The idea that “whole grain” foods are good for you is taken for granted by our government-health complex. But there are real reasons to question it. The bottom line is that it still all turns into sugar by the time what we eat is absorbed into our blood stream.
Maybe you disagree with my assessment. But the Federal Government has decided that the various scientific paradigms being discussed throughout the country don’t matter. They are telling us what to eat.
Becky Domokos-Bays of Alexandria City Public Schools has served her students whole-grain pasta 20 times. Each time, she said, they rejected it.
Starting next school year, pasta and other grain products in schools will have to be whole-grain rich, or more than half whole grain. That includes rolls, biscuits, pizza crust, tortillas and even grits.
The requirement is part of a government effort to make school lunches and breakfasts healthier. Championed by first lady Michelle Obama, the new standards have been phased in over the last two school years, with more changes coming in 2014.
Some schools say the changes have been expensive and difficult to put in place, and school officials are asking Congress and the Agriculture Department to roll back some of the requirements. Their main concerns: finding enough whole grain-rich foods that kids like, lowering sodium levels and keeping fruits and vegetables from ending up in the trash.
In interviews, school nutrition directors across the country mostly agreed that healthy changes were needed in school lunches — long famous for daily servings of greasy fries and pizza. Kids have adapted easily to many of the changes, are getting more variety in the lunch line, and are eating healthier.
But Domokos-Bays and other school nutrition directors say the standards were put in place too quickly as kids get used to new tastes and school lunch vendors rush to reformulate their foods. When kids don’t buy lunch, or throw it away, it costs the schools precious dollars.
I wonder if the FLOTUS even understands that school kids have free will in this affair. They can refuse (and refuse to buy) the food. Despite its monopoly the schools are still marketing a product to a customer to convince him or her to purchase that product.
The only way to really get children to eat differently is to train and convince both the parents and the children themselves to eat differently. For all its centralized power and its government authority, the FLOTUS is just the tail of our current eating culture; it is trying to wag the dog and it doesn’t have the power.
So all it is doing is making kids hungrier (because they don’t eat) and hurting schools financially.
At least in the case of whole grains the food is less damaging than processed white flour, but other recommendations are more harmful. The standards require schools to offer “fat free or low-fat milk.” In other words, they want children to get more bad milk that makes them sick and has other problems.
The best thing that can happen is for the schools to be given independence. They should be permitted to market products to students with full freedom for parents to choose to pack their own lunches for their children.