Just to clarify, if a school has a traditional cafeteria where kids are served from a big container of glop, this won't apply because there shouldn't be any "leftovers" to begin with; the child says, I don't want that, and it's not served to them. This policy is in schools where the food is pre-packaged and passed out as a whole meal, which is becoming more common as schools try to reduce lunch costs and also reduce the time that students have to stand in line to get their lunches. The downside is that child has no option of declining an item because the lunches are not dished up individually, but the government is billed for the entire meal whether that child eats it or not. In this case, the unopened leftovers must be offered to other students. The flyer that came home from our school said it was a federal school lunch regulation.
Looks like the boycott is growing.
NJ Students Plan Strike to Protest Obama Food Rules | FOX News & Commentary: Todd StarnesQuote:
As many as 1,000 students at a New Jersey high school are expected to boycott their cafeteria today to protest the Obama administration’s new lunch guidelines that many teenagers say are leaving them hungry.
In many districts, the new regulation meals offer roughly the same amount of calories, just a different mix -- more fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, less cheese and meat. I don't remember which district, but the average calories for middle school meals last year was 668; this year's cap per meal serving is 700.
Fruits and vegetables and whole grains contain more fiber and should make the kids feel more full, not hungrier. Why doesn't it?
One answer might be the 50% increase in lunch room trash. It appears to be mostly fruits and vegetables. If the food goes in the trash instead of in a child's stomach...
A couple ways districts are dealing with the toss it in the trash problem:
- giving the foods catchy names like x-ray vision carrots and power beans. Kids ate way more and threw away much less.
- chef comes to school programs, like the one here in Seattle
Do you think kids react to the calorie cap or to the different mix? If you were filling up on say, chicken nuggets and now you get less of those, you probably are miffed. If you happen to love more fresh veggies, you're probably giving the new regulations a good grade.
I favor new standard that adhere more closely to what a kid's body needs. What I don't support is the increased paperwork for school districts. Some of the best examples of a healthy program, like the Abernethy School Kitchen Garden program in Portland are challenged to fund documentation. Forerunners ion the Chefs Move to Schools program and a from-scratch cafeteria, they're pressed to come up with 5 to 20K to hire a consultant to help with the reporting requirements and administrative work. If the meals aren't certified the school districts loses $20,000 a month in federal funds. I think their other option -- going back to heat-and-serve meals is an enormous step backwards.
I looked up our law on the matter:
The full text of the bill addresses calorie count for main dishes and sides and percent of calories from fat. It went into effect in 2007. No protests or boycotts.Quote:
School Junk Food Ban, 2005 (SB 12, Escutia). SB 12 established the most rigorous nutrition standards in the country for food sold anywhere on school campuses outside the school meal program. The law, which goes into effect July 1, 2007, established limits on fat and sugar content and portion size on all foods sold a la carte, in vending machines or school stores, or as part of a school fundraiser. SB 12 was sponsored by the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, the California School Boards Association, Governor Schwarzenegger, and many other co-sponsors and supporters. Find out how your legislator voted on SB 12, and read a bill summary or the full text of the bill. Read this case study about the advocacy process that led to this legislative victory.
Interesting article below about the amount of food Americans waste. Canada's not much better either. It's absolutely disgusting.
Americans throw out 40% of food, study says - World - CBC News