Skip to comments.School Lunch Proposals Set Off a Dispute
Posted on 11/02/2011 1:46:08 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
WASHINGTON The government has some thoughts on how to make the federally financed school lunch program more nutritious: A quarter-cup of tomato paste on pizza will no longer be considered a vegetable. Cut back on potatoes and add more fresh peaches, apples, spinach and broccoli. And hold the salt.
The proposed changes the first in 15 years to the $11 billion school-lunch program are meant to reduce rising childhood obesity, Agriculture Department officials say. Food companies including Coca-Cola, Del Monte Foods and the makers of frozen pizza and French fries have a huge stake in the new guidelines and many argue that it would raise the cost of meals and call for food that too many children just will not eat.
With some nutrition experts rallying to the Obama administrations side, the battle is shaping up as a contentious and complicated fight involving lawmakers from farm states and large low-income urban areas that rely on the program, which fed some 30 million children last year with free or subsidized meals. Food companies have spent more than $5.6 million so far lobbying against the proposed rules.
A group of farm-state senators have already succeeded in blocking an Agriculture Department plan to limit the amount of starchy foods in school meals, and are now hoping to win a larger victory. The group includes Senator Mark Udall, a Colorado Democrat, and Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, who once worked picking potatoes and led the opposition to the new starch rules last month.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Nanny State PING!
Democrat potato pickers for good sense... who knew
That is far from being "free" and is one of the reasons that our government is broke!!
--classic example of "government" gone wild and the unstoppability of any program with a constituency------
It hasn’t “one” constituancy - it has on the order of 340 federal and state agencies involved.
I could get behend a program that just fired all the feds, and fed the kids, instead.
Obama has met his match. You don’t mess with the potato lobby.
Toe the statist line and you're automagically a "nutrition expert"; oppose it and you "have a huge stake in the new guidelines". [facepalm]
Hey, Old Gray Whore! No wonder my bird won't even shit on your paper!
A P.E. class and a few jumping-jacks would do the same thing. /s
“A quarter-cup of tomato paste on pizza will no longer be considered a vegetable.”
When the premise of the story starts out wrong, the rest is suspect.
A ‘tomato’ is not a vegetable.
It’s a fruit.
30 million kids who have parents that are too damned lazy to pack a lunch for their offspring.
Seriously, how bizarre it is, for kids in your local school to have their daily menu dictated by a Federal bureaucrat.
Many who promptly threw down a $20 for sugar filled snacks and treats.
The government is killing a schools ability to have a hope of breaking even in the cafeteria.
The schools need to tell the feds to go pound sand!
I remember back in the day when REAL food was actually cooked on the premises and slopped onto a sectioned tray by little old ladies wearing hairnets.
The little old ladies were pretty fair cooks too.
My kids can’t stand the swill that passes for school lunch now. They peck at it just enough to get by until they come home and have real food.
Home lunches won’t cut it either, unless they can warm up leftover dinners in a microwave.
They know what good food is supposed to taste like.
Thanks for the ping!
Those little old ladies knew their stuff. What passes for “food” at school today really gets my goat because I know firsthand that it can be done better.
Several years ago when my kids were still in Catholic elementary school, I took a job in the cafeteria just for something to do during the day.
Within a few months, I was asked to take over all the cooking duties. Now..I could cook, but I never thought that one day Id be able to cook for 700 students, faculty, and staff (and even the priests from the rectory).
I had two rules: 1) No meat on Friday, and 2) If I wouldnt serve it at my own dinner table, I wouldnt serve it at the school.
I ordered only fresh meats, REAL butter, REAL milk, REAL cheese and both fresh vegetables and some frozen (peas are fine frozen, for example). I made my own soups, salads, dressings, and sauces, baked my own homemade cookies, and flavored everything exactly as I would at home.
For Thanksgiving, we pulled out all the stops and presented a feast that took no less than 29 fresh turkeys and 4 days to prepare. There were 2 kinds of stuffing, 2 kinds of cranberry relish, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy, apple turnovers, peas with salt pork and onions, and carrots in an herbed cream sauce. Cant do THAT in the public schools! In addition to the kids and faculty, parents were invited to come to the feast as well. We served nearly 1000 people on Feast day.
Only the chicken nuggets were store-bought and frozen, and the only reason I allowed them was that the kindergarteners literally cried if we didnt have them. However...we only ordered all white-meat nuggets and never EVER the government ones sent to the unfortunates at the public schools. (Those were delivered to us by accident once my God, they were revolting! I didnt serve them, and yes, the kindergarteners cried.)
The ingredients were more expensive than the disgusting frozen stuff, but the cafeterias profits went through the roof because the food was attractive and tasty. It was literally just like Mom made.
Every week I made an extra batch of something new and offered it as a free special. If the kids who tried it liked it..it went on the next months menu. MANY kids got to taste things theyd never tasted before, and I was always happy when they came back for seconds.
If school chefs were allowed to do what I was allowed to do because the government wasnt interfering in our food choices, I bet the kids would eat GREAT food and the cafeterias would make a little money to boot.
PS: A salad bar was available for sale every day, and both a simple salad and whole fresh fruit was offered for free with a lunch. The salad bar salads sold like hotcakes, and most kids did like to take some fresh fruit and/or a simple salad, too.
PPS: I guess I should admit that I did not make my own pasta as I would at home.
I bet a whole lot of those kids couldn’t wait to get to school so they could eat lunch.
I cook like that and my son’s friends sometimes come over so they can have dinner with us. One of them is always asking “What’s for dinner?”
HA! I know the feeling, Cali. If I’d have known how good it feels to feed people well, I’d have tried it much sooner — I was a hopeless mess in the kitchen when I was a kid and my poor mother had to toss me out of it with alarming regularity.
I guess somehow, SOMETHING she was trying to teach me finally sunk in.
Now that’s real cooking! My understanding is that in most public school cafeterias these days, there is little cooking going on. Instead they are heating up and serving frozen and canned foods and serving them
You are correct. There is very little actual cooking going on, but boy do they have some $$$$$ kitchens in those schools. I WISH I’d had a kitchen so well-stocked with equipment!
And there is NO wiggle room. The cooks must cook what is mandated by the government regulations and must MAKE the children take their veggies and fruit. (Guess where THAT stuff ends up — who wants boiled, canned green beans with no butter or anything on them? Nobody, that’s who.) No Thanksgiving feasts for them, that’s for sure.
I was just talking to a friend of mine last night about this very thing. She works in a public high school cafeteria and is disgusted by what she’s has to put out as “food.”