New Lunch Laws Unveiled

BHS student, Cody Crane, purchases a morning snack in the school cafeteria recently. Breakfast has been modified to a healthier version due to a new lunch law. Photo by James Integlia.

By: Brianna Boteler and Kelsey Austin Lunch has changed more now than ever. Everyone is asking the same questions, “Why are the prices going up, and why is there such a jump in whole wheat products?”  We are about to find the answers. There is an increase in whole wheat products, and a decrease in some of the foods that students love the most.  Branford High student Tatiana Alvarado says, “the lunch here is repulsive, they should have never switched to wheat bread.” Michelle Obama has been largely involved in making school lunches healthier and the government has finally passed her law. Lauren Atkinson, also a student here at Branford, says "The lunch lines here are way too long and by the time you get your food it isn't even that good."  Lunches have been altered to fit the new guidelines, such as larger helpings of grains, fruits, vegetables, and only low fat or non dairy milk. Limits are also being made in order to make little or no sugar/salty items. Before this law, proteins were the biggest part of school lunches, now however; now students are eating more vegetables and fruits as opposed to meat products. Everyone has been noticing that you are forced to take certain items, such as milk, a vegetable, fruit and grains. This new law has been the reason that there is such a jump in the amount of wasted food. The adjustments are a part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 introduced by Michelle Obama. This law updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Robert Weber stated that the lunch sales are about the same, maybe slightly less although their September numbers are skewed. Student, Hannah Snow, says, “the food is gross and too expensive.” After talking to Robert Weber, Director of Dining Services and also a part of Chartwells, we got the answers.  He brought up that while the prices have gone up, it is not to make any sort of profit for the school.  Weber said, “It is getting harder to keep within the budget with all of the fresh fruits and vegetables we need to buy.” Staff member Cathyann Roding is on a healthy diet, but  she doesn't think the food being served here is as healthy as it could be. “ I follow a strict diet and most of the food offered doesn't meet the requirements,” Roding says.  “Although they say the food is supposed to be getting healthier.” The cafeteria does not making any money for the school, they are basically just breaking even and may come out with a few pennies. In November there will be a sampling for a new chip called the Pop Chip. The flavors will be spicy barbecue, sea salt, sour cream and onion. Weber said that with him as the director students get more of a choice with what is served. Pop chips are a healthy alternative to any other  chip. They are not fried, so a lot of the fat is cut out. This is only the beginning to the on flow of healthy snacks to come through the doors of BHS. http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/10/do-you-think-a-healthier-school-lunch-program-is-a-lost-cause/