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  1. #1 GOP sees food fight as kids trash USDA fruit, vegetable guidelines 
    PORCUS MAXIMUS Rockntractor's Avatar
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    By Pete Kasperowicz - 10/19/12 03:04 PM ET

    House Republicans say new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines aimed at forcing students to eat fruits and vegetables are a failure because students across the country are simply tossing the healthy fare into the trash.

    "[T]here remains great concern with the amount of food waste generated at school cafeterias, much of it brought on by requiring students to take fruits and vegetables rather than simply offer them," Reps. John Kline (R-Minn.), Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) and Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) told USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack in a letter sent Thursday.

    "This is a waste of federal, state and local funds and is contrary to the law's goal of feeding as many low-income and hungry children as possible," they said. "Once again, we are aware USDA has attempted to address this situation by allowing greater choice in reimbursable meals, but students should not have to take additional food if they have no intention of eating it."

    Republicans have been criticizing USDA school lunch guidelines for the last few months, in particular USDA rules that set maximum-calorie guidelines for all meals subsidized by taxpayers. Last month, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) introduced the No Hungry Kids Act, which would repeal these calorie restrictions.
    The three GOP members hit on that issue again in their letter this week.

    Specifically, they wrote that while a committee in the Institute of Medicine found that the 850-calorie maximum for high schoolers is "appropriate for the level of physical activity of most children," there have been reports of athletes "going hungry a few hours after lunch" because of this limit.

    "While we appreciate that USDA has attempted to provide leeway to school officials wishing to calculate the calorie maximum as an average over the week, these minor adjustments are poor substitutes to the major changes needed to meet the diverse needs of students," they wrote.

    USDA has defended the guidelines by saying they only apply to taxpayer-subsidized meals, and said schools can still sell items like cheeseburgers.

    Kline, Noem and Roe told Vilsack that USDA has failed to address how states will pay for the $3.2 billion cost of complying with the rules.

    The three members asked Vilsack to answer a series of questions about its guidelines, including what assistance USDA is providing to help schools comply with the rule, whether USDA will try to evaluate the rule as it is implemented and whether financial assistance will be offered to schools trying to comply with it.
    http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-actio...ce-them-to-eat
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  2. #2  
    Sin City Moderator RobJohnson's Avatar
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    Millions are wasted by the school trying to be parents.
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    Looking to the beforetime, I don't recall the school cafeteria giving a damn what the students wanted. You picked up a tray and slid it along the service line while spoonfuls of slop and the occasional apple, banana, or orange wasted that last little square on the tray. You also were give a choice of warm and nasty milk or slightly less nasty chocolate milk.

    The chicken was dark meat baked in something resembling grease.
    The french fries were baked, in grease.
    The beans were boiled to death in water and grease.
    The mashed potatoes were nearly liquid, a combination of dried potatoes, water, milk, and grease.
    The bread was cheap Wonder bread, and served with butter (grease).
    The spaghetti was overcooked pasta soaked in tomato soup and I have no doubt that they figured out a way to add grease.
    The apple crisp was pretty good.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobJohnson View Post
    Millions are wasted by the school trying to be parents.
    What is the purpose of the school lunch program?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novaheart View Post
    What is the purpose of the school lunch program?
    I actually always wondered that. I went to Catholic school and we didn't have school lunch. We brought bagged lunches of sandwiches and fruit. We only bought milk or juice in cartons from the local dairy at school. I never understood why anyone would pay for lunch. Of course, we lived in the suburbs.

    If you're poor and the school lunch is free or heavily subsidized, then eating it makes sense. Chances are there's not much else in the house. I remember reading Sandra Cisneros' book "The House on Mango Street" which is based on her childhood neighborhood. She mentions going to Catholic school as well, but they walked home for lunch and had rice sandwiches because they were too poor to put meat or cheese in them. She would have definitely benefited from a school lunch program.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
    I actually always wondered that. I went to Catholic school and we didn't have school lunch. We brought bagged lunches of sandwiches and fruit. We only bought milk or juice in cartons from the local dairy at school. I never understood why anyone would pay for lunch. Of course, we lived in the suburbs.

    If you're poor and the school lunch is free or heavily subsidized, then eating it makes sense. Chances are there's not much else in the house. I remember reading Sandra Cisneros' book "The House on Mango Street" which is based on her childhood neighborhood. She mentions going to Catholic school as well, but they walked home for lunch and had rice sandwiches because they were too poor to put meat or cheese in them. She would have definitely benefited from a school lunch program.
    I recall being told as a child that the school lunch program was to make sure that poor children got enough to eat. A little later I was told that the purpose of the school lunch program was to get rid of surplus and help fund farm subsidies and price supports. Now it's being portrayed as a necessary thing because parents either don't have the resources or the time to pack "nutritious lunches".

    Well, the lunches my mother packed weren't exactly health food. In fact, her standard sandwich was the Anti-Healthfood. She used cheap white bread and condiments that neither of us use any more. But my lunch was not the worst out there. I used to envy the kids whose mommies put little bags of potato chips and cheetos in their lunch bag. Potato chips and cheetos and other snack foods were treats for us, not daily fare. The truth is, that my mom was one of few in her time concerned about caloric intake. She stopped using oil and grease for cooking before I was born. I think she was the actual inventor of Shake and Bake:) Only on a special occasion would she revert to the old ways- like when her dad would give her a mess of soft shell crabs that needed to be dredged and fried, or at Christmas.

    I remember looking forward to Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day because they were de facto feast days: either at the Elks Club or a fireman's carnival we'd get to have fried chicken, fried oyster sandwiches, or fried soft crab sandwiches and real french fries instead of the oven kind.
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