Should School Lunch Change?
On January 26th, 2012 the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food, and National Service put out a summary of the new regulations for school food. Overview: “Schools must increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, and fat-free and low-fat milk in in schools across America…
These recommendations were largely made by Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in trying to reduce obesity.” But was this change an improvement? On the Jon Stewart Show he touched upon it in a short clip, and so far children have been complaining the “New” school food system is not filling them up. Elementary school kids are only getting 650 calories, middle schoolers getting 700, and high schoolers are getting 850 calories. Even though I don’t like the school lunch, I think they should at least have more calories in the lunches. I can understand why people might say it’s good that we’re restricting kids’ eating habits towards healthier foods, especially with obesity increasing.
Some kids are saying that they are hungry and that the lunch doesn’t fill them up. But some kids hit puberty at different ages, some kids might need more food than others, so restricting lunch to a certain calorie limit might not be the best idea. Also from experience, I can say that some of the food is “disgusting, foul, awful.” The thing is that kids are throwing out about one third of their lunch in some schools across the country. Why can’t the food taste better and be nutritious? Maybe there can be a compromise.
If we could have a way to make school lunches taste better and have a more flexible limit on calories this problem could be resolved. Earlier this year there was an article by Fox News about school lunches and students protesting about being hungry. Recently a video was put up on Youtube as a parody to “We Are young” and its called “We are hungry”. First they boycotted the school lunch to protest and then they made the video. After the video “We are hungry” the USDA responded and said “We have to keep in mind that the kids are not used to eating fruits and vegetables at home, and much less at school.
..” Kids are retaliating though. In Massachusetts, according to boston.cbslocal, kids have created a “Black Market” for chocolate syrup.
Kids are smuggling and charging per squeeze for the syrup. Kids are that desperate for calories or junk food as some might call it. This has to stop. I remember the days. The days when you could go and get seconds of food if you were hungry. Last year I was able to have two sandwiches most of the time if there were some left because we were the last lunch.
Now, those days are in the past. For kids who wake up late, don’t have time for breakfast, and who just aren’t full, there is no choice. Sure you can bring your own lunch and bring your own snacks. It’s partly the parents’ faults for not getting them up or not giving them snacks…
But they should have some slack in the calorie limit. Now obviously this probably won’t happen due to a few issues: Obesity trends, not enough money, and not enough food for other children. This uprising will continue to grow if kids don’t get what they want. This could be an easy fix if we could reach an agreement that both of us (The Agriculture Department and the kids) could agree on. There are multiple fixes, but which one would benefit both sides the best? Raise the calorie limit by a certain amount for each group, survey kids and parents find out what they want or just disregard all of above and keep the school lunches.
These new rules hasn’t been in effect for long and it hasn’t been changed in a long time, so the new rules will likely remain for now. But was this change for the better?