School districts thought they won a hard-fought battle, getting school cafeterias to replace fries with carrots and pizza with…whole wheat pizza. And yet, reports keeping coming out about all the food that ends up in the trash can because kids are throwing out the healthy stuff, declaring the tasteless good-for-you foods an abomination on freedom and just plain boring.
All this waste is enough to get Jonathan Bloom up in arms, but it also speaks to how in the U.S., children’s palates have become so desensitized to flavor that anything that doesn’t taste like lime burst blueberry isn’t worthy of eating. So students would rather throw away real food and complain about how hungry they are. Meanwhile, there are a number of adults who are not only perpetuating this cycle by providing overly sweetened, processed foods, but are also declaring any sort of school lunch police an infringement on rights. Is it really only a matter of freedom and personal responsibility when taxpayers dollars do go to subsidizing school lunches for everyone? Should we as taxpayers be supporting sugared flavored milks and sweetened items that are causing children to have cavities earlier and earlier?
Not to mention: are we somewhat spoiled to even have this discussion when there are so many in the U.S. and beyond that would find it difficult to turn down a perfectly healthy carrot (albeit, perhaps a bit boring) because well, it’s food. And when you’re really going hungry, throwing away sustenance seems to be an incomprehensible waste.
If you haven’t seen John Stewart’s take on kids are going hungry because of “too healthy” options, this is worth a few minutes of your time: