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Ag Department: Those 'exciting changes' to school lunches aren't working out so well

By Doug Powers  •  December 9, 2012 12:29 PM

**Written by Doug Powers


In early September, “Let’s Move” released a back-to-school message featuring Michelle Obama announcing “exciting changes” to the lunch menus of public schools:

“And today I want to tell you about some exciting changes that you’ll be seeing in your school cafeterias,” she said. “Starting this year, the talented people who cook the food at your school will be offering all kinds of healthy, delicious new choices. Foods that are good for you and that taste good, too.”

“These healthy foods are good for your body, they’ll give you energy and make you stronger and they’re also good for your mind,” Mrs. Obama said.

“Studies show that when you eat healthy foods like fruits and vegetables that can actually help you pay attention in class and do a better job on your homework and tests.”

“And that’s really what this is all about,” she said.

I have two kids in high school and one in junior high, and though they take their own lunches on most days, I’ve heard stories from their friends about the quantity and quality of the new menu (the biggest complaint being that the new pizza with the whole wheat crust isn’t served with an antiemetic on the side). As it turned out, there was a national backlash over the new lunch menu.

The complaints have reverberated all the way back to Washington, and now the Ag Department is beating a quick retreat:

The Agriculture Department is responding to criticism over new school lunch rules by allowing more grains and meat in kids’ meals.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told members of Congress in a letter Friday that the department will do away with daily and weekly limits of meats and grains. Several lawmakers wrote the department after the new rules went into effect in September saying kids aren’t getting enough to eat.

School administrators also complained, saying set maximums on grains and meats are too limiting as they try to plan daily meals.

“This flexibility is being provided to allow more time for the development of products that fit within the new standards while granting schools additional weekly menu planning options to help ensure that children receive a wholesome, nutritious meal every day of the week,” Vilsack said in a letter to Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.

It only took a few months for the food cops and nutrition nannies in DC to come to a collective epiphany: By the time these kids grow up they may well have forgotten who exactly stuck them with trillions and trillions worth of debt, but they will always remember who made them eat s#*tty pizza.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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