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Food for Thought

March 23, 2010 | NeW Staff

I recently watched the premiere of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, a show where British Chef Jamie Oliver comes to the most obese city in America, Huntington, WV, and tries to help the citizens eat healthier. I do not support Chef Oliver’s political views, but I do admire his willingness to call out the unhealthy food served by public schools and the outdated food guidelines of the USDA schools are required to follow. Thinking about these guidelines reminded me of the recent healthcare bill that passed in the House.

The healthcare bill will not only affect our visits to the doctors, how we pick insurance, and the amount of taxes we pay; it will also affect the way Americans live. Consider this: food is a large part of health and our healthcare system, so if the government takes control of what Americans are eating, our food choices will eventually look like the unhealthy school lunches that follow the state regulated USDA guidelines. Chef Oliver’s show reveals these schools serving processed, preserved, fatty foods that teach children to like unhealthy meals. I do not blame the schools, though, since it’s the government guidelines they must follow.

Remember those fried tater tots and unnaturally white, liquid mashed potatoes? They meet your required serving of grains according to the USDA (oh, and veggies because potatoes are vegetables).

Reflecting on what school’s serve makes me grateful my mother chose to pack my lunch. I think it’s important for mothers to take charge against these food guidelines made by the state, and determine their own guidelines for what to feed their children. If mothers stand up to reject unhealthy school lunches, it will hopefully send a message to the USDA to stay out of families’ lives as the government should.

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