Thursday, April 29, 2010

School lunches, healthy and cheap

Chips (BE), French fries (AE), French fried po...Image via Wikipedia
Mr. Poorhouse and I watched all of Jaime Oliver's Food Revolution episodes this week.

We saw the documentary King Corn a few months ago, and have been thinking a lot about how subsidizing corn production introduces inefficiencies in our food system, making corn syrup super cheap and attractive as an ingredient for, well, everything.

I should mention that we are by no means food purists. Our freezer has hot pockets along with frozen veggies, and we buy our share of packaged foods.

Still, I was really outraged that the lunch guidelines in place in Huntington, WV counted french fries as a vegetable! And I was shocked to see the six year olds who could not identify the commonest of vegetables. Shocked, I tell you!

The only thing about Jamie's philosophy I don't quite buy into is the danger of having your kids bring a sack lunch. He said that it is cheaper, and could be healthier, with the reforms he is promoting, for kids to have a hot meal at lunch.

Well, I can't afford for my kids to buy lunch at school. And of course we aren't eligible for subsidized lunches. We send them with a bag lunch every day. As a matter of fact, they pack their own lunches these days. Sure, we have to get on them to make sure they aren't just bringing cookies and juice.

It is kind of sad that many parents send a junk food lunch in a bag or money to buy a junk food lunch at school. What are we thinking? 

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