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September 17, 2014
In recent years, I’ve been very vocal about my disapproval of new guidelines for the federal school lunch program. The changes have forced schools to limit animal proteins in their cafeteria offerings. This has resulted in well-publicized episodes of a lot of food being discarded in the trash by unimpressed kids, as well kids just not getting enough energy at lunch to fuel them through their busy day.
On Monday, Todd Staples, Texas Commissioner of Agriculture, expressed his frustration with the school lunch program and warned parents about activists feeding propaganda to our nation’s youth.
Credit: Tim Boyle / Staff / Getty Images
In a nutshell, he said the new school lunch program’s inclusion of a meatless Monday option is an attempt to “brainwash” our nation’s youth.
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Staples said, “The Meatless Mondays campaign is an agenda-driven campaign. The people behind this don’t want you to eat meat, not just one day a week but seven days a week. The people who are pushing this are saying that having Meatless Monday options is somehow healthier for the individual and the environment. We want kids to be able to choose. If they want to give kids a vegetarian option, they should do that, but they shouldn’t give them the false impression that going meatless is better for them and the environment. They should not be able to use our schools as a venue for something that isn’t based on sound science or facts.”
For more background on the topic, here is a roundup of four of my past blog posts on the changes to the school lunch program and how it is impacting our nation’s youth:
What do you think? Is Staples correct in his characterization? Have activists been able to influence policy on nutrition in our schools? What can and should we do about this? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of Beefmagazine.com or the Penton Farm Progress Group.
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