First lady Michelle Obama has joined with food activists to push through changes in school lunch menus as a way to combat childhood obesity and promote better nutrition. But children are rising up in revolution. A new generation of anti-big government, anti-nanny state meddling, is born! The Tea Party is passing its generational torch to the School Lunch Party.
A new product has popped up on the city’s black market and it’s selling in an unexpected place: Greater New Bedford Vocational-Technical High School, which has become ground zero for a new underground economy based on trade in chocolate syrup.
Students said some of their peers are buying the contraband liquid for 50 cents and squeezing it into cartons of white milk to give it flavor. It’s their way of coping with a ban on flavored milk — and a long list of other items — that took effect Aug. 1.
“Of course they got rid of dessert, (but) flavored milk … I don’t understand why we can’t have that,” said Paige Lame , 17, of New Bedford. She added that she thought the nutritional difference between white milk and chocolate, strawberry or coffee flavored milk was too minimal to have an important impact on health.
The changes reflect stricter nutrition standards imposed in January by the federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which was championed by Michelle Obama and her “Let’s Move” initiative.
They are also part of a law passed by the state Legislature in 2010 as a step toward combating childhood obesity. That law states that milk with more sugar than nonfat or 1 percent white milk may not be served a la carte starting in August 2013.
The rules, which apply to schools across the state, also reduce the amount of protein served to high schoolers, and increase servings of fruit and vegetables — going so far as to specify how many servings of green vegetables, legumes, and red/orange vegetables should be consumed each week. . . .The changes are especially hard at the elementary school level, where hummus and black bean salad have been a tough sell, said Nancy Carvalho, director of food services for the New Bedford Public Schools, adding that bowls of chili served Wednesday to comply with the legume specifications were “not a very good decision.” . . .
At Voc-Tech, the changes have produced complaints from some students that portions are too small — particularly since the price of lunch has increased 10 cents to $1.95, again due to a federal mandate.”How do they expect us to go through the day and work hard when they give us smaller portions and we’re hungry?” said Ashley Chaneco, 13, of New Bedford.
“You’re paying more for less,” said Erik Cortez, 16, of New Bedford. “I get it, but why should they have the right to tell you what you can and can’t eat?”
Imagine trying to get elementary school-aged kids to eat humuus!
Hungry school children are now bringing their lunches and eating more snacks. See this report.
And this new rising generation of radicalized students, newly opposed to big government and nanny-state meddling, are battling the oppression with the tools that they have. Not only setting up black markets for chocolate syrup and other newly-controlled substances, but using the new information technology to promote the cause. Consider this very creative video they made, which has now, of course, gone viral: