Posted in Chicken Scratch, The Scoop from the Coop, Things to Crow About

The Real Problem with School Lunches & Changing It

Real Change Begins at Home…

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I forget where I first heard those words but I have lived by them the moment I brought three kids into this world. Minus human mistake and trial by error, I have done my best to do my best by them. Usually, I do what I do and the rest of the world isn’t the wiser but for some time now, I have wanted to Crow about an issue that has had be fed up since the nineties—school lunches.

That’s right, the war didn’t start with Michelle Obama, at least not with me. My war started with whatever group of greedy Politicians decided to sell the soul of the School Cafeteria to the processed crap being forced down every child’s throat. Not that I support Mrs. Obama’s supposed fight to make our kids healthier—more on that bit later.

For now, let me direct your attention to, the New York Times, who did an Article, HERE. What I want you to take away from that article is CONTRACT. Pay attention to CONTRACT—because that’s what our Government did and I would just LOVE for someone to track down the names of every Politician who stuffed his or her pockets by supporting those Contracts. Contracts made with crap-shoveling Food Companies – Processed –Murderers -Manufacturers—who, made it mandatory for all Lunch Ladies across the US to serve that junk to our kids. I want every person who reads this and who shares it (thank you) to realize, to take the damn rose- colored glasses off, to swallow a wad of horrific truth—this nightmare we are living with School Lunches, did not start with Michelle Obama even though she sure as hell didn’t help matters any. Again, more on her bit later.

I know its easy to blame her but that’s like blaming the disease and not what caused the problem. We have to look at the big picture or we will never get anywhere with this. Clearly, no one is Washington is going too. The fact is, though, School Lunches, have been on the “Suck” side of things for a very long time. Back when my husband and I were in school—particularly Elementary, I remember just about everything being homemade. Now, maybe that was because we lived in the South (How did the Northerners, Westerners, Central-Folk do it?) but all I know, we didn’t know terms like Mystery Meat and we didn’t dread lunch-time the way kids do now. I remember seeing my Lunch Ladies whipping up meat loaf—with actual ingredients and beef. Those rolls—remember them being freshly made and baked—not frozen, prepackaged and processed.

The excuse used after all things went to hell in a hand basket, was that some kids only get one meal a day—which is why school lunch could be up to 2500 calories in one sitting. I call BS. If they were concerned with giving kids calories, then they would have focused on actual calories that were good for them.  Not processed, chemically preserved, poisoned and bleached food shaped like a chicken nugget or so unrecognizable, kids started calling it mystery meat.

Michelle-Obama-fish

I’ll admit, I was happy when I heard Michelle Obama was making this her platform. I had high hopes but one of the problems I’ve had with her and her husband was that, like everything else, they kick something off but then drop the ball when it comes to seeing it through. Now, Obama-supporters can send me nasty emails or post awful comments claiming its all of Washington’s fault and not the Obama’s. You can say that all the other Politicians refused to work with them on anything and that’s why no one finished the job there Lunches go. Again, I call BS. I’ve seen what Mr. Obama can do if he sets his mind to it no matter who stands against him. I’ve seen what his wife can do. I have also seen a lack of maturity and professionalism where they are concerned, concerning all of the things they didn’t follow through on. No more excuses. Time to accept it now as we must accept every single Politician and President out there for either mucking things up or dodging the issues that really matter.

Now, that being said, Michelle did take on the Lunches, yes, but didn’t do a thing about those Contracts. All she did was say, no more deep-fried, bread coated food. So what did the Processed plants do? Take off the bread. It’s still the same unhealthy, crappy food underneath just without the bread-coating to hide it. Vegetables are still in a can, processed. Kids cant even add salt to cover up the horrid taste and yet, in many schools, (I cant speak for all), staff are now making kids eat it. No matter what—eat it. That happened to my daughter concerning Milk. It was lumpy, so before she made a big deal about it ruining it for all, she sat it down and didn’t say a word – not wanting to bring a grouchy Teacher down on her. But that Teacher wouldn’t listen to WHY she wouldn’t drink it after ordering her too. So for me—that was it. I was done especially after she told me kids were being made to eat this nasty stuff slopped onto a tray. No more.

While my daughter doesn’t pack every day, my son has started too. I have to admit, on the days my Daughter doesn’t pack, she comes home with headaches, dehydrated and starving. I also have to admit, finding foods okay for my son to pack was a bit of a challenge. He is a meat and potatoes kind of kid. Heating things up isn’t an option either once they get to school. By the way, I think for those in Middle School and High School, that’s a bunch of BS as well. They should have multiple microwaves for students to pack “hot” lunches.

I was also trying to back my son off of Gluten without replacing it with processed non-Gluten crap substitutes. That was a hard one especially since I wanted to back him off some and not completely off of it. See, I think taking them off completely can do as much harm as having them eating too much. I also think that that’s the problem with Gluten and people now days – if you do not have celiac disease, of course, or a sensitivity to Gluten. What I mean is, we don’t just get a proper portion of it in a days time. They put it in EVERYTHING. So while we may think eating only one piece of bread is backing us off, we aren’t looking at the gazillion other products or items packed with the stuff.

With my son, I was controlling gluten at home – taking it out but I was allowing him to at least have it at school and on the occasion we had spaghetti at home or something. It finally hit me with packing his lunch—just give him that roast beef sandwich and load it up with meat. I also wanted to try to get some healthier extras into his lunch. It’s pointless, right, if I just throw a bunch of chips, cookies and candy in, isn’t it? And I wanted to focus on portion control.

So, on his sandwich, I load up the meat – what boy doesn’t love that? Then, since he loves Doritos, I make sure to buy single serving bags that way I don’t overload him. Then he gets some fruit. Finding fruit he likes was a challenge. Hey, the boy only just started eating lettuce! We finally figured out he loves oranges and he doesn’t get tired of them. So we load him up there. I also got lucky as far as a beverage. He has always loved water, so two bottles and he is set.

Packing is hard, I know, because even though it used to be making food from scratch was the cheaper way to go, that isn’t the case anymore. I re-worked my grocery list and budget, though, so that I could make it work. And while I hate giving him bread, I at least found some that doesn’t have corn syrup and all that nonsense in it. Lets hope that’s a little bit better, right? It still has to be better than the crap they shovel out at school.

Look, it comes down to this, we KNOW we have an obesity problem in America concerning Adults and Children. While there are some children who mimic their Parents, eating fast food and processed junk day in and day out, planting their bottoms on a couch with little to no exercise, there are still other kids, who are not living off Fast Food, but are a few pounds over than what they should be. Girls are developing early and boys are growing breasts—even if they stay in Sports and love to run and play. There is a problem and its obviously lives in our Food. Not every family out there can become a Homesteader, raising and farming everything you eat and most of us are working class—we barely make enough to by groceries and we are not on Government Assistance—but just attempting to buy fresh foods verses the cost of processed is creating a bill as hefty as our Mortgages and Property Taxes.

But it can be done – maybe not completely and maybe not over night, but EACH OF US, can find and discover ways, here and there, to lessen the poison we are buying in the stores. We may not be able to buy organic, but we can learn how to wash produce properly to get some of the ick off. We may not be able to buy Wild Caught Salmon but we can try and catch sales or find a local farmer who sells grass-fed beef or non-steroid-hormonal-jacked-up chicken.

Portions, when we do give our kids something bad and letting them eat something bad so that they don’t feel completely cut off from the world. If we can’t take on the Politicians and the Institutions doing this to us, then we can at least control SOME OF IT ourselves and at home. Yes?

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