E - The Environmental Magazine
December 4, 2012 (San Diego) – Dear EarthTalk: What are the new nutrition standards for school lunches that have some students boycotting their cafeterias and discarding the food?
-- Melissa Makowsky, Trenton, NJ
Indeed, some 31 million American kids participating in the federally supported National School Lunch Program have been getting more whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables in their diets—whether they like it or not. The change is due to new school meal standards unveiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) last January, per the order of 2010’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The new standards are based on the Institute of Medicine’s science-based recommendations, and are the first upgrade to nutritional standards for school meals since 1995 when low- and no-fat foods were all the rage.
Calls provision allowing school lunch equipment purchases "wasteful spending"
August 31, 2010 (Washington D.C.) – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-El Cajon) , a member of the House Education and Labor Committee, voted against sending H.R. 5504, the Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act, to the full House for consideration.
The bill aims to make school lunches more nutritious and get junk food out of schools. The goal is to improve children's health and cut down on childhood obesity, a national epidemic. From 1980 to 2009, childhood obesity in America has tripled--and poor nutritional habits are largely to blame. In California, 30.5% of all children are obese, putting them at higher risk of diabetes and heart problems later on.