Why does this matter?
Our children are on track to have shorter lifespans than us. This is unacceptable. Our kids are getting sick from the unhealthy and processed food they’re eating. They deserve to be on the playground, not in the hospital. We need to improve our food system and raise our food standards so our kids can live long healthy and happy lives.
The USDA released a proposal to reduce rules that promote nutrient dense fruits and vegetables, and protect our children’s health. Under the proposed revision, a processed vegetable flour based pasta could be considered a vegetable. A hash brown could replace fresh fruit. Three slices of pizza could replace a balanced meal. The “flexibility” allows for more fried and ultra-processed foods.
Food companies and lobbyist groups are incredibly powerful and influential in this country. The proposal is being made in the name of ‘flexibility’ and ‘food waste reduction.’ That said, USDA research proves that since 2012, when the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act was implemented (through bipartisan support), our kids have been eating more nutritious food at school and food waste hasn’t increased. Can the standards be better? Yes! We believe in continuous improvement. For the most part, this is not that. This is creating loopholes to an approach that has proven to help our kids be healthier.
Who does this impact?
Any child who eats any food at school. It will especially impact the 30 million who participate in the National School Lunch Program. There are 22 million kids from low income families who depend on the nourishment of school breakfast and lunch. This hurts all of our kids and especially the kids who need these meals the most.
What does Eat REAL do?
Our nonprofit has a program for school districts that supports them in their journeys to raise the food standards. It goes way above and beyond national standards. School Districts can get involved here.
What can I do?
- Visit eatreal.org/doright
- Share the photo and the video #doright #healthykids #eatreal #higherstandards
- Submit your comments here. Before you hit submit, screenshot them and post on social media with #doright #healthykids #eatreal #higherstandards #AHashBrownIsNotAFruit.
Where to Read More
Proposed USDA rule on school meal services would be detrimental to children’s health American Heart Association
Trump USDA Weakens School Nutrition—Again. My Deep Dive Into What It Really Means. The Lunch Tray by Bettina Elias Siegel
Chef Ann Foundation Official Response Chef Ann Foundation
Is Pasta a Vegetable? New Proposed USDA School Lunch Rules Say Yes
Food & Wine Magazine
More pizza, fewer vegetables: Trump administration further undercuts Obama school-lunch rules The Washington Post