After much lobbying from Michelle Obama, a child nutrition bill that includes an expansion of the school lunch program is finally on its way to be signed by the president. The bill was passed by congress yesterday. Hopefully this will mean saying goodbye to grease-dripping pizza and substandard chicken nuggets (and the repulsive crunch of little pieces of cartilage that all too often make their way into the nuggets).
The bill sets new standards to improve the quality of school meals, with more fruits and vegetables, according to the New York Times. With national school lunch programs feeding over 31 million kids a day, this is undoubtedly good news.
Which leads me to a statement that struck me absolutely the wrong way: “This bill is not about child nutrition. It’s not about healthy kids. It’s about an expansion of the federal government, more and more control from Washington, borrowing more money and putting our children in greater debt,” says Representative Paul Broun, Republican of Georgia.
Did I actually read that correctly? That’s one of the most ridiculous statements I’ve heard in awhile. You think the government would turn to a neglected school lunch program with the prime intention to expand federal power? I guess the fact that nearly one out of every three American children are obese should just be thrown out the window. There’s no way that Michelle Obama and the majority of everyone else who lobbied and/or voted for the bill were looking out for the current and future health of our nation. That’d just be absurd, right?
I don’t usually get too political on here, and yes I think the American nutrition system and much of politics, in particular that related to the food industry, is backwards, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the intentions behind this bill are positive. The school lunch program has needed a fixing up for far too long, and will probably continue to need additional healthy boosts of legislation in the future. But let’s be happy that something in relation to childhood nutrition finally got passed, and not use it as a target to call the government out for trying to expand their power. Would you rather our childhood obesity statistics keep climbing as kids keep getting shoved cheeseburgers on their trays, or would you rather the government take action to help counteract this negative trend? The answer is clear to me. (If the gov. can use their power to support the brainwashing dairy industry by only offering milk with school lunch meals, they can certainly use the power to take positive, health-conscious actions as well.)
Sure, the $4.5 billion bill could be financed in a better way. (A future cut in food stamps is helping to slash the bill). But Obama says he’ll make efforts to find other ways to pay for the new legislation.
It’s about time the government does something to actually put healthy food into the mouths of the future of our country. Anyone else with me on that?