WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nobody in the school cafeteria business is happy with the federal government’s proposed new rules on school lunches, according to Education Week magazine, and they all have different reasons why the “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act” won’t work well.
School districts say the new requirements for whole grains, reduced sodium and more vegetables will be expensive and will result in too much food tossed away by students, while potato growers are unhappy about the limits on starchy foods and parents are worried that calorie limits aren’t high enough for high school athletes, the report said.
On the other side are celebrity chefs and organic food companies who say the new rules are necessary to combat childhood obesity and malnutrition, according to Education Week.
The proposed rules, which apply to school breakfast and lunch, were published in January and are open for public comment until April 13 at www.regulations.gov. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has suggested districts raise prices, if necessary, to offset costs, Education Week reported.
One of the largest questions is whether students will eat food prepared under the new guidelines, the report said.
Education Week, “Ultimate Food Fight Erupts as Feds Recook School Lunch Rules,” April 5, 2011 (Subscription required)
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Advice from the Nanny State,” Sept. 7, 2009