School Nutrition Group Turns On Michelle Obama, Fights Federal Lunch Regulations
If Barack Obama is the Celebrity-in-Chief, then Michelle Obama is the Hypocrite-in-Chief, forcing schools to abide by overly strict school lunch regulations while she chows down on whatever kind of food she feels like eating, healthy or not. In fact, her school lunch program is so divisive that even the School Nutrition Association, which initially backed her new regulations, is telling her to dial it down.
Most recently, the School Nutrition Association — which initially championed the new federal lunch standards on fruits, vegetables, salt, fat, sugar and virtually every other aspect of school lunches when they were implemented in 2012 — is now lobbying Congress to dial back the “overly prescriptive” and expensive changes, the New York Times News Service reports.
“Congress is listening, and it is considering legislation to delay the nutrition regulations for a year, some of which have already gone into effect. But some of the association’s onetime allies in the school-meal campaign are mystified, if not suspicious, concerning the group’s motivations,” the news service reports.
SNA officials rightly point out that many students are throwing away the additional fruits and vegetables included in their lunches, amounting to $684 million in food waste every year — or roughly “enough to serve complete reimbursable school lunches to more than 228 million students,” according to the Times.
The association contends the “nutritious” federal lunch menu is also proving costly for many school districts that are now forced to purchase more expensive foods to comply with the new regulations.
SNA reportedly first expressed concerns about the new federal regulations in 2011, and later met with Agriculture Department officials, but have been largely ignored. That prompted SNA leaders to call on Congress instead, and they have now targeted the group’s lobbying efforts at lawmakers in the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, which are considering legislation to waive the nutrition standards for next school year, according to the Times news service.
… Aside from the significant school lunch revenue declines and massive food waste tied to the changes, hungry students across the country have protested against the strict nutrition guidelines.
Many student athletes, for example, have argued their limited-calorie lunches leave them famished. Parents have reported their children are now going without school lunch, then binge eating when they get home. Parents have also complained about ridiculously strict interpretations of the federal lunch rules, which have resulted in a ban on birthday cupcakes in classrooms, among other things.
It seems that children didn’t battle obesity as much when we encouraged more physical activity from them in the form of multiple recesses and physical education classes, instead of forcing them to sit inside all day and then scheduling every moment of free time they have outside of the classroom in planned, monitored activities. But Michelle Obama isn’t worried so much about the health of American children as she is about controlling them.
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