Finally, after eight long years, our nation’s youth are going to get a decent lunch at school again!
Let me preface this blog post to say that I do believe former First Lady Michelle Obama’s heart was in the right place. She wanted to address the nation’s obesity problems by teaching kids about diet and exercise. Her Let’s Move! campaign and changes to the school lunch program were her way of achieving that goal for a healthier America.
However, the end result was catastrophic, and I doubt she moved the obesity needle in the other direction even the slightest.
Why was her campaign so disastrous despite Obama’s best intentions?
Well, for starters, she based her recommendations on the deeply flawed Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which is heavily slanted toward a veggie-based diet. Limiting animal proteins like beef and dairy while pushing grains and vegetables left kids feeling undernourished and lacking the fuel they needed to power through a busy school day.
What’s worse, most of the lunches ended up the in the trash.
Thankfully, President Donald Trump and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue recognize the issue and are addressing it with swift action.
According to the Daily Wire, “The USDA announced last Friday that Perdue and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) will make the announcement to give schools more flexibility in meeting federal nutrition standards for school lunches while dining at the Catoctin Elementary School in Leesburg, Va. Republicans have long been trying to dial back the standards that became a pillar of former first lady Michelle Obama’s initiative to curb childhood obesity in the U.S.”
Making school lunches great again would be an amazing accomplishment for the Trump administration. The proposed changes would put power back in the state’s hands, and food could more easily be sourced locally with homemade items returning to the menu.
Our kids deserve better, and I’m so glad the new leadership at USDA is going to put great-tasting food back to our school lunch programs. Meat belongs on our students’ dinner plates for a healthy and satiating meal that will fuel our youth. I believe it’s high time our nation’s dietary guidelines reflect that.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Penton Agriculture.