As it turns out, removing chocolate milk from the menu was only the beginning for Los Angeles government schools. Who here thinks that kids are going to eat spinach tortellini in butternut squash after their chicken nuggets are taken away? Apparently the Food Service Director does, because that was listed on the new menu, along with sushi rolls:
A menu overhaul is underway that will mean fewer meals that resemble fast food and more vegetarian offerings. Spinach tortellini in butternut squash sauce and California sushi rolls, along with many ethnic foods, are to be added.
Corn dogs, chicken nuggets and other breaded items are out, said Dennis Barrett, food services director.
Megan Bomba, a project coordinator with Occidental College's Urban and Environmental Policy Institute, agreed with the move, saying "the meal needs to be better, not [that] we need to keep chocolate milk" to attract students to the cafeteria, she said.
The menu proposed for fall sounds more appealing and sophisticated, she added.
Sophistication? In an elementary school lunch menu? If I were a parent, I wouldn't want my kids going anywhere near sushi rolls in a school cafeteria. One more example of (likely well-intentioned) top down planning that can't go anywhere good.
Jamie Oliver's lecture-centric approach to improving the diets of British schoolchildren won't work, and might actually be making the country's health problem worse.
That's the harsh bottom line on the celebrity chef's renowned "School Lunch" program, in the opinion of the U.K.'s new health minister, Andrew Lansley.
It's a statement that extends beyond Oliver's advocacy efforts, and signals a move toward less intervention on the part of the new British government.
"Jamie Oliver, quite rightly, was talking about trying to improve the diet of children in schools and improving school meals," Lansley said in a speech today to members of the British Medical Association. "What was the net effect? Actually the number of children eating school meals in many of these places didn't go up, it went down."
Since 2004, Oliver has been waging a food revolution in U.K. schools. His televised endeavor led the Labor government to introduce a revised school lunch program.
But according to Lansley, that intervention led to more kids spending money on junk food off school grounds.
"The net result of that is, somebody says the next thing we must do is we must ban shops near schools," he said. "Where do we end up with this?"
Why is there horrid food?
The wheelbarrow of sugar from 5 years of chocolate milk at school was an eye-opener for me.