A few days ago I came across a story published on The Blaze, an online source for news stories, portraying public school students’ disgust with the most recent changes in the National School Lunch Program. These changes were initiated by Michelle Obama as an effort to reduce childhood obesity by increasing the amount of fruits, vegetables and whole grains served at lunch, as well as reducing the sodium content of meals.
Using the powers of social media, one million public school students decided to capture photos of their unpalatable school lunch and Tweet their hatred away. Michelle Obama appears to be taking the brunt of this one, as she was consistently tweeted at and blamed for these putrid lunches. I have to say, the lunches do indeed look pathetic.
But Michelle Obama is not the one to be blaming here.
Blame the school foodservice directors and managers. They are the ones purchasing the foods and developing the meal ideas. As a former (like 2009, former) dietetic undergraduate student, I completed a semester long food service practicum at a local public elementary school to learn the ins and outs of school foodservice. The foodservice manager is responsible for creating meals that meet the nutritional guidelines determined by the USDA. Meals have to include a certain amount of fruits, vegetables, grains, etc. To enforce this, there are regional surveyors who check each school to make sure meals are within compliance.
However, some schools fall through the cracks or don’t always serve what they probably should be serving.
That is the food service manager’s fault – not Michelle Obama’s. If you kids want change in the lunchroom, you would be wise to take it up with the people who really control your food.
The Blaze reportedly strives to put principles above politics. Could have fooled me.