Under the auspices of giving our children what they want, the new school yard pushers are profit driven enterprises whose addictive product has long-term consequences that will ultimately place what could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back burden on an already overtaxed health care system.
But who are these new predators, and what drug or drugs are they pushing?
Strawberry milk, frozen French fries and artificial shortening according to a December 3rd New York Times article “How the Food Industry Eats Your Kid’s Lunch.”
“What” you may be asking???? Strawberry milk . . . frozen French fries? Are you kidding me?
As hard as this may be to believe coming from someone who would call himself a conservative in the traditional sense of the word, with government corruption and Wall Street avarice challenging Republican sensibilities stories such as these take on both a new meaning and creditability.
Think about this for a minute . . . 27 out of 29 children battle obesity. A situation of which I am certain has been assisted by the advent of the Big Gulp and the “Up-Size” your drink and fries campaigns of many fast food restaurants that has now, through outsourced or privatized cafeteria operations, been extended to our schools.
Referencing the “cozy alliance between companies that manufacture processed foods and companies that serve the meals,” the Times article by Lucy Komisar reported that this relationship “is making students — a captive market — fat and sick while pulling in hundreds of millions of dollars in profits.”
The consequences of a steady diet of processed foods results in overweight children who are 1/3 more likely to die prematurely based on the findings of 5 time best-selling author Larry Winget. Winget, who’s books include Your Kids Are Your Own Fault and You’re Broke Because You Want To Be, as long been a critic of the poor eating habits of children. However, rather than directing his ire at the processed food manufacturers, he has called out the parents lamenting “How is it that you can starve your kid to death and it’s called child abuse, yet you can overfeed your kid and it’s masked under the guise of love?”
It is hard to argue with his point, however with an ever increasing number of children dependent on school programs to eat – it was recently reported that 21 million kids receive either free or low-cost meals, families are indeed a captive market with little or no choice but to accept what is being slopped on their plates.
Similar to an illegal drug enterprise hierarchy , both the contractors (the distributors) and processed food manufacturers (the source), make huge amounts of cash while bristling at suggestions of establishing maximum calorie limits for meals.
Their arguments for taking such a stand relative to attempts by officials to improve the quality of the food being served is pathetic, bordering on the ridiculous. These include warnings that “children may not want to eat healthier food” and that by forcing a menu change of this nature there will likely be an increase in “plate waste.” I wonder if they use this same kind of logic when it comes to their own children?
I can see it now, Jimmy go ahead and eat that bag of cookies before dinner because I know that you will not be eating the broccoli and baked chicken that we will be having tonight. It all makes perfectly good sense!
So what is the answer? How do we combat the enemy amongst us?
In an upcoming segment of the 49th Parallel Forum on Blog Talk Radio, we will tackle this question head on with a number of special guests from both sides of the debate.
In the meantime, remember to tell us what you think regarding the question of improving the quality of food being served to our children at school through the comment section of this post.