Last week, countless Americans across the country celebrated school lunch hero day, Honors school cafeteria workers, parents and students are busy complaining angrily about the often inedible food these heroes serve to our nation’s public school students.Unlike School Lunch Heroes Day, which just turned 10this complaint about government-provided school lunches is an annual tradition passed down for generations.
exist In Baltimore, for example, parents are complaining about the food provided to their children across the county. ‘They say they have chunks in their kids’ milk,’ Fox Baltimore report last week. “Some of the food was moldy, they said.” The report also noted, “Looks like a piece of brown meat on white bread” in one photo-one extremely Charity Description – “It’s actually a peanut butter and jelly sandwich”.
School lunch horror stories like these are everywhere.In Springfield, Massachusetts, the family complain About moldy food and ‘color-changing pizza’ for kids at a school.Michigan Students and Parents complain Earlier this year about “nasty” school lunch food.In North Carolina, a debate team started a battle Oppose the “hateful rules” of their school service.Just outside of St. Louis, Missouri, there is a county health department investigation Complaints about food provided by local public high schools, including student disease, cockroaches, rats, and moldy and spoiled food. This is at least the fifth time the health department has investigated school dining services this school year.
Karlyn Gorski, a food researcher at the University of Chicago Research School, explain This week, she found “vegetables and rolls that were still frozen” in a meal she bought at a public school in Chicago. last year, buzzing post photo Some particularly bad school lunches, including It’s a little sad. Parents complained that some of the food was similar to what was served to prisoners don’t miss mark.
While school lunchroom staff are not to be blamed for the quality of the food they serve – they neither select nor buy food – in my opinion the real school lunch heroes are the schools nationwide where parents and children speak out against waste The lunch program and the terrible food it feeds many kids in our country. Under the decades-old program, schools typically get about $3 per meal. Only $1 of the $3 goes to food. The remaining $2, or twice what the school spends on food — goes to overhead and other costs.
As I explained in 2019 Pillar, former First Lady Michelle Obama’s landmark 2012 overhaul of the national school lunch program revised dietary requirements for sodium, whole grains, milk and produce. This should make the food healthier.But those reforms, which I explain in my book Bite the hand that feeds us: Fewer, smarter laws will make our food system more sustainable, causing costs to soar, prompting students and school districts to flee the program in droves and creating an “unprecedented mountain of food waste” that children put more food in the bins than in their mouths. The research I cite shows that about 90 percent or more of the salads, plain milk, and vegetable side dishes served in schools end up in the trash.
But don’t blame hungry kids for wasting food. Centralized planning of school meals is an inherently unworkable idea.
“Meals must both help fight obesity and ensure all students get enough calories,” I wrote in bite our hand“They must contain foods that children want to eat, but must also be healthy. Meals must be so common that they cater to the food preferences of all of America’s millions of public school students, while ensuring that they appeal to the diets of students of all kinds of practice.” This includes vegetarians, Atkins dieters, koshers, and more. If you’re wondering if some bureaucrats in Washington have answered questions the world’s restaurateurs haven’t answered —How can I provide meals that everyone loves and eats?–they do not.
Noticing an increase in student protests and food waste — or perhaps just wanting to roll back anything Obama endorsed — the Trump administration reversed the Obama administration’s changes to school lunch plans soon after taking office.But Trump’s plan, I explained it in 2020 Pillaragain impossible to achieve anything of substance:
Criticizing the Obama administration’s school lunch reforms, including me, arguing that the change means soaring costs and a mountain of food waste. Criticizing the Trump administration’s school lunch reforms, including mearguing the changes mean school lunches are as stinky as they used to be and lower-quality food for students.
These phenomena are playing out in school cafeterias across the country.Take this week as an example, elementary school lunch menu Lake Tahoe, Nevada Featured Corn dogs and pizza.Lunch for elementary school students in Fulton County, Georgia include Turkey and Cheese Croissants, Popcorn Chicken with Breadsticks, and Mini Pepperoni Pies.In Montgomery County, Maryland, this week’s elementary school lunch menu Including Beef Sloppy Joe Sandwiches, Veggie Burgers, Pepperoni and Cheese Sandwiches.In Elmore County, Alabama, elementary school students have options like this main course for lunch Such as corn dogs, cheese bread with marinara sauce, pizza, boneless chicken wings, and hot ham and cheese sandwiches.Available to students at an elementary school in Pasco, Washington main course for lunch These include chicken burgers with cheese, nachos, “mini calzones pepperoni” or “pepperoni ripper.” In short, school lunches still suck.
When it comes to school lunches, both the Obama and Trump administrations have lost the ball, ‘creating[ing] New problems, not solutions,” I wrote in 2020. “Ultimately, politics should have nothing to do with the food kids eat at school. “
What would an apolitical solution look like?um, I outlines a Almost exactly ten years ago. It involves enabling families who can afford to pack lunches for their children to do so, and using high-quality leftovers from restaurants and grocery stores to feed children whose families cannot make lunches every day. This will improve the quality of the food students eat; slash the USDA’s wasteful budget; eliminate the need for school lunchrooms and the staff who work in them; and finally combat food waste in a serious and widespread way.
USDA’s role under this approach? I don’t think one is needed at all. Centralized control of school food by the federal government is the problem, not the answer.