0092: School Lunch Conspiracy?
#education #nutrition #poverty
At the risk of sounding alarmist, several students at my school have passed out just after lunch or
breakfast. The paramedics have had to be called each time. Conspiracy? Who knows, but it sure is strange. This morning one of my students became dizzy. It’s choir so I thought he had locked his knees and just needed to sit down. He wasn’t looking any better so I had a student walk him to the office. He staggered that way. He was dazed. Maybe he had taken something on the way to school? I went to talk to the paramedics after I found someone to watch my class. They couldn’t take him to the hospital, because he wasn’t in immediate danger and there was no parent to be found, but I digress. I got back to class, the custodian was watching it. He told me that this had been happening all week, and just after meals. Then he said, “You know, I think it has something to do with what these kids are eating. The government said we gotta give ‘em healthy food, and they’re in there serving sweet tea and all sorts of sugary things. All these kids have is sweets and hot chips.” I nodded. We discussed the quality of food at different schools and in different places for a minute, both remarking how the wealthier schools have a little better quality food with a little more focus on good nutrition. Additionally, the wealthier kids eat outside of school on a regular basis. Our kids get two meals a day at school and whatever snacks they can get their hands on when they aren’t here. Sure, they have health where they’re “taught” to make healthy choices, but those aren’t reinforced by the cafeteria. We have chili and sticky bun day for God’s sake! The sticky buns taste great, but healthy? Get out of here. The foods not good. Lots of fatty meat. Processed meat, starches and sugars. But, they do serve wheat rolls. There’s also fruit, but its in syrup. Ranch dressing is served with everything. Salad is an option, but they only make ten per lunch period which serves about 200. This spread of food had been the norm at each school I’ve taught. Filling and fattening foods with sugary foods or chips for sale by the cafeteria. Free lunch is restricted, but the kids can buy junk food—ice cream, candy, chips, etc.
I am no nutritionist. I like food that tastes good. I even indulge in the occasional gastrointestinal sin, but I have access to good, fresh, and healthy food. It seems that we, the United States, are feeding an impoverished population junk that keeps them full, but undernourished. We’re keeping them occupied, and distracted. Is this some sort of eugenic mechanism? I don’t know, but I feel uneasy. Something’s not right.