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  • Kerri Cummings

Lunch Deals: Selling Out Our Kids' Health for Money

Please don’t get me wrong: I love America. I’m aware I risk enraging half of the country by saying that, as an American living in Europe, I appreciate my country even more than the average “live-in” American. You know how the saying goes: You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. I love the free spirit of America. I love the entrepreneurialism that pervades the core of the country. I love how Americans seem to jump at the chance to help others in need. I love American friendliness. So, please remember that, when you read the rest of this, ok? Now that we’ve got that settled, let me tell you something I’ve noticed since living abroad. I’ve noticed that the American people are willingly being fooled. It’s a wild spectacle that is like observing the evolutionary process of a species with your own eye and within a few years. The very people American citizens have voted into office are harming the nation, and no one seems to realize it. Except for people such as Michelle Obama. She is most notably fighting for better nutrition in our schools. But, bless her heart, the lady’s fighting an uphill battle. You are probably also aware of the move from our national mafia – oh sorry, I mean Congress – to allow pizza sauce to be considered a vegetable? Quick poll: How many of you think Congress actually believes that? Do you believe that canned, highly sugared and processed pizza sauce is a vegetable? Please say no.

Did you know President Obama met with 12 Republican Senators in 2013 for a dinner meeting at the Jefferson Hotel? So what, you say? Well, one of those Republican Senators ordered a special-made vegetarian meal. Do you know who it was? Of course you don’t, and I don’t. If you ask me, we are more likely to find out where those weapons of mass destruction are. My question is, why do members of Congress oppose giving our children – their children – vegetables for lunch? Since when did, “Eat your vegetables, Dear” go out of style? I’ll tell you when: It became obsolete when the food industry lobby started sleeping with our nation’s politicians. We started rationalizing our ridiculously poor choices for our children’s health when our politicians decided they needed more of the nation’s wealth for their own houses in the Hamptons, St. Michaels, or wherever else they hang their power ties. I’m not saying that Washington is conspiring to get rich at the cost of our nation’s health. In fact, it is much trickier than that. I’m saying that the whole process is a slow burn, a sticky, slimy slope that started when one politician had lunch with one lobbyist from the food industry. It was that one lunch, where that one politician became sugared into doing one favor for that one lobbyist. That lunch grew into lunches, more politicians, more lobbyists, and well, ended with the most ridiculous nutrition plan for our children. The rest of the world is feeding their children normal food for school lunch. I’m talking about the kind of food that has no packaging, and just one ingredient. Any guesses what that might be? Vegetables! Fruit! Rice!

There’s too much talk about giving children “one serving of carbs, and two servings of protein”, etc. How about we just freaking feed our children normal food? If we eat with commonsense we don’t need to calculate how much of this or that to feed our children. If we use our commonsense, and a little dash of honesty, we will admit that we know darn well what to feed them. And it sure isn’t French fries, hamburgers and pizza. You know it, I know it, our great-grandparents knew it, and our politicians secretly know it too.

Some of you might be thinking, “Yes, but our kids won’t eat that stuff. They’re going to starve all day.” This is my answer to you: Yes, they will probably be hungry for the first week. But kids are resilient. And human. They will not actually starve themselves to death. They will eventually cave in and eat. Schools in other countries, like Germany where my kids eat, learn and thrive, give their children ONE choice of lunch. In other words, there are NO choices. Sound cruel? I say it is a gift to the children. These kids are forced to expand their palate. Everyday at school they are forced to try new kinds of foods. And guess what? They are all alive. Yep. They didn’t starve themselves. In fact, most of them are healthy, vibrant and not overweight. How is that cruel? What’s cruel is that our politicians are selling out - and selling out our kids – by having lunch with the food industry.

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