My amazing readers email me fantastic news stories every day. I tweet them on my Twitter account, but trying to put them in a summarizing blog post sometimes seems daunting. And I’m already posting once a day– I don’t want to go overboard here!
But now is the time:
The Child Nutrition Act has still not passed both houses (although it did pass the House). It officially expired last September 30th and here we are… What does that say about our country? To take action, click below:
Change.org’s petition: Tell Congress: No More Delays on the Child Nutrition Act
Center of Science in Public Interest’s petition: CSPI Urges Congress to Address Child Nutrition Before August Recess
Feeding America’s petition: Increase Child Nutrition Funding
“Spent hens” — Although the USDA improved beef standards on July 1, they have yet to act on chicken and fish. Chicken meat that has been rejected by KFC (so called “spent hens”) has been sent to schools for lunches.
Article: Group seeks stricter school lunch standards (New Hampshire)
MoPIRG’s petition: Michelle Obama, Take Spent Hens Off the Menu! (Missouri)
Prison food versus school food — Do Prisoners Eat Better than School Children? (Tennessee) I’m hearing a lot about this online. I think it’s a very interesting discussion and one that we have had here before. Prisoners rely upon the government for all of their meals and they do deserve to eat ok food while incarcerated. Philosophically I have to wonder how some prisoners eat better than some children. Do kids have to commit a crime to eat better?
Other interesting news links:
Obesity Linked to Poor School Performance (New York)
Do Healthier School Lunches Curb Bad Behavior? (Wisconsin)
Dallas ISD taking lead role in making school lunches more nutritious (Texas)
Why you can’t lose those last 10 pounds (National)
Sandwiches in a can: Can-do or can-don’t? (Utah/National)
Winning kids over to spinach (Utah)
Lawsuit filed against lead in juice, baby food (Colorado)
Feel free to comment below
14 thoughts on “Open thread: School lunch in the news”
I am totally digging the story on the Wisconsin school that implemented healthier school lunches. What an encouraging story.
I am a former teacher and I am in agreement about how bad the schools are feeding our students. I have personally seen what nutrition can do for a child's reading levels. Although, I love reading your blog I am bothered that you would even mention in the most casual way that prisoners deserved good food. Is that going to be your next fight? Some of these prisoners may have taken the right away from a child to have the choice of eating a good meal but I guess that doesn't matter as long as our government provides them with good nutritious meals. I understand your original intent was to show that our kids certainly deserve better than prisoners but you should rethink your written support for the prisoners’ nutritional well being.
@Anonymous — Prisoner food will NOT be my next venture! Good God! All I'm saying is that it's not an either/or discussion. There are many types of prisoners, but our jails are full of people who committed non-violent offenses. They don't have any options aside from what they are served while incarcerated. They need to eat ok while in prison. But kids need it more! What kind of a country are we that some prisoners eat better than some kids? Do kids have to commit a crime to eat well?
Children deserve to eat Better than ANY one who is incarcerated!(violent or not) Bottom line, I value the children more.
Their schools deserve to be up to date, have AC that works, and enough books to go around too.
I had read about the Wisconsin school and totally believe good food will stop the bad behavior, maybe not totally, but it is really encouraging.
Spent hens are these just old tough birds? They used to eat those on the Grandma's farm when they couldn't lay eggs anymore and the roosters when they got too mean. Or are these birds actually diseased like some of the beef that makes it through the system?
Although I love reading your blog I am bothered that you would even mention in the most casual way that prisoners deserved good food.
Excuse me? There's something "bothersome" about saying that human beings deserve to be fed? And fed food that is, at a bare minimum, nutritious?
Some of these prisoners may have taken the right away from a child to have the choice of eating a good meal but I guess that doesn't matter as long as our government provides them with good nutritious meals.
And some of those prisoners may be in there for having as little as a quarter pound of marijuana – a crime, sure, but not exactly something that should take away your right to eat.
I understand your original intent was to show that our kids certainly deserve better than prisoners but you should rethink your written support for the prisoners’ nutritional well being.
What the hell is wrong with you?
Lots of prisons have the same waste problems as school cafeterias. Of course, in prison, you can't be giving the inmates real silverware. It's interesting how some prisons serve meals to inmates in their cells while others go to a central cafeteria. I've eaten prison food (on the staff cafeteria side) and it wasn't that bad.
One jail in NOVA only serves turkey in their meat products (turkey burger, turkey bacon, turkey balogna, etc). They do it not only for nutritional reasons but also to accommodate inmates religious beliefs. Most of the prison food I've seen looks quite nutritious. The quality of the food and how appetizing it looks is *another* story. It makes sense when you think about it though. SOme of these inmates are going to be incarcerated for a long time so it makes sense to keep them healthy and keep their health care costs to a minimum.
First off, I like the level of discussion on this blog. I think Mrs. Q does a great job of expressing her view honestly but often asks for feedback. It shows she is open to new ideas. I wish more people were open to new things.
I do feel like I need to say something about the alarming increase in what *seems* like personal attacks on other posts/posters.
I know that topics and comments can provoke strong feelings in people. Heck, I've had to leave many meetings because I didn't trust myself to "sit quietly" when certain topics came up. I am not proud of that fact but I accept that was my best option (other than possibly making a fool of myself in pubic).
I am asking that we return to what I think Mrs. Q's initial objective was:
Raising awareness of nutrition in our public schools. (And Mrs. Q, please PLEASE correct me if I have made a mistake here).
I believe this blog has many MANY intelligent followers and if we work together we CAN create change. Thanks for your time in reading this :0)
Rebecca – Thank you for offering a sane viewpoint. I'm also going to keep my original goal in mine because sometimes I stray too. Have a terrific weekend!
I read the article about prison food VS school lunches w/great interest as I am a lunch lady and have always wondered how they compare. The article states, "Like jails, school cafeterias work on a limited budget. But while the Putnam County jail creates its meals with $1.83, schools receive $2.68 for each meal." You must consider that the cooks/servers are inmates and work for free whereas schools employ staff that can make anywhere from min wage up to $17.00 an hour in some districts. I'm going back to work soon and I dread serving the same gov't processed food. Our district is supposed to be wellness policy compliant, but I have yet to see any significant changes other than baking fries instead of deep frying them.
Thanks for sharing all the interesting articles! I try to keep up but it seems I always miss some important ones.
Thanks for the article about Appleton Wisconsin. The school lunch segment in Supersize Me was my favorite part of the whole movie. It's been bugging me that I couldn't find any updates about the school online. I was wondering if they had abandoned the program but I'm glad to see they haven't. They should really put themselves out there more though. It's a great, positive story!
you should rethink your written support for the prisoners’ nutritional well being.
Uh… I'm not sure if the solution to the problem of jail food being better than school food is to make jail food worse. Maybe I'm not understanding your point.
People who are in prison are already being punished by losing their freedom. But we still have to feed them because starving people to death would probably fall under "cruel and unusual punishment". And that food should probably meet the minimum nutrition requirements of a human being as well.
School children, who are not being punished, should have food AT LEAST that good, if not better. (And personally, I think it's also a shame that criminals can get three squares and a roof above their heads and all the necessary health care when lots of people who haven't committed any crime can't. But again, the solution is not to make the prisoners' lives worse, but other people's lives better.)
Regarding inmate food — our local jail stopped frying things last year due to oil costs. They ditched Styrofoam, too. On those bases alone, they eat better than kids do in school.
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