I recently posted a little rant about Gerber baby food purees and their pseudo-educational ads posted at Wal-Mart– their attempt, which works only too well, at making parents think they should start solids earlier than they should, meaning that breastmilk gets replaced with inferior food for the baby.
The topic was childhood obesity. Another issue contributing to childhood obesity is the food provided by schools.
There are examples around of schools that have instituted local and fresh food options, replacing the pre-packaged, processed, heat-and-serve faux food that is served in lunchrooms around the country. Administrators say to keep lunches affordable they have to serve this junk, but there are several schools that have proved this isn’t true and reported that the kids concentrate and learn better and have fewer discipline issues to boot. One was mentioned in the documentary Super Size Me.
Doesn’t surprise me… really, I wonder if some of Ada’s food allergies are to the genetically-modified, messed with, processed proteins of food but not a naturally, homegrown version. Different topic though.
Back to the point, doesn’t the cost issue just show the errors of our ways right there? Ifschool officials could feed kids junk for $2 a plate, but good fresh stuff for $4, it is backwards thinking that we should choose the $2 option. The costs in the long run will still be higher. Countless Americans on diabetes, blood pressure, heart rate, auto-immune disorder medications. Diseases caused by food. They are caused by the food we eat whether anyone wants to admit it or not.
So pay the price by giving your kids wholesome stuff, or they’ll pay the price with their medical costs later in life anyway.
Here is one article on a company providing fresh, local food in cafeterias and I’ve got to pull a quote for you guys and go off on it, a little bit, if you’ll indulge me:
“Margo Wootan, nutrition policy director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, says she’s slightly concerned with Revolution’s insistence on natural, local ingredients.
“You can have full-fat cheese from a local farmer, and it’s still going to clog your arteries and give you heart disease,” she says. “Having the food be natural is nice, but a bigger threat to children’s health is making sure that there’s not too much salt and not too much saturated fat.”
Banishing high-fructose corn syrup, Wootan says, is “a waste of time and money” – better to limit children’s total sugar intake. As for hormone-free milk, she says, most milk is hormone-free. “And if it isn’t, it’s not a health problem.”
Okay, I’m sorry, I try to be respectfully opinionated, but what an idiot. Really.
But her viewpoint underscores why Americans are so unhealthy in the first place. She is hardly the first person to say something like this, but unfortunately for them and their health, it’s not that black and white. Fat is not fat is not fat, and sugar is not sugar is not sugar.
What is clogging our kid’s arteries is not fat from whole milk, although I don’t think pasteurized, homogenized dairy is particularly healthy. And we all need some saturated fat in our diets. But food fried refined oils, and of course hydrogenated ones, are horrible for us.
We’ve been so programmed to think that fat is bad for us. I’ve seen a friend turn down olive oil (because they were watching their fat intake) which is higher in good fats than bad ones, and then take a prebrought cookie made with hydrogenated oil. It makes no sense at all. And, when we have good amounts of healthy fat in our diet, our body can handle the icky ones.
Udo Erasmus, in his book Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill, talks about that and its a book probably everyone should read.
Proponents of the raw milk movement also talk about skim milk and how messing with the natural milk to fat ratio makes it not as good for the body or something, and homogenizing it (which has no safety issue, it just makes the milk look better by not separating) binds the proteins together in a way that the body can’t break down. I don’t know if all these claims are true, but her argument against local milk just doesn’t hold any water for me.
If our children our eating balanced, whole, fresh foods and vegetables and running around outside, the whole milk they are served at school is not going to make them obese.