Use some Obamacare in the treatment of the resulting nutritionally-driven illnesses and there you have a win-win situation – of course, if you own a food processing plant, a medical facility, or a factory farm, then you are not part of the group pushed to eat the so-called food.
Agricultural surplus is actually the food base provided to the schools free of charge. Then it is processed into junk food for the public school system, providing enough profit for the food manufacturers.
The National School Lunch Program, enacted in 1946, not only takes care of feeding hungry children, but also has the mission to subsidize the agricultural business by using up beef, cheese, and pork.
The school lunch packages are loaded with these artery-clogging ingredients, and not to mention that it is in the most processed form possible. According to an article published in the NY Times, here is how the process flows:
The Agriculture Department gives about $1 billion every year for fresh fruits and vegetables, including fresh apples and sweet potatoes, chickens and turkeys. Schools get this food for free; some schools cook it on site, but more and more of them use processors to turn these healthy foods into fried chicken nuggets, fruit pastries, pizza and other similar ‘delicacies.’
About $445 million of the commodities are spent for processing every year, and if you go back to 2006, it is a 50 percent increase.
The Agriculture Department does not pay the food processing, but the school authorities do. For example, the Michigan Department of Education, gets free raw chicken that is worth $11.40 a case, and pays its processing into nuggets for $33.45 a case.
Many schools in San Bernardino, Calif., spend $14.75 to get French fries out of $5.95 worth of potatoes.
Now you realize that the money does not go in favor of your kid’s health. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has long warned that processing food often lowers it nutritional value and it noted that “many schools continue to exceed the standards for fat, saturated fat and sodium.” In 2008, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation conducted a study and the results showed that by the time students get their healthy commodities, “they have about the same nutritional value as junk foods.”
Still wonder how can this happen? School authorities are part of the whole puzzle -- they simply do not want the trouble of overseeing real kitchens. The management companies are another part -- they save money by not paying skilled chefs.
In addition to this, management companies have a nice and friendly relationship with food processors, which have a routine of paying the companies rebates (often around 14 percent) in return for contracts. The rebates are generally kept secret from schools, and they pay the full price.
And there is the plain truth -- lots of people earn while giving children a nutritional garbage. People who know nothing about cooking just warm up processed junk and feed the kids who cannot afford anything better or change anything.
That free lunch your kid is getting is not that free if you take into consideration the high percentage of kids who suffer from obesity and chronic illnesses as a result to their poor nutritional intake.
More than 4 billion meals are served in the public schools every year — a number that many fast-food chains would like to reach — and officials claim that all those lunches just contribute to the growing health crisis among small kids.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that since 1980 obesity rates have doubled in children and tripled in adolescents, spreading an epidemic of type II diabetes, that was once considered as an adult-onset condition.
Obesity is also linked to heart disease, arthritis, and certain cancers, and researchers have even found fatty streaks in the blood vessels of 10 year old children.
The article continues on page 3…