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LA schools

LA school district students would rather starve than eat healthy menu items

Monday, January 23, 2012 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: LA schools, healthy menu, children

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(NaturalNews) A massive school lunch menu overhaul implemented by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) in California last year has been met with widespread resistance among district students. CBS 2 in Los Angeles reports that many students are actually choosing to go hungry rather than have to eat revamped, healthier meal offerings like vegetarian curry or quinoa salad.

Last summer, LAUSD's school board voted to eliminate unhealthy meal options like corn dogs, processed chicken nuggets, and sugar-laden flavored milk beverages in favor of alternative, healthier meal options that incorporate more whole, unprocessed food items. The decision was inspired by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's show Food Revolution, which at one time featured an LAUSD school on its show, until the permit was revoked.

Many people initially praised LAUSD's decision to alter its lunch menus as a giant step forward towards improving the health of the district's schoolchildren. But few anticipated that the students would ultimately reject these new offerings en masse, choosing instead to smuggle in unhealthy snacks from home, and even trade things like ramen noodles on newly formed and thriving "black markets."

Reports indicate that many students have been throwing away their entire meals, including their unopened cartons of plain milk product. And those that are unable to snag a high-demand item from the junk food black market to replace those meals were simply not eating, which was leading to widespread malnutrition at many of the district's schools.

Conditions have gotten so bad that the district is now planning to re-implement many of the menu items that it offered previously, but with supposedly healthier ingredients. A healthier type of pizza will be returning to lunchrooms, for instance, as will hamburgers and cheeseburgers. Dishes like brown rice cutlets and quinoa salad, on the other hand, are getting nixed.

No matter what LAUSD serves, it is required to serve a certain amount of it to students, and those students are required to accept that amount, even if they do not want it. This is why so much of the undesired food has ended up in trashcans rather than given to somebody else. But ABC 7 News in Los Angeles recently reported that some students are now volunteering to help give these leftover meals to those in need.

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