The Trump administration is relaxing school lunch requirements set under the Obama administration. States will now be allowed to grant exemptions to schools struggling to hit certain nutrition benchmarks. Exempted schools will not have to cut more salt from meals, can serve fewer whole grains, and can offer 1% flavored milk in addition to the fat-free flavored milk currently required.
The changes do not affect the basics of the current crony system. Recall that two of the biggest school lunch suppliers used their money and political influence to twist regulations so that a slice of pizza would be considered a vegetable and kids could be served all of the French fries they wanted.
School lunch is also marred by outright corruption. The US Department of Agriculture pays $1 billion per year to buy produce and meat for school lunches. Instead of preparing that food on-site in a healthy manner, schools hire management companies, which in turn hire processors to prepare the food. The processors turn chicken meat, scraps, flavorings, and fillers of uncertain origin into things like chicken nuggets. The processors, in turn, pay what look to us to be kickbacks to the management companies for choosing them over another processor. None of this money goes back to the schools. Those seeming kickbacks—the management companies call them “rebates”—are arguably illegal. The New York Attorney General sued one management company and received a $20 million settlement.
And let’s not forget that in 2003, the USDA approved irradiated meat for the school lunch program. Since then, Congress has placed limitations on irradiated meat in school lunches, but it is still served. You can guess why the government wants to “nuke” surplus meat—it is because it may be rotten.
With regard to the Trump changes, allowing 1% milk provides at least some acknowledgement that dairy fat is not bad. Even so, public officials continue to ignore the evidence indicating that whole dairy, as opposed to low-fat or non-fat, is the healthier option. Research has shown that consuming whole-fat dairy lowers the risk of diabetes, heart disease, bowel cancer, and causes less weight gain compared to low-fat and non-fat dairy. The federal government, as ever, is relying on outdated ideas pointing to saturated fat as the enemy, despite an abundance of current research that says otherwise.
Giving children flavored low-fat or non-fat milk just adds insult to injury. Flavored milk contains all kinds of additives like high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners like aspartame—a zero-calorie sweetener which Pepsi has just agreed to remove from its diet soda because of well-founded consumer concerns about safety. In addition, the chocolate in chocolate milk may interfere with calcium absorption, and this is true whether the chocolate is real or artificial.
As we reported earlier, the dairy industry has petitioned the FDA to allow them to include aspartame as an ingredient but not list it on the milk label, even though aspartame is very dangerous and potentially carcinogenic. Aspartame also decreases the ability of the body to absorb tryptophan, and reduces serotonin levels. Ten percent of aspartame is methanol which, when heated, converts to formaldehyde which, in turn, converts to formic acid—a product used to strip epoxy! A fine ingredient to feed our children on a daily basis!
In order to fix what’s wrong with school lunch, we must prioritize kids’ health over Big Food’s bottom line.
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13 thoughts on “Trump Changes School Lunch Rules—While Maintaining the Current Crony System”
…and then they serve the lunches on plastic trays with gender-bending chemicals and other hormone disruptors. What could possibly go wrong?
> Aspartame also decreases the ability of the body to absorb tryptophan
No wonder so many kids are getting depression and ADHD. I wonder what happens when parents refuse addictive prescription drugs… (that’s a rhetorical question)
Still Rumsfeld, whose company created aspartame before he went into the federal government, claims that aspartame is healthy. What an idiot.
The first phone call Reagan made from Oval Office overturned the decision of the FDA to allow Aspartame on the market regardless of the devastating results of safety testing on mammals.
Now there’s a new poison around that’s even more potent: Advantame. It’s derived from aspartame and similar to it in structure. Cancer, headaches, blurred vision, memory loss, personality changes, seizures, insomnia, skin rashes, muscle and joint pain and blindness.
It. Breaks. My. Heart.
If I were to make rules for school lunches: if it wasn’t around 300 years ago, it’s not food. (That would get rid of BPA-laced cups, plastic trays and GMOs.) The “balanced meal” dogma is an opening for corporate propaganda.
He’s making America his private cesspool. What a disgrace to our country this moron is.
Who is “he” ? School lunches rules and corruption flourished under Obama. Trump just let most of the crap stay, unfortunately. Every time he is trying to clean the swamp, liberals start tantrums.
I love our great President but he doesn’t know nutrition. He really should put someone in charge of the lunch program who does. Forget about crony capitalism. This is sometimes the only meal a child eats so it should be healthy and not full of carbs and grains.
I would like to think you mean REFINED carbs (not brown rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, spelt), and WHOLE grains like unrefined NON-GMO whole grain wheat (for those not gluten intolerant), right?
Hey Tom, It’s me, Suz , your buddy from Ridgewood. For kids, I’d definitely keep whole grains, like unrefined NON-GMO whole grain wheat (for those not gluten intolerant). But Dr. Peter Osborn says that all grains have gluten in them — a different form of gluten, not the same gluten as in wheat, rye, barley and oats. Look for me on Facebook if you’d like to chat.
So incredibly stupid. There will be many sick and low performing students because of this idiocy.
Get serious. “Sick and low performing students” has been the norm for years. And what can we expect when they are fed skinless white potatoes infused with bleached sodium and HFCS and corn starch, drenched in HFCS, MSG flavored catsup, the whole mess steeped in pesticides…and this counts as two “vegetables.” GMO corn-breaded, deep fried in canola oil farmed fish meal sticks are called “meat.” Canned hybrid peaches in corn syrup are considered a serving of “fruit.” How much nutrition is to be found in the dinner roll or white bread on the side? Precisely none, it’s pure insulin-raising junk starch.
We’ve gone from wondering why Johnny can perform the Three R’s to why he can barely remember to look both ways before stepping out into the street which his earbuds on.
The more things change the more they stay the same.
When I was a School Lunch Director in 1947 it was all about serving a well balanced Lunch. The government supplement was raw basic foods, flour, Peanut Butter, Chicken, Beef, Canned fruits and Veggies to name a few but after I retired in 1976 my fellow workers reported to me that the government was sending them a lot of deep fat fried chicken and the like. The government sets standards which are often broken when there is a promised to help fund a program. It’s plain to see it is all about our government making decisions that School Districts in the states should be making.
There is nothing on the food tray pictured which a real nutritionist would feed to his or her children, or eat themselves unless they were starving. Low natural fat, high carb/grain diets have been proven time and again by innumerable studies to result in Type II diabetes. (Once extremely rare, Type II used to be called Adult Onset Diabetes, until kids started developing it in droves.)
Boneheaded researchers are seeking cures to childhood diseases (such as morbid obesity and Type II, autism, ADHD, numerous cancers, a plethora of allergies and ailments practically unheard of in children 50 years ago) without asking the obvious question: What changed? What are kids now eating that they weren’t eating in 1960? What are they NOT consuming that used to be common fare in the middle of last century, before one in three kids got fat and perpetually sick? (Bacon and eggs, whole milk, cheese and butter, naturally raised meat and wild-caught fish, raw fruits and vegetables, even natural cane sugar [bad as it is it’s a far cry from aspartame and High Fructose Corn Sugar].
In the 1950s even a breakfast of Wheaties and a lunch of bologna and cheese sandwiches and milk contained very different macronutrients than what their modern day equivalents contain. Modified-strain high-gluten wheat, added HFCS, fat-reduced milk, less protein and more MSG, GMO soy filler and junk byproducts, denatured lettuce and hothouse tomatoes, imitation mayonnaise made with chemically restructured Omega 6 trans fats… These are not “food” in any traditional sense of the term, and the federal government’s involvement in nutrition, from that ridiculous ever-changing Food Pyramid to school lunch requirements, from the USDA to the FDA has been nothing less than a train wreck for American health.
Never fear, the pharmaceutical companies are working on solutions to these once non-existent childhood maladies even as you read these words, no need to look to quack food remedies for solutions. We’re still the best fed nation in the world, everybody knows that.