Childhood obesity has been a hot button topic ever since first lady Michelle Obama embraced the cause. And as documentaries like King Corn and Food Inc. continually point out, we’re breeding a new generation of mini doughboys and doughgirls.
When highly processed, high-fructose-corn-syrup-packed edibles compete with mechanically separated chicken nuggets, bottom of the barrel burgers and deep fried potatoes, fresh vegetables typically don’t stand a chance…that is, if they’re actually even offered.
British chef Jamie Oliver has been working feverishly to convert our nation’s school lunch system into one that actually serves wholesome, real food and the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine has spearheaded their own campaign which works with school districts to offer more sensible dietary selections.
While time will tell if and when these programs become mainstream, a few school districts across the country are already embracing Meatless Mondays for health, environmental and budgetary reasons.
This dietary initiative has apparently entered our pop culture consciousness now that ABC Family’s 10 Things I Hate About You featured an episode devoted entirely to the potential health consequences of factory farmed meat and one high school student’s efforts to convince her school to adopt Meatless Mondays.
Nielson determined that 751,000 people viewed the episode, proving the undeniable power of mass media to help spread awareness and perhaps trigger a mini-uprising of real-life vegetarians.
In the meantime, if the Healthy School Meals Act gets the thumbs up, a $4 million pilot program will be rolled out in school districts offering children more healthy options, as well as supplemental commodity assistance to schools that offer at least 2/3 of their student population veggie-based menu selections. Fingers crossed!
Via Vegetarian Star