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Discussion in 'The Late Night Cafe (off-topic)' started by kuan, Sep 6, 2018.
Looking at our national health the last 40 years, I can see how people would be confused at that.
I'm a chef instructor at a rural high school. I don't entirely agree with your answer. The production of decent cafeteria food was really hurt by the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act which mandated low sodium, whole grain, no frying, and the use of lots of fruits and vegetables. Any school that expects to receive Federal funding for free or reduced school lunches must abide by Federal requirements.
It doesn't help that school cafeteria workers are among the lowest paid members of the food service industry. Although school cafeterias COULD make everything from scratch, many simply don't have sufficient trained personnel to do so. Even if these cafeterias had sufficient cooks, the average budget per meal is $2.93 and the meal must meet Federal nutritional guidelines under the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act.
To be candid, it's a lot easier for most cafeteria managers to just buy processed heat and serve foods. This worked out great for me at another school because they surplussed a stand mixer which I picked up for my Culinary Arts kitchen.
You are right regarding the amount of wastage. The food is bland and boring and kids who are reasonably affluent either go off campus to eat (provided this is allowed at their school) or they bring sack lunches from home.
Kids who eat school lunches are often forced to take fruits and vegetables that they don't want because if the cafeteria can document that these foods are being served, they get more money from the Feds. The Feds apparently don't care whether or not anyone actually EATS the fruits and vegetables that are being passed out ... and quite frankly I've been appalled to see perfectly good grapes, apple slices, and other items being tossed out.
Although the Federal legislation regarding school lunches was well intended, like all too many Federal programs, the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act has had unintended consequences.
I personally think that the government has no business mandating healthy meals. Low income students were much better off when they were served food that they would actually eat.
So the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act is still with us? I thought it was tossed out. That's the thing about laws, once they are passed you can't get rid of them.
Yep. It's still with us. Anyone who wants Federal funding for free or reduced meals along with donated groceries from the USDA must comply with the Hunger Free Kids Act.
It's appalling how much food is getting dumped.
One of the unintended consequences is that kids who refuse to eat the school lunches are snacking in their respective classrooms. They're primarily snacking on junk food which is what the Feds DIDN'T want the kids to do.
Crumbs from junk food that aren't swept up either by the classroom teacher or the night custodian are also contributing to on-going pest issues in some schools.
You give the feds way too much credit. "Unintended consequences"? No, the Hunger Free Kids Act was a way to create a legacy for Michelle OBama. That kids refused to eat the required food and there are roaches crawling around the classrooms are of no consequence, not unintended.