School Food

Health vs. Convenience: A Look At Modern Public School Lunches


health |helTH|

noun

the state of being free from illness or injury


Health is very important to me, as it should be for every one of us. But unfortunately, ever since the Golden Age of American history, what I believe has happened is a new ideal has set its roots in the minds of the masses – that is:


convenience |kənˈvēnyəns|

noun

the state of being able to proceed with something with little effort or difficulty


With that said comes the inception of the “TV dinner”; the brainchild of Swanson, marketeers, and the now present convenience-driven-mindset. These prepackaged meals came resting on Alzheimer-Aluminum, ready to be popped into the oven; until the dawn of the Microwave Era and its children – Microwave-Safe-Hormonal-Plastics.

Skip forward a few decades and you now arrive to a world that has pushed forward the ideology of convenience, shape-shifting into the psychologically weaponized buzzword we deem Instant Gratification. We’re drowning in processed snacks and quick-death-fast-foods – all to please our manipulated way-of-life…

Let’s change direction and hop back onto the train that sparked this post. We have briefly poked at health vs. convenience, but now I want to put this argument to the test against school lunches – whether or not we should strive for healthy meals, or convenient cost-effective lunches?

Let me start off by saying I wouldn’t willingly (unless paid to) eat school food that’s being served nowadays. Older generations (or those lucky enough to maintain tradition) may remember someone’s grandmother cooking up heirloom recipes for their school meals – what a treasure that has been lost. What’s being served to children today is a close relative to the quick-death-fast-food you pick-up from a drive-thru; a processed concoction whipped up in lavatories… I mean laboratories, that are designed to meet the lax regulations of the FDA while also spending as little as they can.

So I may be a little cynical, but I think I have the right to be when I hear kids complaining about not feeling well after eating a school meal, the growing cloud of chronic illness… or by simply reading the ingredient labels to the foods we feed today’s youth within our public schools (some schools do better than others). I also want to point out that I live in an area with a very high percentage of free and reduce lunches; where families rely on the availability for their kids to receive a “healthy” breakfast and a “healthy” lunch that they otherwise may not be able to afford them. I’m sorry to inform parents across the country, but what you’re child is being served at school isn’t food… It’s a shame that food in general has become so bastardized, and how we’re becoming so unfamiliar with what’s slabbed onto our plates that manages to be passed as “food”.


food |fo͞od|

noun

any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink, or that plants absorb, in order to maintain life and growth


If you take a look below you will see a few ingredient labels I was able to get my hands on from a public school’s lunch program. The red flags that pop-out to me are:

  • GMO Soy, Soy Flour, and Soybean Oil (leads to hormonal issues in both males and females)
  • GMO Corn products… especially the use of High Fructose Corn Syrup (the devil’s sugar)
  • I personally stay away from flours; whether gluten is the culprit or if it’s the pesticide contamination of the grain itself that’s causing the rise of gluten intolerance – either way none for me.
    • Another thing I don’t like about flour products is the refining process that rips away and destroys the nutrients… then they go back and “enrich” the flour with synthetic vitamins and minerals which your body doesn’t absorb the same as the real thing.
  • Modified Food Starch? That sounds very vague, like an umbrella term that allows for other ingredients to slip in there… just like they use the terms Natural Flavors, Yeast Extract, and Spices to allow for the inclusion of MSG, an excitotoxin that triggers a response in your brain that something is delicious and addicting so you consume more and more.
  • Big words that are harder to pronounce…
  • Caramel Color (4-methylimidazole) is a probable carcinogen

I’m concerned for the health of generations to come. How do you expect to build a long lasting house with a poorly constructed foundation? As parents, friends, tax payers, neighbors, and fellow human beings, is it right we choose to allow and pay for our children to eat what I deem (and maybe you don’t) garbage? As a people, have we been blinded by convenience and the act of cutting-costs; do we not see the patterns and reactions arising from our poorly cultivated view of good health (I would like to think that’s starting to reverse… slowly but surely eyes wide open). Where has our desire to offer a good meal gone? Have we lost, what I thought was inherent, the strong will to provide the necessary building blocks to our children to grow healthy and strong?

(I’m not familiar with private schools so I cannot comment on their food services… but I would like to imagine they do a little better at providing their students a well balanced clean meal… but I have been telling myself I need to stop assuming things.)

The issue here is that a good majority of the children that go to public schools receive 2/3rds of their daily meals at these institutions… that’s implying they eat what’s provided by the school for breakfast and lunch while eating their dinner meal at home… this also doesn’t equate all the candies, snacks, and sodas that sneak into the mouths of millions daily… this also doesn’t factor in the schools that have quick-death-fast-food restaurants on campus, or those who have open lunch that might as well go out and visit one of these funeral homes anyway.

My issue is that we need to educate not only the children that go through these mind-melding-control-systems we call public schools, but we need to also educate the ones who run them, and the parents that send their children to them. We need the public to start becoming aware what it is we’re putting into our bodies and how these substances affect us in the short term and the long term. We need the public to realize there’s a better way to promote good health rather than relying on Big Pharma and ObamaCare to alleviate all our ailments. We need to shift the paradigm towards a preventive system we can exercise ourselves; by choosing the right foods for the right time.

I believe if we want a strong healthy future we need to change the approach on the foods we consume.

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