Yesterday I mused about what would constitute a healthy school lunch for children attending US Schools? Considering the mandate of one Chicago School that ALL students must eat at the school canteen and home provided lunches were banned, unless you have a specific allergy and doctors letter etc.
So I went looking for a Department of Agriculture Document: 7 CFR Parts 210 and 220. Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs; Proposed Rule. (USDA are the ones responsible for the new rules and regulations) to see what they would and would not – be getting for lunch.
Therein I found what I had suspected all along. Proof that:
Processed foods and convenience items are often used in the school food service operation to save time and labor.
The above statement, taken from the quoted United States Department Of Agriculture document, specifically refers to reducing the amount of sodium in the diet of school children. High Sodium is the NEW Bad Kid on the Block (as it were), being blamed for elevated blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, stroke and stomach cancer.
My argument about this world wide push to reduce sodium in processed foods runs something like this:
If people ate fresh foods, basically home cooked meals; they would have no problem with a too high intake of sodium in their diets.
This fresh food diet would contain minimal amounts of processed foods – the less – the better. I actually wrote something similar to this recently, to the people who are pushing the Low Salt Diet here in Australia. Efforts are underway to encourage all food manufacturers worldwide, to reduce the amount of salt in their foods.
I received a nominal reply from the agency here, in regards to eating fresh and not needing to lower your salt content in foods. They did agree with me that ‘fresh is best’, but implied that in our busy day to day lives, people preferred to buy readymade processed foods, hence the absolute need to lower salt/sodium content in processed/packaged foods. Mind you, this is the same agency that pushed the ‘fat is bad’ for you mantra, and the ‘lower your cholesterol’ mantra as well.
OK back to the topic here. In their very own words, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) acknowledges that your children’s school meals will contain processed and convenience items, because ‘it will save time and labor’.
So much for the USDA providing healthy meals for your children.
Meals made with fresh ingredients, cooked on the premises, minus artificial colorings and flavorings. NOPE!
Meals minus Soy and GM ingredients. NOPE!
Meals full of healthy fats and minerals and vitamins that growing children need. NOPE!
Your Kids will be given fat free milk, fat free or low fat yoghurt too. Have you ever looked at what they put into ‘fat free’ products to improve their flavor? SUGAR! They will also be given more grains to eat in their daily intake of foods. But I best leave that thought for another time.
So, not only are they taking away parental rights in regards what to feed their child for lunch, in some cases they will be feeding the children, food of a lesser quality than what would have been brought from home!
Do you have any idea what they do to food during the ‘processing’ of it? Do you even know why food is processed? Do you know what is put into the ‘processed foods’? Take some time and look it up in your search engine.
The average American eats nearly 150 pounds of food additives each YEAR! This is broken down as follows:
130 pounds of sugar – 10-15 pounds of salt – 5-10 pounds of “enriched” i.e. synthetic vitamins, flavours, preservatives and coloured dyes.
Why then does the processed food industry use all these chemicals and additives, knowing that they make people sick? In a word: Profit. To protect and maximise this profit, the food industry has six rationalizations for justifying their actions…..
To Improve the Shelf Life – To make food More Available – To Increase Nutritional Value – To Improve the Flavour of Foods – To Make Foods Easier to Prepare – and lastly To Improve Foods Appearance.
It seems to me that they take perfectly good food sometimes** and turn it into a frankenfood for your convenience, meanwhile denuding all the goodness out of it, and filling it with chemical additives to make it taste OK again.
One would think it would be cheaper and definitely healthier to stick with the basic ingredients, from fresh – without the need to kill it first and reconstitute it in a semi edible fashion, to serve to our children.
** Look into the MRM (mechanically separated meats) and ask yourself how much you or your children might consume?
I shall sign off now; I guess I have ranted long enough. I eat fresh, I shop the perimeter of the food market, and shop the local Farmers Markets. I cook over 95% of our meals from scratch. One could only hope the schools and the Government cared the same way about the health of our children.
Worth reading me thinks.