The Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act, as the Senate bill is known, is also unpopular with people who think adding about 6 cents per lunch is not nearly enough to update an outmoded program — people like real food pioneer Alice Waters, who thinks the number should be more like $5 more per lunch. (It's about $3 per lunch now, with most of the cost going to labor and overhead.)Sorry kids, apparently Congress is too scared of people who 'don't want Washington spending my money' to spend more money on your school lunch program AND maintain proposed future increases in food stamps.
In any event, Congress will recess next week until after the elections.
The Senate bill boosts spending by $4.5 billion over 10 years. It directs USDA to develop new nutrition standards that emphasize a variety of foods, not just nutrient targets. Right now, Vitamin C-fortified gummy bears can stand in for an orange.
The House bill is more generous, but as Time magazine's Healthland Blog points out, even if the House passes it's bill, it wouldn't make it to the Senate until next year or later — at which point, whole new budget issues may surface.
So your parents may have more money on their food stamp cards to buy Velveeta and Wonderbread but your school lunch lady (if she hasn't already been outsourced) will only have a bit more than a nickle per meal more than today to try and undue decades of crap thinking about the nutrition you need during the day.
What's that? You think the parents should have more responsibility for this anyway? Well, I agree with you. I think parents as a societal entity have let schools and teachers take the rap for their schedules and inability to say to the boss "Sorry, I can't spend an extra 20 hours in the office this weekend, I have kids."
Yeah, those parents will be the voice of nutritional reason and good choices in food. They'll make sure their kids have healthy foods on the table and that they understand that healthy and good are synonomous when you don't teach sugar from age 2.
Sorry, you in the back, you have something to say from the New York Times?
Despite two decades of public health initiatives, stricter government dietary guidelines, record growth of farmers’ markets and the ease of products like salad in a bag, Americans still aren’t eating enough vegetables.That doesn't give me good fuzzy feelings.
This month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a comprehensive nationwide behavioral study of fruit and vegetable consumption. Only 26 percent of the nation’s adults eat vegetables three or more times a day, it concluded. (And no, that does not include French fries.)
These results fell far short of health objectives set by the federal government a decade ago. The amount of vegetables Americans eat is less than half of what public health officials had hoped. Worse, it has barely budged since 2000.
There was, perhaps, a silver lining.
To be sure, vegetables are making strides in certain circles. Women, as well as people who are older and more educated and have higher incomes, tend to eat more vegetables, said Dr. Foltz, the pediatrician who worked on the C.D.C. report.People in other countries don't pick the menu and then go to the store. They go to store and only buy what is GOOD. What looks good, smells good, and IS good. It's not a Sotheby's auction. It's their right. To only eat good things.
The vegetable, especially when grown from heirloom seeds on small farms, is held in such high esteem that knowing the farmer who grows the food is a form of valuable social currency. Vegetables are becoming high art. At Sotheby’s on Thursday night, the vegetable auction was part of a daylong event called “The Art of Farming,” raising nearly $250,000 to help hunger organizations, immigrant farmers and children without access to vegetables.
But vegetables are also becoming important on the other end of the economic equation. An increasing number of the nation’s 6,000 farmers’ markets allow shoppers to buy produce with food stamps. Urban gardens are springing up in vacant lots and on rooftops. Nearly every state now has programs that send fresh vegetables into poorer neighborhoods and school cafeterias.
You know what? The stores sell less crap because there's less of a market for it.