Tuesday, December 6, 2011

"How the Food Industry Eats Your Kid's Lunch"

Want to ruin your day? Click here to read an opinion piece from Sunday's New York Times describing how poorly we feed our kids at school.

Do you need a hint why? Probably not, but here's the answer in green:


The first three paragraphs from the article:

"An increasingly cozy alliance between companies that manufacture processed foods and companies that serve the meals is making students — a captive market — fat and sick while pulling in hundreds of millions of dollars in profits. At a time of fiscal austerity, these companies are seducing school administrators with promises to cut costs through privatization. Parents who want healthier meals, meanwhile, are outgunned.

"Each day, 32 million children in the United States get lunch at schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program, which uses agricultural surplus to feed children. About 21 million of these students eat free or reduced-price meals, a number that has surged since the recession. The program, which also provides breakfast, costs $13.3 billion a year.

"Sadly, it is being mismanaged and exploited. About a quarter of the school nutrition program has been privatized, much of it outsourced to food service management giants like Aramark, based in Philadelphia; Sodexo, based in France; and the Chartwells division of the Compass Group, based in Britain. They work in tandem with food manufacturers like the chicken producers Tyson and Pilgrim’s, all of which profit when good food is turned to bad."
The author, Lucy Komisar, goes on to discuss the "rebates" (read: kickbacks) that are inherent to the current system. Komisar also reported on these kickbacks several years ago; click here to read that article from In These Times.

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