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.

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.

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Comments (11)

  • It’s as if the federal government should stay out of what schools are serving and those decisions should be left at the local level.

    Having the carbs isn’t bad if you’re making sure the kids aren’t planted in front of the x box or their phones all day.

    Maybe recess shouldn’t be limited to 20 minutes a day and no one can play outside if the temperature is less than 40 degrees outside, like in my state.

    Yes diet is important, kids shouldn’t be scarfing down Doritos with a Pepsi chaser. But they can have some pastas and they’ll be just fine.

      1 year ago
  • Before you judge the pasta as a vegetable. Did you know that Ketchup is classified as a vegetable? Has been for a long time. There are school districts all across this great nation that have scrapped the highly processed, government funded, heat and eat, not good food options and have gone back to scratch cooking. They are using fresh meat, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit and some are even making fresh bread. Not only is this better for our kids, studies show that students are more engaged less discipline issues and it is also less expensive per child. So in closing what this new change allows is the scratch cooking school district can be creative with the menu and serve the best lunch possible.

      1 year ago
    • That sounds dreamy! No doubt the food affects the kids in the way you state here. So important eating well, isn’t it? It was all chips and turkey twizzlers (turkey processed into a spiral shape and battered) when I was younger. Maybe that...

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        1 year ago
    • Tomato’s are fruit

        1 year ago
  • I read somewhere, that in the earlier days of American settlement, Chinese cooks would typically serve up meat and fish, with noodles or rice.

    It was Americans who asked the Chinese cooks to add a variety of fresh veges, giving rise to what we now recognize as modern Chinese , or Asian takeaway.

    Or so the story goes.

    Pretty much everywhere in the world has a lot of veg growing.

      1 year ago
  • I work at my kids school and serve lunch, you should see what some of them take, they are required 3 things, one has to be a fruit or veg. Some of the younger kids will take only whats required, they are offered salad bar everyday, lettuce plus 5-7 toppings, 2 choices of fruit, milk, often times 2 choices of cooked veg, a starch and the entree! The older kids fill their trays most days and get larger portions than the younger kids (school is 4k-8th grade) pasta as a veg is a bit of a reach unless its actually made with veg...never seen pasta made with potato or soy flour, we only serve semolina or whole grain pastas

      1 year ago
  • Ugh. Lol

      1 year ago