White House to put up to 5,000 salad bars in schools

Discussion in 'The Fire For Effect and Totally Politically Incorr' started by jack404, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    http://www.grist.org/article/food-2010-11-18-white-house-backs-national-salad-bar-initiative



    First Lady Michelle Obama is expected to announce on Monday a major new initiative that would place up to 5,000 salad bars in public schools nationwide, despite uncertainties over how local health inspectors might treat those salad bars and USDA nutrition-tracking rules that could prove a major impediment.

    Officials in the White House, led by chef Sam Kass, and at the U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention, have been working to build a coalition representing the produce industry and Ann Cooper, director of nutrition services in Boulder, Colo. schools, who recently teamed with Whole Foods to raise $1.4 million from customers to establish a grant program that would place salad bars in qualifying schools.

    Under the initiative expected to be announced on Monday in Florida, where First Lady Michelle Obama has taken her "Let's Move" campaign to fight childhood obesity, Cooper would manage applications for salad bars from the schools along with distribution of funds to purchase necessary equipment.

    One potential obstacle to the program is the refusal of many school districts to install salad bars for food-safety reasons and because of cumbersome USDA rules governing the federally subsidized school lunch program that feeds some 31 million U.S. school children every day.

    Cooper named three school districts she knows of -- Philadelphia, Austin, Tex., and Montgomery County, Md., -- that have already indicated they will not support salad bars. Concerns have been raised that elementary school children in particular might be prone to spread disease at salad bars because they are too short for the standard "sneeze guard" installed on most salad bars, or because they might use their hands instead of the serving utensils provided.

    Cooper, who would not comment on the pending White House announcement, has dismissed those concerns, saying, "As far as I’ve found out, there are no documented disease outbreaks from school salad bars. By and large, this is not a high risk area."

    But schools also are deterred by USDA regulations that require students to pass by a cash register or "point of sale" station after they have been to the salad bar to ensure that they have served themselves the correct portions of fruits and vegetables required under the federal lunch program. In October, the USDA's Food and Nutrition Services division, which oversees the subsidized meal program, circulated a memo saying that while it encourages the use of salad bars in schools, school menu planners must tell students the minimum amounts they must take from salad bars, cashiers "must be trained to judge accurately the quantities of self-service items," and point-of-sale registers "must be stationed after the salad bar."

    Cooper has previously said USDA rules too often "don't work on the ground" and that forcing students to double back and pass a checkpoint after they've been to the salad bar "slows everything down."

    Also, the CDC was trying to determine how local health inspectors might pass judgment on salad bars scattered across the country and what federal health requirements they might apply.

    In addition to Cooper, the White House initiative participants are said to be United Fresh Produce Association, the National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance, and Whole Foods. The recent Whole Foods campaigns raised enough money to pay for salad bars in 564 schools. Around 570 schools applied for salad bar grants. Until now, the produce industry has been backing its own campaign to donate salad bars to schools.

    Michelle Obama has embraced more fruit and vegetable consumption as a major plank in her efforts to improve American diets and combat weight-related illnesses, especially among children. Kass, who directs the First Lady's nutrition efforts, was seen as central to bringing the various salad-bar interests together and developing a unified effort under the White House banner.
  2. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member

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    Under the initiative expected to be announced on Monday in Florida, where First Lady Michelle Obama has taken her "Let's Move" campaign to fight childhood obesity, Cooper would manage applications for salad bars from the schools along with distribution of funds to purchase necessary equipment.


    Michelle obama should take those funds and spend them with Jenny Craig. ;)
  3. ponycar17

    ponycar17 Active Member

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    What gets me is this perception that salads are healthy just because they contain greens. It cracks me up to watch folks at work mound over their salads with all the most fatty items and end up with a $7 lunch salad. Umm, I think they're missing the point. ;)

    Agreed Shooter!

    [​IMG]
  4. Gun Geezer

    Gun Geezer Well-Known Member

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    I taught in a high school for 35 years. We tried a salad bar for a while when the childhood obesity thing was big once before. The kids would heap their plates to over flowing and end up throwing most of it in the garbage. Our biggest money maker were pop machines, candy machines and morning sweet rolls and donuts. Every obese student I ever had, also had one or both obese parents. Schools, like big government, can't and shouldn't try to take the place of responsible parenthood.
  5. glocknut

    glocknut New Member

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    My highschool had a salad bar....the jerks used it as a spitoon so nobody ever got any salads from it. Well, maybe a few unsuspecting foreign exchange students.... :rolleyes:

    mike
    gn
  6. Bobitis

    Bobitis Guest

    "I'll have the garden salad, plenty of croutons, bacon bits, and two big dollops of mayo. Large order of fries, mashed potatoes with burger gravy, and apple pie for dessert. T-sauce for the fries, and extra butter cuz the gravy is too thick. And a diet coke".

    "When I'm tired of salad, I can throw it away and fall back on the good stuff. And when I get home, I can eat whatever I want".

    If school food is so bad, why not get rid of it altogether? Make the parents responsible and take the school out of the loop.



    Sorry, flashback from my youth.:eek:

    Now, where were we...:rolleyes:
  7. Gun Geezer

    Gun Geezer Well-Known Member

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    Actually, that's exactly what our school finally did. It wasn't all due to the bad habits of the kids. It got to be difficult to keep school cafeteria workers because the position was part-time for all but the manager and the cook. The servers, dishwashers, asst. cooks, etc. wanted benefits and as part time help they weren't eligible for health ins. or retirement benefits. We ended up having Mac Donalds, Pizza Hut, Subway and some catering Co. bring in an assortment of the most popular meals, a different one every day. That got rid of the cook and dishwashers, so it was a win,win situation for the district. The students, not so much.:eek:
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010
  8. ofitg

    ofitg New Member

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    I don't think I would want my kid eating anything from a school cafeteria which hadn't been thoroughly cooked, and kept at 150 degrees F right up to the moment it was ladled onto his/her plate.
  9. dons2346

    dons2346 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Salad bars are the filthiest and most unsanitary thing you will find anywhere. My wife was in the food service profession for over 30 years, I think she should know.
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