Pasta Counts as Vegetable In Trump's New School Meals Plan
The Trump administration has radically altered the menu in American schools, and not all of it makes sense...
Donald Trump truly is at the brazened forefront of the post-truth era. Just over a week ago, the US Department of Agriculture released that it would change the school lunch program nationwide under instruction of the Trump administration. Among these changes was a declaration that pasta would now be classed as a vegetable if made with vegetable flour like potato or soy. This is a clear step backwards in the fight against malnutrition and obesity in children, and a move that flies in the face of nutritional science and, well, biology.
Worst of all, this peculiar change of classification will mean that kids will eat less vegetables, and more fattening, nutritionally lacking carbohydrates.
This is part of a larger change that more or less scraps the nutritionally focussed Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act devised by former First Lady, Michelle Obama. Obama’s program was designed to cut childhood obesity in the US, by ruling that participating schools must serve more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and low-fat dairy options and decrease the amount of sugary, salty or fatty options.
However, the Trump administration felt the system was flawed. They announced the plans to scrap this Act on January 17th – Michelle Obama’s birthday.
The Trump administration’s issue with the previous system was with the amount of waste generated: when presented with a plate of vegetables, a predictably large number of children were choosing simply to eat around the healthy parts. It seems logical that this new system would lead to reduced food waste, and that is undoubtedly a good thing, but many are worried the children will suffer as a consequence.
Colin Schwartz, an expert from the Centre for Science in the Public Interest, said that the rules "allow anything that might be allowable as an entree on any one school day to be served as an a la carte item every single day", creating a "huge loophole in school nutrition guidelines" to include foods that are "high in calories, saturated fat or sodium in place of balanced school meals every day".
One of the more shocking stipulations of the new scheme is that the amount of fruit each child is given will be halved.
But the most perplexing thing about it all, even including the reclassification of pasta as a vegetable, is that Obama’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act was working: the USDA reported that after the Act’s passage, nationwide children ate 16% more vegetables and 23% more fruit during lunch.
These statistics demonstrate that the government’s decision is based on nothing more than an insatiable desire to sabotage their predecessors’ legacy. It’s a shame that school children across America are bearing the consequences of the to-and-froing of political abrasion in Washington.