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09:29 AM on 11/16/2010
I make my kids lunch every day to assure they get a reasonably nutritious meal. It takes more planning and time, but I believe it as an investment in their future. Eating habits get established growing up, and kids that are overweight/obese will likely be overweight and obese as adults.

You can say it is a choice, but is it really for the kids? They and we all tend to eat what is close at hand when we are hungry, and if good options aren't close at hand what choice do they have? School lunches are close to a third of their calories, and as such are very important in establishing habits that could last a lifetime.

The problem with government taking a more active role in school nutrition, is that they so often get it wrong, and their recommendations are often politically based. However I do think there are some areas of consensus that are beginning to emerge and perhaps they can build on those.

Most agree that foods made with whole grains are healthier than foods made with refined grains. Most agree that whole fruits are healthier than sugar, refined flour, hydrogenated oil based snack foods (think girl scout cookies and equivalent). Most agree that nuts are healthier than potato chips. Most agree that too reasonably seasoned foods are better for us than over-salted and msg enhanced foods. Most agree that sugary drinks (including fruit juices) should be avoided entirely or at least consumed in moderation.
09:16 AM on 11/16/2010
This really needs to be passed...not only will it help the childrens' nutrition, but anyone who has investigated animal cruelty knows that lots of the items served come from factory farms in which animals are treated very badly, and while this plan won't solve the problem, I could definitely see it making a significant change.
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purenergy
08:42 AM on 11/16/2010
How serious can this administration be about correcting the obesity problem in American when Obama just appointed Catherine Woteki, former CEO of Mars, Inc., a multinational junk food corporation, as the USDA’s undersecretary for research, education, and economics?

"In her new role, Woteki will direct the U.S. government’s entire agricultural research budget. That means she will supervise Roger Beachy, head of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, who oversees the USDA’s billion-dollar-a-year competitive grants program. Beachy is a genetic scientist with strong ties to GM seed giant Monsanto; he is openly hostile to organic agriculture. At a time when U.S. farms desperately need to move toward more sustainable methods, federally supported agriculture research has fallen into the hands of a Monsanto man answering to a junk-food exec."
http://thefutureoffoodfilm.wordpress.com/2010/10/12/obama-taps-food-industry-exec-from-multinational-junk-food-giant-mars-inc-for-important-usda-post/

Really?
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J David Auner
The 3rd Amendment Rules - timeless.
12:39 PM on 11/16/2010
Don't look for much help from foundations. The food industry is very active and controls the actions of the foundation groups I have seen. A few independent foundations could do better but their "experts" tend to be academics who are funded by the food industry. There is obvious research to be done but the corporations committed to the present structures and chemicals don't want any change which will lower profits by even a little. This is a "bubble" which will also eventually break. Having some wholesome food stored may be a good idea for when these integrated systems collapse.
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purenergy
04:48 PM on 11/16/2010
I couldn't agree with you more if I had said it myself. I have an organic garden, backyard chickens, and a well on my property, so I try to be prepared. Plus, I just like fresh nutritious food...now, if I could just get a cow. How do you think it will collapse? And do you think it will be soon?
02:02 AM on 11/16/2010
Did you see Jamie Oliver's food revolution where the governement classified french fires as a vegitable? We should look at what Jamie Oliver did in that West Virgina town and implement it nationa wide, the money will be well spent.
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SusanElizabeth1949
My micro-bio may be empty but my head isn't.
08:48 PM on 11/16/2010
While not particularly healthy, french fries are made from potatoes -- last time I checked a potato was a vegetable.
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GraniteSkyline
I wish your happiness, or, bqhatevwr....
08:54 PM on 11/16/2010
Fun fact--corn is a whole grain and not a vegetable. I know--no one cares but me.
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bleubunny
Technically, we were beyond survival.
08:59 AM on 11/26/2010
They aren't good for you. Get over it!
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O K Ali
Wash your hands, seriously.
09:25 AM on 11/17/2010
The pizza for breakfast still makes my head spin.
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bleubunny
Technically, we were beyond survival.
08:59 AM on 11/26/2010
At my daughters school they feed all the kids corn dogs with syrup for breakfast! You think pizza is bad?
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Alfredo Zapata
12:07 AM on 11/16/2010
Ketchup is a vegetable...that's what the GOP says. When I was a kid, going to McDonald's was a treat, not a way of life. I ate my vegetables, even though mom boiled them to death. I have a much better appreciation for what is freshly prepared, non processed food. HFC in all our processed foods is helping to feed the nation's obesity problem. Why do I need HFC in my ketchup and pasta sauce?
07:11 AM on 11/16/2010
The gov't is not responsible for kids eating at McD's -- their parents are. Why? Because it doesn't appeal to most people without it. And HFC is not some horror ingredient - all things in moderation. If you want ketchup and pasta sauce without it - you can make it from scratch.
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Alfredo Zapata
08:09 AM on 11/16/2010
Non HFC foods are becoming more available everyday so no need for me to make ketchup from scratch but I do make my own pasta sauce.
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purenergy
08:33 AM on 11/16/2010
The problem with HFCS is that in moderation it "should" be fine, however, when EVERYTHING you consume has "some" HFCS in it, it quickly becomes excessive, especially if you are drinking sweetened drinks of any kind, including sodas, Gatorade, greet teas, fruit juice, and just about everything short of water that they sell in a convenient store. Its in the bread that you eat, soups, sauces, pancakes...That is how they "get you" they tell you it is safe in moderation and then you consume it excessively, but in small amounts all day long. The cumulative effect is terrible. Also, HFCS has been proven in studies to increase the growth of cancerous tumors and is a contributing factor in the onset of type2 diabetes and obesity. So, while I agree, its not the governments responsibility to direct our eating choices, it IS their responsibility to prevent these harmful products from entering into our food supply. At the very least, they could keep this crap out of out kids lunches.
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07:30 PM on 11/15/2010
Im tired of our teenage boys living on pizza and nachos.
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purenergy
08:34 AM on 11/16/2010
Don't forget the extruded MSG laden meat slurry they pass of as "chicken bites", yuck.
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smilinggreenmom
03:31 PM on 11/14/2010
YES!!! Keeping our kids safe and giving them the nutrition they need to grow up healthy should be high priority! It frustrates me when schools say that the kids won't eat it, they throw the healthy stuff out. It just takes some time and the more opportunities our kids have to be around and consume healthy whole foods - the more they "get it". Our kids actually prefer and request things like Kamut Wheat pancakes, couscous, red and orange peppers are their fav veggies, and pomegranates. Our daughter took pomegranate to school the other day and came home to tell me that one of the office ladies asked her what she was eating...had never tried it herself, and my daughter gave her some to try!!! The office lady LOVED them!!! i thought that was awesome. Our kids can and will enjoy these nutritious choices, but not with adults deciding for them in advance that "kids won't eat it" Oh I h ope this gets passed!
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Alfredo Zapata
12:10 AM on 11/16/2010
I have a pomegranate in my fruit bowl! Love them. I am dismayed that the pomegranate growers have oversold their health benefits but it sure beats eating a big grab bag of Cheetos! (I do love Cheetos btw!)
07:12 AM on 11/16/2010
If you serve that in school cafeterias it will get thrown out
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bleubunny
Technically, we were beyond survival.
09:01 AM on 11/26/2010
If it's go hungry or eat a pomegranate then fine let them go hungry.
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GraniteSkyline
I wish your happiness, or, bqhatevwr....
01:36 PM on 11/14/2010
My son's school is very strict about what kinds of snacks we can send to school for parties--no cookies or brownies or cake. And yet one of the options on th breakfast menu is pop tarts. What the ...?

Kind of a mixed message, don't you think? Homemade sugary products--bad! Commercially produced sugar and fat laden products--good!
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GirlFriday123
We all live downstream.
04:08 PM on 11/15/2010
Kind of dovetails nicely with the 'Good for Corporate America - good, Good for Middle America - bad' theme that seems to be prevailing this century.
07:13 AM on 11/16/2010
It is likely a liability issue - food poisoning or contaminated food.
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whyus
San Francisco native
12:19 AM on 11/14/2010
Yes, by all means pass this bill and a few more too in the lame duck session. For heaven's sake, WHAT do you have to lose now? This is the time.
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Michael Mouton
11:57 PM on 11/13/2010
When I was in middle school, I often drank a soda for breakfast and for lunch I had two large choc. chip cookies, or a cookie and fries, and a soda. I'm an adult now, my mother still doesn't know.
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07:31 PM on 11/15/2010
She does now.
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Alfredo Zapata
12:14 AM on 11/16/2010
I'm curious, did you at the time think you were being naughty for eating those foods? What would have happened if your mother found out? Did your mother not give you those kinds of foods to eat? I remember tht we always had Chips Ahoy and Oreo's in the house, but also apples and oranges and lots of veggies. Did you not have those things available? Just asking.
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Michael Mouton
12:52 AM on 11/16/2010
It's what pretty much everyone I knew did; and I didn't hang out with bad kids, I was in the orchestra.

My mother would've been upset but not terribly upset.

We didn't really eat fruit, and vegetables we ate only a few times a weeks with dinner. And dessert was always a necessity, usually cookies, ice cream,etc. As a kid I thought I was entitled to at least one soda a day, based on how I was raised--so that's what we drank with dinner.
06:42 PM on 11/13/2010
Food education and obesity prevention should be held as high in importance of education as drugs, alcohol, and smoking. School food is pure junk, but truthfully most household diets and lifestyles aren't much better. A mother wrote in to me about her daughters weight gain and it was an eye opener:http://www.angrytrainerfitness.com/2010/10/ask-alfonso-tween-temptations/
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mgray34
ACA is working. Now what GOP?
11:45 AM on 11/13/2010
Republicans and Democrats only agree on it until the President gets on board, and then the GOP will obstruct as usual.
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Michael F. Jacobson
02:10 PM on 11/13/2010
Surprisingly, and disappointingly, it's been Democratic opposition in the House that has slowed this legislation down. But now that the White House has said that passage is a top priority and that the president will work to get funding restored to the food stamp program, Democrats and probably most Republicans are in favor of the bill. Time is running out, but there's still a chance the bill will be passed--and more children will have access to more healthful food.
04:37 AM on 11/14/2010
favoreeted agree
09:53 AM on 11/13/2010
The school I was in was considered to be in a low blue collar working area......Over 70% of the families were in poverty......Lets see let the kids starve, throw them out of school, or be gererous and be human....FEED THE KIDS, A NO BRAINER.
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bleubunny
Technically, we were beyond survival.
09:04 AM on 11/26/2010
You forgot about the companies producing the foods they eat now. The processed food companies won't like this bill. They'll be sending their army of lobbyists to Washington to plunk down large bags of money on congresses desks.
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JayZee
Biofilm Slayer
09:00 AM on 11/13/2010
Food science should also be taught to young students.
09:44 AM on 11/13/2010
You know it......forgotten common knowledge.....How bad, I will tell you....after time in school ....few kids even wash their hands before they shovel down their lunch.
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Michael F. Jacobson
02:00 PM on 11/13/2010
Well, the "science" that I would teach young students is gardening and cooking. Too few kids (and too few of their parents) can even bake a potato.
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Adam616
bweh
08:17 AM on 11/13/2010
DON'T DO IT, AMERICA! Up here in Canada, we have governmental (TYRANNY!) agencies continously monitoring the food served to OUR children in OUR schools! Parents are finding it increasingly difficult to give THEIR OWN CHILDREN (TYRANNY!) the tasty, fatty foods that they so naturally crave. Our obesity level is 17% lower than yours because of so-called "healthy eating" (TYRANNY!) standards set by our government.

It's too late for us, America, but YOU can still avoid THE TYRANNY of healthy food!!!
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JayZee
Biofilm Slayer
08:55 AM on 11/13/2010
lolz!
and the tyranny of universal healthcare!
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Michael F. Jacobson
02:02 PM on 11/13/2010
Canadians, don't be too smug! Subsidized school meals are practically unheard of in Canada.
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Adam616
bweh
03:45 PM on 11/13/2010
That's because we feed our kids instead of sending them to die in countries we've no quarrel with.