Your kids are going back-to-school soon–and thus marks the new year. What’s your resolution? Will you try to carpool more? Will you walk your kid to the bus stop? Go to more of their soccer games? Inspire them artistically?
How will this school year be different? One suggestion: make your child’s lunch healthier.
There are a zillion reasons to do this. Besides the moral and ethical issues surrounding school lunch, there are health issues as well. And unless you live in Berkeley and send your kids to Alice Waters-influenced farm-fresh school lunch programs, it’s more likely than not your school’s cafeteria uses meat that’s pumped with hormones, raised on a feedlot, and filled with antibiotics. It’s likely those mashed potatoes were grown with pesticides, the fruit cup is sprayed, and even the healthiest section of the lunch buffet–the salad bar–is covered with damaging preservatives, and GMOs.
Not to freak everyone out. But there are hidden dangers in your kids’ meals. It’s worth it to know what’s in your child’s lunch.
And what about those little harmless cartons of milk they’re consuming at snack time? Those are filled with growth hormones, most likely. And are not organic, nor from grassfed milking cows. Jeffrey Smith, author of Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You’re Eating, has a lot of good information about how our children’s milk is on drugs, and not good for them. You might want to consider packing juice boxes, or waterbottles (stainless steel, and BPA free) filled with milk from home.
It’s probably worth noting that in many cases, school lunch (the hot one, the one with GMOs) might be the only meal a family can afford for their child. So for those who can afford to pack some leftovers, it’s worth it. For those who can’t afford it–we encourage all to join the fight–both political and social–for an affordable food system. Food is a human right, after all.