by Michael dEstries
Categories: Causes, Eats
Tags: .


It looks like Spiderman is taking on his toughest battle yet: getting schools to serve more lunches with fruits, vegetables, and low-fat vegetarian meals. Tobey Maguire has written letters to Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Tom Harkin asking them to add these healthy additions to an upcoming re-authorization of the Child Nutrition Act.

“As a parent, I am contacting you because I am deeply concerned that unhealthy school lunches are contributing to our nation’s childhood obesity epidemic,” writes Maguire. “My wife and I just had our second child, so this issue is tremendously important to us…Let me ask you please to ensure the Child Nutrition Act provides more fruits, vegetables, and healthy vegetarian foods. Young people deserve healthful food, and I can’t imagine a better investment in the future of our country.”

As Maguire points out in his letter, school across the nation are inundated with surplus meat — millions of pounds of beef, pork, and other high-fat meat products are purchased by the USDA and distributed to school as part of the government’s commodity foods program. I’m sure many of us here can remember the crap we were served growing up — and now our children are faced with the same unhealthy options.

Want to help? Sign a petition here telling Congress you want children to eat better in school. Click here to read Maguire’s letter to Pelosi.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • Livin Veg

    Fantastic letter! Thanks Toby, for using your voice to speak out against the horrible school foods our children are being served.

    I love the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food. They do great work in this area:

  • jamie lynn

    awesome! let’s hope congress listens.

  • VeggieTart

    Wonderful letter. Thank you, Mr. Maguire. Although I am not a parent, I feel for those who are and want their kids to have healthy meals.

  • Suzie Q

    Mr. Maguire, like so many of his ilk, forgets to add the importance of exercise. As a parent he has control over diet and exercise. I guess he’s become part of the food police that would dictate what OTHERS eat.

  • s

    go tobey! school food is TERRIBLE. at my school, they served hamburgers one day and every single kid who ate one went home sick with food poisoning. not to mention all the hair people always find in their food. and yet people ask me why i pack my lunch as if I’M insane.

  • Michael d’Estries

    @SuzieQ: Sure, exercise is important — but a healthy diet is even more so. And why would adding more fruits and vegetables to a school lunch menu be a detriment to your child. They would still have a choice — but it’s important to give them one in the first place when it comes to purchasing something in the cafeteria.

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  • kylo

    It’s good to have healthier school food, although I personally believe they should get rid of most lunch programs and rely more on parents sending their kids to school with their own packed lunches. I had way better food than the kids who ate from the cafeteria. Even the PB&Js with apples and carrot sticks that my mom packed for me is cheaper than the cafeteria meals and much healthier.

  • krissy

    Yeah the USDA is better off serving the surplus commodities of our nations organic farmers.

  • hil

    It’s been awhile since I was in highschool, but one thing I def. remember is the “quick” line. Like many highschools in the suburbs, the population of the area outgrew the building, and our cafeteria’s where overcrowded. I remmeber many times waiting in the hot food line only to have the bell ring minutes after I finally sat down. This led me to the “quick” line more times than not that served prepackaged foods (chips and chewy granola bars and such) and milkshakes. Eventually I got fed up and began bringing my own lunch, but I think the “quick” line could have easily been a “raw foods” line. it would have been just as fast to make a fruit smoothie as a milkshake :)

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