February 26, 2009

Why do our taxes pay for unhealthy fast food in schools?

One of the worst lunches our children eat is at school. The government through the National School Lunch Program promotes extremely poor food choices.

Our taxes pay for $9 billion worth of processed cheese, high-fat, meats, chicken nuggets and pizza, ready to be thawed and reheated. How good can these foods be? The value is 20 cents a meal.

This is shameful in America. This is wasteful in America. And this is terribly unhealthy in America.

You must read the Op-Ed section of the NY Times to understand this problem.

THIS new era of government bailouts and widespread concern over wasteful spending offers an opportunity to take a hard look at the National School Lunch Program. Launched in 1946 as a public safety net, it has turned out to be a poor investment.

When school districts allow fast-food snacks in the lunchroom they provoke widespread ire, and rightfully so. But food distributed by the National School Lunch Program contains some of the same ingredients found in fast food, and the resulting meals routinely fail to meet basic nutritional standards. Yet this is how the government continues to “help” feed millions of American schoolchildren, a great many of them from low-income households.

Many nutrition experts believe that it is possible to fix the National School Lunch Program by throwing a little more money at it. But without healthy food (and cooks and kitchens to prepare it), increased financing will only create a larger junk-food distribution system. We need to scrap the current system and start from scratch. More...

No comments: