All across the country, kids are going back to school. They’re going back to books, homework, and Michelle Obama’s school lunch guidelines.
Just how contentious are these guidelines? A writer went to a high school in Minnesota to find out. Here’s what he found:
There’s a sign in the lunchroom of Minnesota’s Sartell High School: Students can choose two packets of barbecue sauce, or three ketchup packets, or two ketchups and a mustard, or just one packet of mayonnaise.
The new condiment quotas are the product of new federal regulations that strictly limit calories, fat, sodium, sugar and most other nutritional elements of school snacks and lunch foods.
The rules, championed by First Lady Michelle Obama as a means to combat childhood obesity, are part of the Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. The measure, implemented in phases since 2012, overhauled the National School Lunch Program to force schools that receive federal lunch funding to offer “healthier” meals and school snacks for students.
How are kids responding to these school lunch rules? For starters, they’re bringing their own lunches from home more. They’re also not eating the vegetables and fruits that are a required component of the school lunches, and that’s increasing the amount of waste.