Monday, October 20


A quote from this story caught my eye - Rick Hanger supervises food service for a series of schools around Eureka, CA (on the North Coast).
Hanger "said Arcata parents often call to request more vegan and soy foods in meals. He tells them that he can't offer soy milk, for example, since it isn't approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture." Wow. Thing is, that could change: "Schools may add soymilk to menus," the Des Moines register predicts. "Dairy farmers are fighting the move, but the Senate Agriculture Committee is expected to approve the soy subsidy later this month as part of an overhaul of the government's child nutrition programs." Bear in mind the change is largely due to agressive soy industry lobbying, not due to the number of parents who want a more nutritious alternative for their kids. But there are school lunch programs that address those parents as well, including this school I've visited, Kimberton Waldorf School. "Kimberton's lunches are to other schools' what Chez Panisse is to McDonald's. Everything is organic, vegetarian and homemade. The menu is often based on what's fresh, abundant and produced locally" - and get this - the kids actually eat it! Will wonders never cease?
UPDATE 10/21: College kids are demanding serious vegan food - check out the opening of this Diamondback article: "There is growing dissatisfaction among university students with Dining Services' meal plan options. Students lament high prices, poor taste, the use of Styrofoam, a lack of quality vegetarian and vegan options (especially at South Campus Dining Hall)..."
AND: Turning their attention from accosting schoolchildren and instead addressing parents and the community, PETA filed a complaint with Miami-Dade schools over flavored milks, which are often more sugary than soda pop (and always more cruel). "In Miami-Dade, the complaint got instant action. Penny Parham, in charge of school lunches, drove to a high school, checked a milk vending machine and discovered it was selling the exact, 460-calorie Nesquick chocolate milk product referred to in the PETA complaint. 'It's coming out immediately,' she said. 'This isn't the right way to fight obesity.'" See how it works, guys? Leave those kids alone; talk to the adults.
ADDENDUM: I can't let this slide, though. I've mentioned before how cowardly reporters are to couch factual information in the mouths of sources rather than state it outright, but this is amazing. The reporter couldn't even stand behind the info listed on the Nutrition Facts Box on these products, instead ascribing this easily accessible data to PETA: "A 16-ounce bottle of Nesquick, the complaint says, has 460 calories, 16 grams of fat, 58 grams of sugar, 280 milligrams of sodium and 60 milligrams of cholesterol. It says the same amount of Pepsi contains 200 calories, 0 grams of fat, 54 grams of sugar, 25 milligrams of sodium and 0 milligrams of cholesterol." Gosh, if only there were some way of confirming or denying those wild PETA claims...

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