Seattle Organic Restaurants

School Lunches

In the previous section of Seattle Organic Restaurants I talked about childhood obesity. One of the factors that contribute to childhood obesity is the school lunches.

“Foods with plenty of trace minerals (edible wild plants, organic seaweeds, wild bee pollens, seeds, superfoods, goji berries, herbals, avocado, raw cacao, organic fruits and nuts and etc.) should be included in the diet of children and pregnant mothers. A very important addition for mothers and young children is the raw, vegetarian form of “fish oil” that is actually algae oil or DHA. This oil helps to promote proper brain formation, increased intelligence, excellent eyesight, strong nerves and the alleviation of depression. An ample supply of vitamin B12 is also vital for the nerve health of breastfeeding mothers and growing children.”

- David Avocado Wolfe

school-lunch

99% of public schools offer lunch program. The recent statistics by USDA shows that 89% of PARENTS THINK that the school lunches are SOMEWHAT or VERY HEALTHY. In a recent research the USDA found out that only 6% of schools met the USDA school lunch standards for healthy nutritional meal. 80% of schools failed to meet the recommendation of USDA for total and saturated fat. 50% of daily calorie intake in our kids’ diet is the food children consume during school hours. Studies show that 90% of kids eat lunch at school, 40% eat a sugary snack and only 20% of kids eat breakfast.

The problem isn’t just the school lunch but the foods that are competing and often time undermining the school lunch. In many schools the cafeteria looks like a mall cafeteria where they have station set up for French fries, pizza, hot dogs or chicken nuggets plus all the typical unhealthy foods and sugary drinks as a snack. Even a healthy school meal has a hard time competing with these sugary drinks or snacks. Children who eat sugary foods the whole day are more likely to have behavior problems, be hypertension, feel exhausted and have difficulty focusing. The pre packed lunch system at schools is based on the efficiency and industrial revolution model that leaves our kids’ meal with little or no nutrition. The pre-packed system might be efficient but also sufficient in salt, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, additives, artificial coloring and preservatives.

But is money more important than the health of our children?

healthy-school-lunch

Our children should have the basic nutrition to be able to grow and peruse their dreams. Many advocates and experts thought that there is a need for higher set of nutritional standard for school lunches that is lower in fat, sugar and salt and has higher amount of fruits or vegetables. The congress passed a bill for Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act in 2010. President Obama also signed a bill to make school lunches healthier, but the food companies started fighting back by insisting to keep genetically modified fries on school lunch tray , delaying whole grains and calling FROZEN PIZZA and TOMATO PASTE VEGETABLE !

Unfortunately the congress chose to bow to these food companies and their interests. A recent study shows that the increase in BMI (Body Mass Index) in many teenagers has to do with consumption of sugary foods and lack of physical activity at school. Sodas and sugary drinks are the largest source of calories in the diet of children and adults. The researchers have discovered that the regular consumption of sugary drinks is strongly related to obesity. Sugary drinks aren’t just high in sugar and salt but high in artificial coloring, chemical additives and high fructose corn syrup that is TOXIC for human body. Thanks to the food industry now children at the age of 10 are developing insulin resistance, hypertension and heart disease.

 

 

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