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School Boards Discuss Lunch Menu Changes & Congress Reports

Updated on May 2, 2014


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.


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?

Is there a God? Maybe It's TV?
Is there a God? Maybe It's TV? | Source

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."

Got Milk?

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.

Strength Bones:

  • Exercise, weight bearing
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Sunshine
  • Vitamin D

Deplete Bones:

  • High salt content (sodium)
  • Phosphoric Acid in sodas
  • Inactivity
  • Proteins like meat and milk
  • Fosamax
  • 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.”

Lunch Mandates
Lunch Mandates

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.

All rights reserved © copyright Debby Bruck 2012 Google


Are You In Favor Of Changing Lunch Menu?

What's your opinion about removing milk from school lunch?

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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

Disclaimer: This Information is Educational Only

  • The information on this blogsite is posted for educational purposes only, and not intended to constitute medical or legal advice. As with any important medical or legal matter, you are advised to consult an experienced health care provider and/or knowledgeable attorney concerning your specific health & vaccine exemption or waiver concerns.
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Got Milk On Lunch Menu Comments

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    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      3 years ago

      I gave up milk many years ago. However, if you can find a raw milk provider that might be a better choice because it has all the live food benefits. You could make your own yogurt and cheese. I'm sure it would be delicious.

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      3 years ago

      Hi Jackie - Since writing this hub, I believe there have been further conversations on how to improve school lunches. Since kids are addicted to salt, sugar and fats -- the traditional American food fair of burgers (with soy), French fries and pizza - it will take innovative thinking to get kids not to throw away the salads, fruits and vegetables or not make them a first choice. Some school are instituting SCHOOL ORGANIC GARDENS to have children get closer to their food; feel the joy of planting and harvesting; and taste fresh colorful foods. Blessings, Debby

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      This sounds like a great thing for kids. I mean if kids have some choices in fruits and veggies surely they can form new habits. I have heard so many bad thongs on milk I guess I may have to give it up!

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      5 years ago

      Dear R Talloni ~ Thank you for taking precious time to post your thoughts on the kids lunch menu issue. The most important message, "that kids will throw the good food in the trash" and "take junk food" tells me that the answer will be in a re-education, a sociological approach. Classes where students go into the kitchen laboratory and prepare colorful organic meals, learn where the food originates, prepare the table and taste the foods with their friends. Make it social. Make it fun. Make it yummy.

    • RTalloni profile image


      5 years ago from the short journey

      Such an interesting post. Love that you included Heather Morgan's quote with the information you provide here.

      This caught my eye for more than one reason. Recently, I was talking with a relative who is a Director of Child Nutrition for a major food services company. She explained how carefully they follow government regulations and work with schools across the country to provide the chance to give children safe, nutritional meals. It is very detailed work that includes interaction with a wide variety of employees in many facilities.

      The sad truth, though, is that the kids will take what they must take from the lunch lines to get their free meal, perhaps an apple and a healthy drink, then take junk food onto their trays. They then throw the good food in the trash as they walk out to eat the junk food. It was very interesting to hear about the way all the efforts go down the drain.

      Obviously, the solution is not to have any junk food available to them, but there are regulations about that, too, and individual schools work with the big companies that produce junk foods, as you mention. Regulations and mandates are very limited in their effectiveness.

      Parents have the most impact on the situation, either through neglect or through attention to the problems/needs. Efforts to educate parents and kids on what good nutrition is are important!

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      6 years ago

      Dear Shining ~ Many thanks for compliment to Hubpages. As a teen in high school, we used to have fresh apple vending machines. They were removed as the years went by. I believe the infiltration of big business pay backs to desperate school systems in need of funding contributed to the blatant disregard for the welfare of students health. Instead, they partnered with local fast food companies for lunch provisions; and soda pop and candy machines were instituted as snack machines. How to get back to natural foods? Only the parents can petition and lend their support. Or else, the students can start protesting. Blessings, Debby

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      6 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Debbie - What a fine job you did with this hub. Something needs to be done. The vending machines and beveraged in our schools need to be replaced with healthy snacks. Giving children a choice of only healthy snacks will encourage better eating habits to last a lifetime. I don't always have the faith that our Federal and State reps. will do, or can do the right thing but I am keeping the faith.

      I'm sharing this important hub.

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      6 years ago

      Dear Sue ~ Almost all the corn you purchase today is Genetically Modified GMO, unless it specifically says on the package organic. The same for all products with soy hidden in them. It's up to us to educate the public. Blessings, Debby

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi Debby

      Thank you for this very useful and important hub.

      I always remember my dad saying cow's milk is for baby cows and not humans.

      A few weeks ago I bought some popping corn, the kind you pop yourself. I ended up throwing it out when I found the brand that I bought was genetically modified.


      Voted up and away!

      Take care :)

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      6 years ago

      Dear Marlene ~ It will take all of us together to move this effort forward. Talk about it, blog about it and ask questions. My children made their own lunch bags when they got old enough. My youngest daughter was home this summer and asked me to pack her a lunch to take to work. As an act of love and caring, it gave me pleasure to put together something nutritious. It sent a message beyond the food because the act of packing came from the heart. Even if both parents work, it's a little thing that can be done the night before and put into the fridge. Blessings, Debby

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      6 years ago from USA

      When I look at the lunch boxes served to our children today, I am deeply disturbed and wonder what happened to the good, healthy food that was served when I went to school. My children are grown now, but they actually didn't like the school lunches and were happy to bring their own, healthier lunches. I am happy to see awareness movements and hope schools everywhere begin incorporating healthier lunches. I want the best for my grandchildren. Sending children to school to eat unhealthy lunches is unacceptable. I was fortunate that I was a "stay-at-home" mom and had the time to help my kids pack their lunches, but many parents are not as fortunate and depend on the school to provide lunches for their children. My hope is that schools everywhere will get the message and get on a program to provide the nutrition our children require to stay healthy. Great hub - most informative.

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      6 years ago

      Dear Ciel ~ Something tells me you were out-of-the-ordinary unusual kid. The original root beer from sarsaparilla bark sounds delightful with rich flavor and I can see why this would be your choice. Artichokes! Well, what a surprise, although I eat them often now, as an adult.

      My mom packed us kids lunch, and I packed all my kids lunches with nutritious left overs from our dinners or some favorites like tuna on rye and little love notes tucked in the lunchbox. I'd have little packets of raisins, nuts, cheese slices, fresh fruit and celery sticks with cream cheese or peanut butter. I think the other kids used to check out what would be packed neatly into their bag. I tried to be creative and make it tasty and fun.

      I love the Montessori system and sent my little ones there for pre-school. Thanks for writing.

    • Ciel Clark profile image

      Ciel Clark 

      6 years ago from USA

      Debby --I taught at a Montessori school for a while and one of the things we were required by state law to do was approve kids' lunches --no cafeteria so they all brought from home. I believe this was to insure of at least one good meal. The only incident I remember was one mother who felt cheese doodles filled the dairy/protein category, jello for fruit, and mayonnaise on white bread sandwiches. My 13 year old is a very particular eater, but every year a few more things go on his list. I remember telling my dad (maybe around age 7) if I had to choose one drink and one food forever it would be root beer and artichokes.

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      6 years ago

      Hello Melis Ann Mom on a Health Hunt ~ Many thanks for sharing this Hub on School Lunches. It certainly took a lot of time to consolidate all the information herein. You know how it is when you start at one point and branch out to learn more about the subject. You end up learning so much and want to share with others. Actually, sometimes you want to shout out from the mountain top so that people can hear your voice. Maybe it will end up as a whisper down in the valley and someone will look up and wonder. More people must question the status quo and take action through self education, critical thinking and self determination about what they feed their body and soul in today's world. Blessings, Debby

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      6 years ago

      Hello Ciel ~ I appreciate hearing personal stories and experiences on this topic. We, as parents, are responsible for the health of our children. What we feed them on their plates and in their minds will determine their future and outlook on life. Receiving whole natural products will connect them to the earth, the environment and community. I'll have to check out Jamie Oliver. We can applaud and be grateful for the leaders and "Johnny Appleseeds" of our time. Let's stick together to make this world a better place. Hugs, Debby

    • Ciel Clark profile image

      Ciel Clark 

      6 years ago from USA

      Love this hub!! I am appalled for our kids, bombarded with terrible food (fat salt sugar) that is connected to characters they love from books, cartoons and movies, and... the Olympics?

      And why toys with food?? Eat bad food and you get a toy! Great mental implant for children-- our most precious resources.

      Thank you dvr. My young son does watch certain programs, but not commercials.

      I am embarrassed that fast food is connected to the Olympic games. What kind of message does this send to kids??

      We recently had a guest who was annoyed that at his son's school the son is now required to take one fruit and one vegetable at lunch. (Not forced to eat anything, just to put it on the tray). How is that bad? Most of the kids will eat it!

      The really bad thing is that kids are offered foods that are not healthy on a daily basis.

      Offer them only healthy tasty food, and they will eat it. The other stuff should be planned and occasional. Ok, sorry-- starting to rant! Wonderful topic and check out Jamie Oliver-- one person who helped to change English school food. He did try to help here is US schools... Not sure how that ended.

    • Melis Ann profile image

      Melis Ann 

      6 years ago from Mom On A Health Hunt

      A very big issue which you have tackled wonderfully. So much to understand in the climate of school lunches and how it's linked to politics. Sharing this with my followers as we approach the new school year.

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      6 years ago

      Dear Teaches ~ Avoiding the sugars and salts will help. However, we must have healthy fats to keep our bodies well oiled. Thus, omega-3s found in avocado, olive oil, coconut oils and other foods will be most beneficial. Some people take a spoonful each day! Hugs, Debby

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      This is quite interesting. I didn't realize they were looking at changing the school lunch programs once again. I agree that milk is a product that is not necessary to our health and well being. I find that avoiding fats, sugars and salts make a difference to our body and mental well being. Processed food is never acceptable as food for young children. Great article and so well done.

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      6 years ago

      Hello Chip. I'm thinking the kitchens may have to be redesigned to accommodate more refrigerator space for storing fresh foods, food processors for chopping vegetables, can you imagine Vitamix blenders to make 'smoothies' for the kids? Wow! I'm on a roll for thinking up a whole new approach to feeding children at school. Fresh salads, bowls of fruit in season, Ezekial sprouted breads, toasters for the kids to pop in, with humus dips and sprouts to make their own sandwiches and salad mixes. The environment can change completely. Thanks for that impromptu question. Blessings, Debby

    • WD Curry 111 profile image

      WD Curry 111 

      6 years ago from Space Coast

      What is your tolerance for dumb questions? Why do you need to renovate the kitchens? Are they old, or is it for the preparation process? If it is just to redesign them for preparation then you might be able to make do, put them on the back burner and focus on menu changes.

      Vegans, bless their heart, might need to realize that the best they can do with the general public is to improve the diet for now. To start with, they will be making progress if they can get most schools to quit qualifying pizza as a vegetable.

      Here in my county, we are having an easier time of it. The changes are being initiated by the scool board.


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