Ag secretary: make cafeteria meat loaf great again

Wednesday, May 24, 2017
 | 
Bob Kellogg (OneNewsNow.com)

Obama, First LadyThe federal government is rolling back unpopular nutrition standards lauded by Michelle Obama and a pediatrician gives the new plan mixed reviews.

The changes announced in early May by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue are meant to entice students to eat cafeteria food again after their Obama-era meals famously ended up in cafeteria dumpsters.

But the idea to make meals more appetizing so they're not thrown away is shortsighted, says Dr. Rosemary Stein of the Christian Medical and Dental Association.

"Not a bad thought," she says of the idea. "But in the end what we're actually doing is we're decreasing the standards on unacceptable meals already."

Schools can request an exemption from requirements demanding more whole grains and less sodium, The New York Times reported.

Back in 2015, a New York Times story describing frustrations with the mandated meals reported: 

Consider that in France, where the childhood obesity rate is the lowest in the Western world, a typical four-course school lunch (cucumber salad with vinaigrette, salmon lasagna with spinach, fondue with baguette for dipping and fruit compote for dessert) would probably not pass muster under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, because of the refined grains, fat, salt and calories. 

The rollback of regulations was cheered by the School Nutrition Association, which stated it has been asking for more flexibility to serve meals that are both "nutritious and palatable," the story stated.

Beyond a debate over healthy-versus-tasty meals, Stein says the federal government needs to stop being a dietician and let local schools and parents decide what should be served at lunch.

"Our children do best when the parents are involved," she tells OneNewsNow. "And our children will do best when we leave the decision making to the local figures and not to the national figures."

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