There is something listed on my daughter's school lunch menu by the name of "PhysEdibles". It's supposed to be a food. I can't really think of the last time I might have planted PhysEdibles in a garden, or grabbed a bag/bunch from my grocery store's produce section. Well, after further research, I have learned that they are a Goldfish animal cracker.....a dessert with partially hydrogenated vegetable shortening.
I am not anti-cracker, anti-treat or anti-sugar. But I do believe in real food....food made with real ingredients, not overly processed junk. I believe in cooking and baking from scratch (it doesn't have to be a time consuming, boring or grueling undertaking), and I certainly believe that our schools should be offering kids food with ingredients we can pronounce. I want to know that their broccoli rice dish is not coated in colored food dye and cheese made from chemicals. I don't want to see that breakfast menus for the kids who need to eat at school in the morning consist of french toast sticks (partially hydrogenated vegetable shortening) and a peach cup (canned in sugar syrup).
So much of the food in these lunches contains partially hydrogenated vegetable shortening. Packaging labels have jumped on the bandwagon, boasting No Trans Fats. I want you to realize that if there is a partially hydrogenated ingredient, it most certainly does have trans fats. It's just their way around it.
Under FDA regulations in effect in the United States, "if the serving contains less than 0.5 gram [of trans fat], the content, when declared, shall be expressed as zero." Suppose a product contains 0.4 grams per serving and you eat four servings (which is not uncommon). You have just consumed 1.6 grams of trans fat, despite the fact that the package claims that the product contains zero grams of trans fat per serving.
If our kids eat these products at home, if they eat these PhysEdibles, mini cinnamon rolls, bunny cake and cookie dough at the school-served meals we are doing these generations a true disservice but robbing them of the nutrients of whole foods, of food grown from the earth.
I have been a fan of Jamie Oliver since he arrived on the scene many years ago, and I am so very grateful that he has taken it upon himself to better our country's school food quality. I understand budgets are tight and convenience has become a way of life, but food is key to survival and most certainly key to our health, both mentally and physically.
Signing Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution petition will assist your local schools make a healthy change. It will help our own districts make these necessary changes to get rid of the processed meals and snacks and implement cooking fresh, whole foods. Fuel your childrens' bodies with what will assist them to grow a healthy future for generations to come.
Because your kids are worth it, and because you're worth it, please take just 30 seconds and sign Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution petition by clicking this link.