Posted By LambChop
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) Highlights Section of the Report: For example, because USDA regulations restrict the amounts of meats and grains that can be served in school lunches each week, all eight districts GAO visited needed to modify or eliminate popular menu items. These changes sometimes led to negative student reactions. The meat and grain restrictions also led to smaller lunch entrees, making it difficult for some schools to meet minimum calorie requirements for lunches without adding items, such as gelatin, that generally do not improve the nutritional quality of lunches.
Of course the unintended consequences of food waste, students refusing to eat the new menu items, hungry students, and the fact that the guidelines do not promote healthier options were never considered.
The report cites the substitutions required to comply with the absurd regulations. For example, cheeseburgers were removed from one district’s lunch menus because adding cheese to the burger “would have made it difficult to stay within the weekly meat maximums.” Another district switched from shredded cheese on hot dogs to a not-so healthy chemically-based/processed cheese sauce because the liquid cheese “does not count as a meat alternate.”
The report also cited that in order to comply “…some districts added foods that generally did not improve the nutritional value of the lunches.” They added ice cream. Gelatin, butter, jelly, processed cheese sauce and ranch dressing to add calories – of course these are not natural foods and they are full of sugar, salt and preservatives.
Ridiculous solutions to the regulations include 1.5 ounce burger patties, whole grain “potato chips,” and black bean sandwiches are driving students away from the school lunch program in droves – causing schools to lose money as students fend for themselves to avoid the horrible food.