School Lunch Reform’s Awkward Phase
Some of you may have noticed, others are oblivious, but something has likely changed with your child’s lunch. I am strictly speaking about their school lunch if they are enrolled in one of the United States’ thousands of public schools. After years of belly-aching (for good reason) and cries of revolt and reform, the National School Lunch Program is getting a bit of an overhaul.
This overhaul, which is being rolled out gradually over the next few years to the nation’s nearly 40 million students consists of more fruit, more whole grains, more vegetables, low-fat items, and various no-fat items that meet new federal guidelines for nutrition. This means less starchy foods and mystery meat and more salad and quinoa. Now everyone is happy and healthy.
Not so fast.
With transitions like these (and in no way am I implying the new system is perfect or beyond reproach) you no doubt get some backlash. Unlike the previous criticism of substandard food, which largely came from parent groups and nutritional advocates, the new criticism is coming straight from the mouths of the recipients of such changes…the students.
A recent viral YouTube video, sung to the tune of “We Are Young” by the pop group Fun., shows a lot of high school, middle school, and even grade school children suffering from the new changes – particularly suffering from hunger and malnourishment, while other students live happy, care-free lives eating junk food and store-bought snacks. Here is a sample of the lyrics:
“My friends are at the corner store/ Getting junk so they don’t waste away/ My lover ate her two grams of meat/ Just about to starve.”
And below is the video:
Ok, sure it is kind of funny and clever, and not really something to get all that angry about, but is it worth consideration? Are the new federal guidelines not providing enough caloric nourishment and protein to hungry kids, or are they just a bunch of whiners wanting their junk food quota back?