Sunday, October 07, 2012

Florida school considers 'trash-cams' at school cafeterias

Officials say federal law requires veggies on menu, but students toss them.  "You can lead a horse to water ...."

Lake County School Board officials are considering attaching cameras to school cafeteria trash cans to study what students are tossing after officials found that most of the vegetables on the school menu end up in the trash can.

New federal laws require students to take a healthy produce at lunchtime, but last year in Lake County, students tossed $75,000 worth of produce in the garbage.

"It's a big issue, and it's very hard to get our hands around it," said School Board member Todd Howard, who suggested "trash-cams." "They have to take (the vegetable), and then it ends up in the trash can, and that's a waste of taxpayer money.  It's also not giving students the nutrition that they need."

Laurel Walsh, whose daughter attends Tavares Elementary School, says getting kids to eat their fruits and vegetables is not the job of the respective schools.

"I think it starts at home with the parents.  If the kids just don't like it because they've never been given it at home, they're not going to try something new here," she said.

No decisions have been made on the cameras, but school leaders say they wouldn't capture students faces, just what they're throwing away.


Health body's eating tips unsubstantiated

THE food industry has attacked proposals by Australia's top health advisory body that people should limit red meat, avoid excessively processed food and reduce supermarket trips by car on environmental grounds, saying this approach has nothing to do with health.

A five-page draft document issued by the National Health and Medical Research Council says Australians should consider avoiding overconsumption of food and drinks, not purely for health reasons but because "this involves greater use of natural resources and puts more pressure on the environment".

Likewise, the document suggests people choose a variety of "seasonal and local" fruit and vegetables and grains "to reduce environmental impact".

The draft, which is open for public consultation for a month, also suggests Australians "minimise impact by reducing shopping trips by car", eat "raw food when appropriate" and use "home composting for disposal of food waste".

 The document suggests Australians should "choose protein sources that have a lower environmental impact, such as pork, poultry, eggs, tofu, tempeh, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans". It added fish and seafood should come from "stable stocks".

The document, which is proposed as an appendix to the next edition of the NHMRC's Dietary Guidelines, expected to be released next year, says the evidence that food choices and environmental degradation are linked had strengthened since the guidelines previous edition in 2003.

Gary Dawson, chief executive of the Australia Food and Grocery Council, which represents the food and grocery processing sector, said environmental considerations "did not have any place in dietary guidelines at all . . . It adds to concerns that the (dietary guidelines) process has run off the rails a bit . . . the risk is it undermines the credibility of the guidelines themselves."

Nutritionist Rosemary Stanton, a member of the NHMRC working panel that developed the appendix, defended the environmental focus, saying there had been "overwhelming" support in submissions for the inclusion of advice of this kind.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lunch lady slammed for food that is 'too good'

A talented head cook at a school in central Sweden has been told to stop baking fresh bread and to cut back on her wide-ranging veggie buffets because it was unfair that students at other schools didn't have access to the unusually tasty offerings.

Annica Eriksson, a lunch lady at school in Falun, was told that her cooking is just too good.

Pupils at the school have become accustomed to feasting on newly baked bread and an assortment of 15 vegetables at lunchtime, but now the good times are over.

The municipality has ordered Eriksson to bring it down a notch since other schools do not receive the same calibre of food - and that is "unfair".