Describing her family’s eating habits as a “bacon-and-eggs” diet when her husband first took office, Michelle Obama then took a wrong turn and used her influence to promote a lean diet based largely on fruits and non-starchy vegetables for school children. Under the three billion-dollar National School Lunch Program, participating schools can only provide one serving of meat or other protein (more well off children can buy a second portion each day with their own dime) and potatoes are limited to just a single serving of three-fourths of a cup per student. There’s no butter of course, for the dry brown bread (which the children do not like), no whole or even 2 percent milk, and even ketchup packets are rationed to one per student. Worst of all, there’s a calorie cap of 850 calories for high schoolers, 700 for middle schoolers and a mere 650 calories for kids in elementary schools. Parents complain that their kids are starving, and the kids say the food “tastes like vomit.” Across the country, some wealthier suburban school districts are simply backing out of the program, although doing so means giving up a six-figure annual subsidy from the federal government (dailycaller.com, July 27, 2013). Last year the New York City school system dropped out after the students complained of starvation, and an Illinois school district dumped the guidelines before even fully implementing them. One positive outcome of the Obama lunch plan: many more students brought their lunch from home, which is what they all should be doing anyway (naturalnews.com, July 19, 2013).
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Winter 2014