is now set at 850, the middle school limit is at 700 and the elementary school limit is set at 650. Elementary school children range from kindergarten to sixth grade. This new program assumes the caloric needs of a first grader are the same as a fifth grader. In high school, it assumes that male athletes need the same calories to get them through after-school practice as the female speech and debate club member needs. The average teen needs 2400 calories a day to stay healthy, so what meal do we need to consume the most

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