As a country, we’ve done a lot of shameful things in the pursuit of corporate profits. But this is particularly onerous. Congress released a spending bill this week that would do away with the steps the government has made recently to improve the nutritional content of school lunches. The winners? The potato industry and the makers of frozen pizzas. The losers? Children all across the country and the future of our already over-burdened healthcare system.
I find it a bit ironic that the spending bill was released almost simultaneously with the recommendation that we begin screening all children for elevated cholesterol levels starting between the ages of 9 and 11.
Instead of asking the frozen food makers, who supply our schools’ cafeterias, to come up with a pizza that has whole wheat crust and a few more veggies on top, Congress would rather define the tiny amount of tomato paste on the current slices as a serving of vegetables. And instead of limiting starchy vegetables (including the french fries that are served almost daily in many schools), the new bill would allow fried spuds to continue to be served without limitations.
Maybe we better bump the cholesterol testing age down to five.