When it comes to school lunches, parents have so many options nowadays. Foods that are healthy, organic, and align well with their dietary values. This progress is great.
But one downfall is that public schools don’t always follow the same guidelines. In fact, due to the FDA’s somewhat lackadaisical approach to food safety (at least compared to other nations), school cafeteria food can still be quite scary. Here are just a few foods that can easily make their way into your kid’s school lunch.
Would you believe that some chickens are actually fed arsenic – a well known carcinogen – to both bulk them up and make their meat “pinker”? Unfortunately, this toxin is traceable even after the animal is harvested. Gross! We believe the only ingredient found in chicken should be just that: chicken. Nothing else.
Schools have gone to great lengths to reduce access to junk food, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still be found. Take Mountain Dew for example, which has quite the colorful past, everything from Dewshine to being used as engine fuel. So it may come as no surprise that the soft drink, along with some other citrus-flavored sodas and sports drinks, contains brominated vegetable oil, a chemical patented as a flame retardant.
Potassium Bromate = not great. Some commercial baking companies enrich their bread flour with this additive to make bread more elastic, such as Hormel and also Tastee Choice. But studies have linked potassium bromate to kidney and nervous system damage, thyroid problems, and even cancer. Even China has banned this bad boy, so why shouldn’t our schools?
Did you know that more than 3,000 food additives, such as food colorings and flavors, are added to US foods? However, most are banned in other countries based on their toxicity. Companies like Kraft and Kellogg’s use natural colorants in those countries but not here. Why? We’d sure like to know.
The stories you hear about Olestra are Internet gold. You could start a YouTube channel on just that alone. That’s because while this calorie- and cholesterol-free fat substitute, often found in potato chips, may be FDA approved, there’s a reason TIME Magazine named it one of the worst inventions ever. This product is known to cause abdominal issues and severely embarrassing digestive issues. Aren’t kids under enough pressure without out adding unnecessary embarrassment to the mix?
If there has ever been an argument for reducing what foods we serve in public schools, it’s these five reasons. Want to make sure these foods stay out of your kids’ school? Write your state legislators and let them know!