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School lunches

Bullied over butter: NYC education department threatens school cafeteria managers for using natural butter in meals

Thursday, May 30, 2013 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: school lunches, butter, food police

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(NaturalNews) America truly is turning into a 1984-esque police state, and ground zero for this authoritarian onslaught appears to be New York City where government-run public schools are now on a crusade to eliminate butter from school cafeterias. As reported by New York Daily News (NYDN), some kitchen managers in the Brooklyn regional school district are being bullied and threatened with "disciplinary action" for daring to use butter in prepared meals served to children at school cafeterias.

Since about 2008, the New York City Department of Education has been quietly removing butter as an ingredient in foods served to public school children. Though school officials have never implemented an official ban on butter, cafeteria heads have reportedly been encouraged to use less of it or to stop ordering it altogether because it is considered to be "unhealthy." Instead, many cafeterias now serve conventional peanut butter or cream cheese for spreading, and use margarine and other synthetic butter substitutes in recipes.

But some cafeterias in the Brooklyn area are still using butter, which has prompted a regional school food manager to send a scathing email to officials overseeing 25 local schools. In this grammatically-incorrect email, the unnamed manager demands to know why some kitchen managers are still ordering butter. The email also contains an attachment entitled "Excess Butter Ordering Report" that points out specific kitchen managers who ordered between $74 and $148 worth of butter.

"Please explain why your Manager's are ordering BUTTER!!!" reads the verbally-challenged email. "Every Manager on this list has to get a disciplinary letter by close of business next week Friday (5/10/13). I also want a copy of every letter sent to my office."

In at least one instance, a kitchen manager was caught in the act using butter in a recipe. This same manager was warned that if such an incident happened again, she could receive "further disciplinary action," including "termination of [her] employment with the Office of School Food."

Food police target butter, ignore actual causes of childhood obesity

What is the big deal with butter? As you may be well aware, public schools all across the country, and especially in New York City, are determined to give childhood obesity a run for its money. But rather than eliminate the foods actually responsible for this epidemic - refined sugars, processed flours, and synthetic fats like margarine top the list - officials are erroneously targeting butter, which can be a healthy source of saturated fat.

Not only this, but school district higher-ups are now acting as food police, forcing cafeteria managers to adopt their flawed ideologies on what constitutes health. In this case, NYC DoE officials have not even made it clear what they expect of their employees. According to reports, butter has remained on the schools' ordering forms, and many kitchen managers have been under the impression that butter is still optional.

"We understand the need for healthy meals, but we do not appreciate the administration bullying our members without giving them instructions on how to prepare meals," said Greg Floyd, President of the Local 237 Teamsters, the union representing the kitchen managers in the district. "Our members are already working under stress and they don't need unnecessary harassment," he added, as quoted by NYDN.

Similar outrageous food tyranny has been implemented in nearby Queens, where one local elementary school recently became the first all-vegetarian public school in the nation. As can be expected, the average vegetarian meal being served at the Active Learning Elementary School in Flushing is loaded with grains and other refined carbohydrates, soy-based items, heavy starches, and processed milk.

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