Thursday, February 16, 2012

USDA Inspectors begin visiting schools inspecting lunches #tcot #parents #kids

Yesterday a North Carolina pre-schooler's story made headlines when it was reported that an inspector replaced her home-made lunch with a school lunch considered more healthy.

UPDATE: This story has been updated with a newer version including statements from USDA officials. Click here to read the updated report.

RAEFORD, N.C. — A Hoke County preschooler was fed chicken nuggets for lunch because a state worker felt that her homemade lunch did not have enough nutritional value, according to a report by the Carolina Journal.

The West Hoke Elementary School student was in her More at Four classroom when a state employee who was inspecting lunch boxes decided that her packed lunch — which consisted of a turkey and cheese sandwich, a banana, apple juice and potato chips — “did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines,” the Journal reports.

Today I came across a similar story, which says USDA workers are going into schools and not only inspecting the food quality but tasting it? How much is this new program costing the taxpayers to bring in chefs to improve school lunches? While I am grateful my kids lunch is well prepared&healthy do we really need federal inspectors coming in to scrutinize them, and replace a home-made lunch if they think it is not nutritious enough? Most of these lunches will go to waste either way, as the little girl only ended up eating three nuggets and still didn't eat the home-made lunch or the rest of the school lunch.

Audrey Rowe is visiting schools all over the nation. “Everything we can do.. to make food taste good,” Rowe told students at Elkhorn Middle School in Frankfort on Wednesday.

The USDA official from Washington, DC got a first-hand look…and taste of school lunches in Kentucky.

“I think we can make it to where one day you’ll say ‘that lady was here and I like this food now.’That’s what I’m working on,” she said.

Taylor Boggs ate lunch with Rowe, who’s worked directly with President Obama on school lunch legislation.

“She really listened to what I said about the food,” said Boggs, an 8th grader at Elkhorn .

“Usually for students, if they don’t have a good lunch, sometime around mid-afternoon, they get sluggish, start having issues,” said Rowe, who says she visited the school in-between several meetings with officials in Kentucky.

Rowe says the bottom line is that school lunches today are going to be a lot different next year.

8th graders say their meals are pretty good, but some days…. “It’s really greasy…and not fresh,” said Boggs.

Rowe says some districts have brought in chefs in to make changes.

“A few weeks ago Rachel Ray made lunch in one of the schools I was in, she made turkey tacos,” she said.

Elkhorn Middle School was given the thumbs up for already serving fat free milk and whole grain buns.

“I’m really pleased with what I see here in Kentucky. Other school districts are not as far along,” Rowe said.

Rowe says the new laws will not just change what is served in cafeterias, but what is allowed in vending machines and other areas of the school.


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