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Public schools

Los Angeles schools swap fried for fresh with massive lunchroom menu overhaul

Saturday, July 02, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: public schools, lunch menus, health news


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(NaturalNews) Soggy chicken nuggets and processed corn dogs are making their exit from Los Angeles County lunchrooms, according to a recent report from the Los Angeles Times. The county school board recently voted to replace these and other "junk food" menu items with more vegetarian options like spinach tortellini in butternut squash sauce, as well as more ethnic foods like sushi rolls.

The decision comes just after another recent decision to ban chocolate and strawberry flavored milk drinks, as well as soda pop beverages in 2004, all in an attempt to improve the eating habits of students and reduce overall obesity levels (http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-laus...). The goal for many administrators pushing the changes is ultimately to mature the palates of the students, and encourage them to make better food choices.

"Absolutely, by the fall the district will be a national leader," said Matthew Sharp, senior advocate with the group California Food Policy Advocates, to the Los Angeles Times. And Jamie Oliver, the popular celebrity chef whose television show Food Revolution has aimed to improve Americans' eating habits, stated recently that the decision is a "giant step forward for the health and future of 680,000 kids in Los Angeles, and leads the way for more school districts around the country to follow."

Some concerned citizens, however, say that while the changes might be a positive step as far as nutrition is concerned, the district took a significant leap backwards in the past when it minimized or, in some cases, completely cut physical education programs, which are a significant component of childhood health and well-being

Also, simply eliminating "breaded chicken" and "chocolate milk" misses the boat on what really constitutes healthful food. What kind of breading was used on the chicken, and how were the chickens fed and raised? What kind of sweeteners were used in the flavored milks, and did the milk come from grass-fed, organic cows? These and many other factors are what truly determines whether or not a food is healthy. Simply making arbitrary, politically-correct decisions against food items that have a gained a reputation as being "unhealthy" ignores the hidden aspects of the food supply that contribute to disease and obesity.

Sources for this story include:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/0...

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