Skip to comments.GOP sees food fight as kids trash USDA fruit, vegetable guidelines
Posted on 10/20/2012 4:46:38 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
House Republicans say new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines aimed at forcing students to eat fruits and vegetables are a failure because students across the country are simply tossing the healthy fare into the trash.
"[T]here remains great concern with the amount of food waste generated at school cafeterias, much of it brought on by requiring students to take fruits and vegetables rather than simply offer them," Reps. John Kline (R-Minn.), Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) and Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) told USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack in a letter sent Thursday.
"This is a waste of federal, state and local funds and is contrary to the law's goal of feeding as many low-income and hungry children as possible," they said. "Once again, we are aware USDA has attempted to address this situation by allowing greater choice in reimbursable meals, but students should not have to take additional food if they have no intention of eating it."
Republicans have been criticizing USDA school lunch guidelines for the last few months, in particular USDA rules that set maximum-calorie guidelines for all meals subsidized by taxpayers. Last month, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) introduced the No Hungry Kids Act, which would repeal these calorie restrictions.
The three GOP members hit on that issue again in their letter this week.
Specifically, they wrote that while a committee in the Institute of Medicine found that the 850-calorie maximum for high schoolers is "appropriate for the level of physical activity of most children," there have been reports of athletes "going hungry a few hours after lunch" because of this limit.
"While we appreciate that USDA has attempted to provide leeway to school officials wishing to calculate the calorie maximum as an average over the week, these minor adjustments are poor substitutes to the major changes needed to meet the diverse needs of students," they wrote.
USDA has defended the guidelines by saying they only apply to taxpayer-subsidized meals, and said schools can still sell items like cheeseburgers.
Kline, Noem and Roe told Vilsack that USDA has failed to address how states will pay for the $3.2 billion cost of complying with the rules.
The three members asked Vilsack to answer a series of questions about its guidelines, including what assistance USDA is providing to help schools comply with the rule, whether USDA will try to evaluate the rule as it is implemented and whether financial assistance will be offered to schools trying to comply with it.
Nanny State PING!
"EAT YOUR VEGGIES!"
Michelle will not be pleased. People must learn to eat their fruit and veggies. Especially broccoli and kale.
I just don;t think the federal government should be involved in public schools at all.
“Specifically, they wrote that while a committee in the Institute of Medicine found that the 850-calorie maximum for high schoolers is “appropriate for the level of physical activity of most children,” there have been reports of athletes “going hungry a few hours after lunch” because of this limit. “
Redistribution of athleticism. Now the football jock and the couch potato must be equal so that lazy kids won’t get jealous and suffer low self-esteem.
The Feds hav already invaded my grandaughters’ school lunchroom TWICE. Now the kids hope some one will bring a plastic bag of each so they can pass them under the table to whoever is being examined.
Neither do I.
Note how the word “guidelines” is used to circumvent the legal implications of the word “law”. We are now fully in a dictatorship. So exactly what happens when someone says “no” to a “guideline”?
I hope they save the apples for the horses. They need an apple specific recycle bin.
“I just don’t think the federal government should be involved in public schools at all.”
Thank you! That made me LOL...and I REALLY needed a laugh today! :)
I’m tired of these kids complaining that they can’t eat twinkies and cheetos for lunch anymore.
Eat your damn greens. Eat a feaking apple every once and a while. It isn’t going to kill you. I just read an article that said that by 2013 over half of Americans are going to be obese. I don’t look forward to a nation full of fatasses.
The food waste in this country SICKENS me! I get HUGE boxes of slightly damaged fruits and veggies from my local grocer for my laying hens...for free!
I’m NOT exaggerating when I tell you that there’s usually enough fruit in there for me to bake a pie of some sort, and enough salad greens to keep ME in salads all week long.
But, the ‘really good stuff’ goes to the hens & my compost pile, LOL!
(Proud to be a Bottom Feeder!)
These “guidelines” are treated like laws, and they were not just for public schools. Our private school also has to abide by them. Things I’ve observed and my children complain of - at a private school that does not receive federal funds OR school lunch program money - include:
no more chocolate milk
no salt shakers
lots more vegetables
the coke machine is clearly labelled only for adults, now a violation of rules if children get it while officially under school care
smaller meat portions
whole grain bread everything
a lot more kids taking lunches to school
kids now taking snacks, so that even kids who eat lunch at school from the cafeteria have a snack to eat at 3:15; teachers in the K-5 accommodate this snack because lunch portions are smaller or not entirely eaten
And peas...they have to eat their peas.
The problem would be better solved with more time in recess and PE.
The answer is simple. If the food is government subsidized, then make it all vegetarian. If kids are getting free lunches or free handouts, then make it strictly vegetables and fruit. Other kids that pay out of their own pocket can buy anything they want. The schools shouldn’t force the kids to eat one setup. You pay, you eat what you want. The government should get out of the way. Look on the bright side. The poor will become healthy, and the rich will get obese and die.
I'm wondering. In light of your post, what happens if the school tells the USDA to go piss off?
At the time the rules were still theoretically under discussion I submitted a statement regarding Celiac disease to the committee.
The law says they gotta' send me a notice that they saw my comment, but it hasn't come.
Some of those people are sufficiently educated they know about Celiac disease BUT THEY DON"T CARE. They are cold blooded killers. Once the Obamistas are out of there we need to prosecute and punish the members of the review team that passed on this set of rules. We can no longer afford to let them walk free in public.
"Wrong, Do it again!"
"If you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding.
How can you have any pudding if
you don't eat yer meat?"
"You! Yes, you behind the bikesheds, stand still laddy!" "