School lunch is a major topic of discussion these days. Whether it is Michelle Obama fighting against childhood obesity, Jamie Oliver on TV with his Food Revolution show or the anonymous educator on Twitter (@fedupwithlunch) who takes pictures of school food, people have come to understand that this issue can no longer be ignored.
If I had children and sent them to NYC public schools, I shudder to think what they would be served at lunch.
Well, the New York Times recently did an article on this very subject and revealed quite a bit.
It portrayed the school system’s administrators, chefs and nutritionists as very aware of the problem and attempting to make improvements.
While it is unrealistic to expect changes to take place overnight, the food still falls very, very short of being something that I would feel comfortable having my child eat.
1) Organic food is very absent Nowhere did I read that organic food was being served to the children. Even if they are not getting mystery meat, they are getting food that is filled with pesticides, genetically-modified organisms and artificial growth hormones (for the meat).
The bodies of children are at a critical stage, and they need the healthiest food available.
2) Organic milk is very absent As I have written about before, organic milk is absolutely essential for kids for a variety of reasons.
When people ask me what is the one organic product that families should absolutely have in the house, I always say organic milk for the kids. Why?
Non-organic milk is pumped with artificial bovine growth hormones, and many people suspect that this is the reason why children are reaching puberty at such an early age.
Yet shockingly, the schools continue to serve it.
3) Not enough greens The article does acknowledge that this is a problem and it is one that I hear from parents all of the time. A great way to address this problem is to get kids into juicing at an early age.
While there are some great examples of organic food being served is schools, such as the Berkeley (California) School District’s requirement that school cafeterias serve organic food to its 9,500 students, it is the exception rather than the rule. We need to push hard to make it the rule and do whatever is necessary to make this happen.