The government has indicated a desire to ban packed lunches and make school meals compulsory. It states that school meal uptake is low (43%) despite “huge quality improvements” and that if everyone had school dinners then quality could further improve due to the extra money that would become available. Surely that's like McDonalds offering to make their food better, but only if more of us eat there.
They claim that packed lunches are usually less nutritious than a cooked meal. They may be right, but to block a parents rights to choose what their children consume seems a little ridiculous. I'd happily let my daughter eat a healthy cooked lunch every day once she begins school. Sadly despite Jamie Oliver's attempts, school meals are far from healthy. Laden with rapeseed oil, processed and fried foods, with poor quality meats I think I'd rather take the option of buying better quality natural foods for my daughter to eat.
So, if the government wants to feed my daughter and son with £1.90 school meals, but why have our school meals become so dirty and lacking in nutrition? Less and less money is spent due to pressure to bring costs down and in some schools (academy's) actually make a profit on the dinners. Education is big business and its a safe assumption that we'll never see truly nutritious natural foods on the menu, but should they really be allowed to make profit out of your child's school meal?. How will they attemp to fund any minor improvements? Well, the greater the uptake the cheaper the cost of buying the products they use to make the "food", so whilst you may see some improvement in quality (I seriously doubt it) the profit margin will have to remain the same or increase for all those involved. Compulsory school dinner would just ensure one thing, that those involved would make more money.
What would I do given the chance to revolutionise school meals? I'm realistic enough to know that kids are never going to get fed grass fed meats, pastured eggs, unpasteurised milk, and lots of other healthy nutritious foods. I would like to see the removal of polyunsaturated fats, a return to more natural fats such as butter etc, the removal of high fructose syrup and in general a return to real foods that are cooked by cooks and not just heated up, fried or taken out of a packet.
How long-term dietary intake of essential fatty acids affects the fatty-acid content of aortic plaques is not clear. We compared the fatty-acid composition of aortic plaques with that of post-mortem serum and adipose tissue, in which essential fatty-acid content reflects dietary intake. Positive associations were found between serum and plaque omega 6 (r = 0.75) and omega 3 (r = 0.93) polyunsaturated fatty acids, and monounsaturates (r = 0.70), and also between adipose tissue and plaque omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (r = 0.89). No associations were found with saturated fatty acids. These findings imply a direct influence of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids on aortic plaque formation and suggest that current trends favouring increased intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids should be reconsidered.
On top of this I would love clarification on why schools meals are allowed to contain GMO's despite councils denying it.
Even Monsanto staff were protected from GMO yet our kids are fed a diet of cheap, non foods cooked in poly unsaturated GMO oils that often contain soy.