School Boards Discuss Lunch Menu Changes & Congress Reports
LATEST NEWS ITEMS ABOUT SCHOOL LUNCH
Bloomberg Reports | New snack rules begin July 2014. giving schools and suppliers time to adjust to the requirements that promote foods high in whole grains, dairy, fruits and vegetables
The “Smart Snacks in School” standards released by the USDA eliminate the candy, sweets, cakes and cookies from school lunches and snack machines. The new options include peanuts, light popcorn and fruit cups. Elementary and middle school children can drink water, milk and juice, while high school students also will be offered beverages with 60 calories or fewer in a 12-ounce serving.
The guidelines don’t apply to foods sold after school or brought from home. Bake sales, fundraisers and sweet treats at parties are still allowed.
WHO IS PCRM?
An organization that seeks to improve lives through lifestyle changes and innovative programs. Originally a small group of doctors and scientists has grown to thousands. They have expanded to include concerned citizens and health care workers; and now boast 150,000 members.
Compassionate medicine that stops torturing life forms, as instituted in unethical research methods of old. Ban the use of animals for military training and experimentation. Banishing toxicology tests in animals to predict human health effects. I'm even shocked to hear that an organization promotes a completely healthy vegan diet, in order to act humanly to animals on earth.
- PCRM has led the way for reforms of federal nutrition policies.
- Our clinical research programs are breaking new ground in diabetes, cancer, and other serious conditions.
- PCRM’s Cancer Project has provided vital information to tens of thousands of people.
- The New Four Food Groups is PCRM’s innovative proposal for a federal nutrition policy that puts a new priority on health.
- Our public service announcement series features medical experts on prevention and health.
PCRM is a nonprofit 501c3 organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.
School Lunches Under Investigation
PCRM is on a campaign to change the menus in schools across the country and eventually the world. We will be hearing the call of the physicians in this organization more each year as the momentum builds. Children will learn what's in the foods (non-foods) they presently find on their plates, in the cupboards and on store shelves.
Inch by inch we will see the movement to change school lunches. Celebrities, movie stars and sports heroes will join the movement and represent this organization.
Their approach to "preventative" medicine begins with nutrition and compassionate care. They plan to hit the root cause of poor health in America, which resides in government and industry that has powerful influence in the system over many decades. They provide messages of hope that children, teens and adults can attain improved health and eliminate diseases like obesity and diabetes with a few simple steps and lifestyle changes.
We will hear arguments on both sides of the aisle. The 'tree-huggers' will be on the side of the vegan plant based diet, while the old-school advocates want their meat, potatoes and milk products.
Children can love to eat healthy, I think it will take time for everyone to realize and learn how to empower parents and children. Maybe food preparation classes will spring up in school curricula?
The big questions will concern the costs involved.
- Renovating kitchens
- Hiring and training staff
- Menu plans
- Purchasing fresh (hopefully organic) foods
- Training Health Teachers to educate students
- Building food source networks
- Loss of contracts with established companies and food service providers
- Instituting new laws
- How much food gets thrown out now and what about perishable live foods?
The next big questions will concern who makes the decisions.
- Will children voice their opinions to approve the menus?
- Will children get to taste foods and make selections first?
- Will parents get to taste samples and be on committees?
- Will most families resort to bag lunches?
- Will teachers have a say?
- Will school board members have the final vote?
- Will state legislators make the determination based upon personal likes and favors or vote bias free?
- Will the school menu changes be based on state or federal law?
- Will the Dairy and Meat Councils have any sway?
President Neal Barnard, MD Speaks
Skim Milk Scam
When business, government and industry market foods good for you healthy "health foods" we must investigate the truth. Why do they send this message and how have things changed? Humans have been eating whole foods for millennia, what has happened that we have become so smart the past few decades that these God given foods no longer can be considered the best and most health giving to our bodies? We have never been more obese, disease ridden and unhealthy in all of human history.
Check out this explanation "If you drink skim milk, you will be missing out on the satiating, blood sugar and insulin steadying affects of saturated fat, so your body will automatically give you sugar and carb (grains) cravings to make up for it."
The Got Milk Campaign infiltrated our psyche and every parent believed that milk builds healthy children and strengthens bones. But, these physicians rethink that theory and tell us that dark green leafy greens will actually help build bones, along with some sunshine. This means we will have to let kids out for recess to play outside to run around, de-stress, get exercise and promote healthy brain and heart.
We're getting a completely new type of education through the PCRM messages. Instead of industry, we're taking a look at some scientific facts. The path of high dairy, salty foods, high non-healthy fats has gotten us into this pickle. Take it from the cows that produce the milk. Moo. We can change.
- Exercise, weight bearing
- Dark leafy greens
- Vitamin D
- High salt content (sodium)
- Phosphoric Acid in sodas
- Proteins like meat and milk
- Caffeine in sodas and coffee
How It Works:
- The U.S. National Library of Medicine's Medline Plus lists a number foods rich in protein, including milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs, poultry, fish and meat. These high-protein foods also often contain significant amounts of the mineral phosphorus, the Linus Pauling Institute reports. The phosphorus content in protein-rich foods can diminish the amount of calcium you lose in your urine. However, phosphorus also increases the calcium content of your digestive juices, leading to a loss of calcium in your feces. Source
Personal Message About Soybeans
They will be recommending soybean milk in place of cows milk.
Personally, I feel that almond and hemp milk would be a better substitute. I do eat healthy fermented soy products like miso soup and tempeh. Tofu has estrogenic effects and in large quantities may not be healthy and could possibly lead to hormone problems and even cancer.
However, it may be that when eaten from childhood, tofu may be acceptable in the body. I will have to do a lot more research to make a determination. I would err on the side of caution, because I would not want an increase in cancer cases in the decades following the replacement of milk to soybean milk. I also believe that most soybean may be GMO and this could also be a problem
Dairy Alternatives - Rich Calcium Sources
- Vegetables and greens: High in calcium try turnip greens, mustard greens, collard greens, kale, romaine lettuce, celery, broccoli, fennel, cabbage, summer squash, green beans, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and crimini mushrooms.
- Beans: Learn to prepare dishes with black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, white beans, black-eyed peas, or baked beans.
- Herbs and spices: Add home-grown basil, thyme, dill weed, cinnamon, peppermint leaves, garlic, oregano, rosemary, and parsley to your dishes.
- Other foods: More good sources of calcium include salmon, tofu, oranges, almonds, sesame seeds, blackstrap molasses, and sea vegetables.
Rise In Lactose Intolerance & Other Effects
Today's populations have seen dramatic increases in food allergies, Crohn's disease, diabetes, obesity and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Our foods have been contaminated and tainted through mass production, the introduction of antibiotics and other drugs, plus pesticides and insecticides in the animal feed and our own foods.
If we could return to organic agricultural practices and produce milk on small farms with compassionate care methods, production of fresh yogurts and cheese eaten in moderate amounts (and even some whole milk) would probably still be a healthy food.
In the meantime, we have to be concerned with these effects of consuming dairy.
- High in saturated fat. We are told a diet high in saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease and that we must switch to low-fat products. Because these are not WHOLE FOODS, I personally do not feel they are healthy based upon the manufacturing processes. Raw milk would be much healthier, especially goat's milk, which is closest to human milk in composition. Healthy Omega-3 fats are available from plant sources such as olive oil and avocados.
- Most milk contains high levels of estrogen. Some studies show a possible link between the natural estrogens found in milk and breast, prostate, and testicular cancer, which rely on sex hormones to grow. Part of the problem is modern dairy practices, where the cows are continuously pregnant and milked over 300 days per year. The more pregnant the cow, the higher the hormones in the milk. Despite being labeled “hormone-free” organic milk can still be high in natural hormones.
- Lactose intolerant people cannot digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and milk products. Symptoms range from mild to severe, and include cramping, bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Beyond the discomfort it causes, lactose intolerance can also interfere with calcium absorption from dairy. Certain groups are much more likely to have lactose intolerance: 90 percent of Asians, 70 percent of blacks and Native Americans, and 50 percent of Hispanics are lactose intolerant, compared to about 15 percent of Caucasians.
Redefinitions To Change Perceptions
In my previous Hubpages on Inane Dumb Decisions, I covered a number of school menu items including ketchup, pizza and french fries. Congress has been studying these staple items on US kids plates for their nutritional value and as culprits in rising epidemics of obesity, diabetes, ADD and other disorders.
While its true that specific items on the menu contribute to ill health, I feel that we must start further back in the food chain. Let's look back further than the end of the lunch line. We must go to the processing plants and the entire food system. We must head to the fields and farms. We must review the seed plants and consider the both the amount and types of sugar, salt and fat that goes into our bodies.
Change The Name Its All The Same
Redefinition and name changing tricks the reader and target audience into thinking standards, appearances, statistics and data look the way someone intends and causes confusion. You might throw up your hands at this point and let someone else make the decisions for you. But, wait! That's your children who will bear the brunt of these decisions. We must face them directly.
We must teach everyone to examine and read the labels for food and household products. In addition, we must fight for the right to have all ingredients labeled, so we have full disclosure.
As a side note, 80 Percent of Public Schools Have Contracts With Coke or Pepsi" which means instituted promotion of sugary drinks to children. Under the existing 10-year school-industry contract, Coca-Cola paid the district $4 million upfront and an additional $350,000 a year to sell its beverages in schools. School districts ethically crumble under this type of financial incentive in order to fund field trips, gym uniforms, SMART Boards and fill in their annual budgets.
What About Meatless Monday?
GMO JOURNAL REPORT | Watch those Tweets on Twitter. Sometimes people make a blunder. Here's one from the meat industry that endorsed Meatless Monday, and deleted it on Tuesday. “USDA does not endorse Meatless Monday. Statement found on USDA website was posted w/o proper clearance. It has been removed.”
Student Lunch Revolution
When a school implements changes to the system overnight without enough thought about the repercussions a backlash of reactions can temper the rules.
Students not only found the improved menu items, but, in addition a cap on caloric intake. Now, this does not take into consideration the variety in body structure, weight, gender and activities of all these students. A person in a lower grade may not require the same calories as a student in an upper grade, or just compare the athlete who's outdoors expending energy to the computer major who spends the majority of time sitting at a desk.
I wonder how to solve this discrepancy in the needs of each student? Read the story of high school and middle school students boycotting the cafeteria. Can you believe the school district entertained the idea of an increased lunch price all while changing the menus and the calorie restrictions?
- High School Boycott | 70% of the 830 students who buy lunch at Mukwonago High School in Wisconsin boycotted the school’s cafeteria.
As we evolve and lose our health, we examine the foods in our diet and what we feed our children. Let's take a closer look at an action organization PCRM promoting a vegan school lunch menu, removing milk from kid's plates and legislative action before Congress.
About the Author
Debby Bruck, CHOM loves to write about a variety of health and environment topics. She passionately attempts to educate the public on current events and issues that effects our lives. Debby founded Homeopathy World Community, a social network of professional homeopaths enlightening the world to the healing powers of homeopathy and hosts numerous radio shows and also a live stream video show each Monday. Follow Debby on Twitter
Contact Debby: If you have any further questions she is always happy to talk with you.
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Over half of the world's 2007 soybean crop (58.6%) was genetically modified, a higher percentage than for any other crop. Each year, EU Member States import approximately 40 million tonnes of soy material, primarily destined for use as cattle, swine, and chicken feed. Soybeans are also used to produce many food additives. Source
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