First lady responds to school meal critics

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  • Silence Dogood Caliente, NV
    May 31, 2014 11:25 a.m.

    Lets get back to the real issue here. Should the FED be allowed to dictate lunch choices in schools? Manny was on the right track.

    If the fed wants free and reduced lunch recipients to eat whole grains and unpalatable food that is one thing...but they are forcing that on ALL students.

    In our schools we find that the whole grain stuff largely goes in the trash. Our lunch sales have fallen dramatically since this was implemented. More kids are going hungry, buying snacks, or bringing stuff from home.

    Bottom line: America was founded on principles of freedom and choice. This is yet another example of the FED sticking it's nose in places that it shouldn't and taking freedom and choice out of the equation. It's costing schools lots of money (we would be happy if our schools could break even on the lunch program, which we could do if we could feed students what they want), and for the most part students aren't eating any healthier than they were before. This law should be repealed for those reasons. It was a bad law. It is a bad law.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    May 29, 2014 9:56 a.m.

    Is the United States of America transforming into a kingdom? Some feel we have a king, and queen. They worshiped them.

    I don't need Michelle telling me how to fed my children, or Barry saying I didn't start my business.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 28, 2014 7:06 p.m.

    "When a government imposes things to "improve society", and uses tax dollars to pay for it, that's communism and/or socialism, "

    So the Smithsonian is communism or socialism? The local and national parks... socialist. Endowment for the Arts... next thing you know we have a Socialist Dictatorships. Seat belt laws...... Stalin would be proud. Child labor laws.... ripping the freedom to work from 10 year olds.... maybe they did want to work in coal mines or pick tobacco and cotton.

    What do you mean by "improve society"...... are smoking laws banning it in public places socialist? Is requiring kids to get an education... is that communism? Is it the spending of "public" funds the issue? Is improving society something different than "promote the general Welfare" of the country?

    Just wondering your definition. Public Transit = socialism?

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 28, 2014 2:45 p.m.

    Rural Sports Fan,

    You really need to brush up on your mind reading skills. If I would have wanted to call it racism, I would have. There are many reasons people choose to hate the Obama's and yes race is probably part or all of it for some. Remember the day President Obama was elected and Mitch McConnell said it was his job to make him a one term president? The far right has attacked everything and anything the Obama's have done or tried to do since day one. They have not made any effort to work with the President on anything. The school lunch program is just another example of that.

    Oh and by the way could you refer me to the place where Mrs. Obama changed the guidelines so all kids get the same food. I was 6'6" 200+ when I went to high school in the 90's and I got the same amount of food that the guy next to me got unless I paid extra. I really don't think this is new. Oh and could you help me understand how this new lunch program is socialist but the previous one wasn't?

  • Rural sport fan DUCHESNE, UT
    May 28, 2014 12:53 p.m.'re example is flawed. When a government imposes things to "improve society", and uses tax dollars to pay for it, that's communism and/or socialism, and it is inherently evil, as it means individuals hold power over others. When people choose to live communally, and are well represented within that system, and free to choose another way, then it isn't the same at all.

    Yes, sometimes our government needs to step up and take control of some things, for the good of all; and sometimes the governed desire that. But this isn't one of those times.

    And frankly, the gov't is absolutely terrible at taking control of anything efficiently, often causing even more problems than it solves. That is true of either side of the aisle.

    Go ahead, Fred44, call it racism, you know you want to. Even though it isn't, nor is it hate for the Obamas. Most of us don't care who came up with the plan, it's just terrible.

  • Rural sport fan DUCHESNE, UT
    May 28, 2014 12:28 p.m.

    This entire argument is a joke, until you go down to the school at lunch and see what they are serving. Frankly, if Mrs. Obama were to eat at most schools, she'd sing a different tune.

    The reality is, the guidelines are socialist, in that they treat everyone like a number. There is no way a 6'2" 180 lb track athlete that burns 4500 calories a day fits in the same category as a 5'4" 105 lb non athlete who need 2000 calories, but the guidelines say they get the same food. Requiring people to take food they will not eat is government waste at its worst. When the canned pineapple isn't ripe, the fresh apples are soft and mushy, and the breaded "chicken" patty sandwiches that have been in the warmer for 57 minutes are the best alternative in the lunch line, then we need to change the standards, because they are limiting our ability to feed our children.
    Not to mention, the kids are hungry, so guess what they do when they get home? Suck down a bag of chips and a Mt Dew. So much for socialized control.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 28, 2014 12:15 p.m.

    To say this is anything but the hatred the right has for the Obama's is being dishonest. Every first lady takes up causes usually involving our children. No child is forced to eat lunch no parent is forced to buy lunch. Will this resolve the obesity problem, NO! Can this help, sure. Republicans didn't care about what was served for school lunch prior to Mrs. Obama getting involved, so it is not about the money spent, or the choices of food, it is simply about the person advocating.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    May 28, 2014 9:35 a.m.

    Hey Concinitti -

    "your lack of knowledge concerning this particular issue and clearly demonstrates a certain level of political ignorance.."

    Sounds like you’re projecting again.

    Do a little research.

    The national school lunch program was enacted in 1948 as a national defense initiative.

    During WWII, thousands of young men who wanted to enlist in the military were turned away and deemed unfit for service because their bodies were still wracked by the ill-effects of malnutrition they had experienced as children during the Great Depression.

    You may prefer to think that National Defense considerations are "Socialist," but thinking people will disagree with you.

    You should do some research (not lying Right Wing websites either).

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    May 28, 2014 8:08 a.m.

    To "high school fan" actually, things are getting worse when it comes to school luch. Part of the problem is society, and part is because of government.

    The government has stopped the schools from actually cooking and baking the food on site. It used to be that around 11 AM the schools would start to fill with the smell of fresh rolls being baked. Now, they rev up the industrial microwaves, deep friers, and pull out a box cutter to feed the kids. The foods provided in schools are high in calories, but low in nutrition.

    Society also has changed to a point where fewer parents are actually cooking and preparing fresh food for the families. The kids are papered and always get the junkfood served at home and do not like the taste of fresh foods.

    To "Eliyahu" Brigham Young did not support socialism. In the Journal of Discourses, Volume 14 Brigham Young said "We heard Brother Taylor’s exposition of what is called Socialism this morning. What can they do? Live on each other and beg. It is a poor, unwise and very imbecile people who cannot take care of themselves."

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 28, 2014 7:32 a.m.

    All the usual rants about socialism, as if the very word connotes innate evil. For you Christians, read the first four books of Acts in your bible. The Christian community described there was not only socialist, but essentially is described as communistic in the classic sense of the word. More recently, the LDS pioneers who settled this state were mostly socialist. Even Brigham Young supported a socialist state and had absolutely nothing good to say about capitalism. Let's focus instead on the pertinent question of what we want fed to our children for lunch at school, and, if you're opposed to controls over what is offered, please explain why children, who are still learning to make choices, should be offered soft drinks and candy as part of their noon fare.

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 28, 2014 5:41 a.m.

    Mrs. Obama,
    Thanks for using your influence to help with the nation's nutrition. Your influence is needed just as it is from parents, educators and health professionals. Left to our own designs, we would all be consuming high fructose corn syrup, saturated fats and other empty calories as we complain that medical care is too expensive.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    May 28, 2014 1:08 a.m.

    What is wrong with our country?

    Parents feed their children! Not the government run schools!

    If you can't afford to fed your own children,--then don't have them. Period!

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 27, 2014 10:53 p.m.

    Please tell me where in the U.S. Constitution there is authority for Congress to spend a dime of the money they confiscate from taxpayers to provide lunches for school kids!

    We should not be talking about if it is better to spend it on cookies or carrots, but if we should be spending federal tax dollars at all!

    "Promoting the general welfare" does not mean buying lunch for school kids. States or local school boards can do that (if they want to), and the federal government should not be doing it at all. Without taking the bait of federal money, then we are freed from federal mandates on what to spend it on. Let the Alpine schools serve veggies if that is what the school board wants, and let Salt Lake serve whatever they think is best. Or, for even better nutrition, follow the actions of the Mom above who makes a nice, healthy sack lunch.

    Cutting federal money for school lunch would be a tiny drop in the bucket towards solving out $17.5 trillion debt. But, we cannot cut anything, ever, in the minds of some.

  • benbookworm Fresno, CA
    May 27, 2014 10:33 p.m.

    As someone who works with students on a daily basis, I have various issues with the cafeteria reform. The kids regularly talk to me about how they think the new "healthy" whole wheat pizza, that has replaced their earlier pizza, has poor taste and usually ends up thrown away. With fruits and veggies on the other hand, it depends. They love fresh food like strawberries, applesauce, and watermelon, but don't really care for barely defrosted peaches, mystery fruit cocktail, or boring apples and oranges that take forever to eat.

    There must be a better way to improve our nation's health. At least, get an inventive, able chef to create meals where the whole wheat is not noticeable, or adds appreciably to the flavor.

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    May 27, 2014 10:09 p.m.

    You all should try eating school lunch for a week, you would probably not make it. Even though they have made it better, it is still not good.
    If you want kids to be less obese then make them go outside and play. Video games are the culprit alond with texting instead of visiting at the neighbors.
    It is quite funny though how every one of these topics that we all reply to turn into anti democrat or anti republican so very quickly. It would be much better if we solved the problem rather calling names or placing blame. Both sides have major issues but they can be resolved if we but try.

  • David8 RALEIGH, NC
    May 27, 2014 9:04 p.m.

    It was a mistake for Michelle to promote good nutrition by getting laws passed and rules enforced. She would have gotten sympathy even from Republicans (like me) if she had used moral influence, education, and rational pursuasion instead. And, she would have been more effective in getting positive behavior change. The Federal Government coercing schools to change behavior won't teach children anything -- as people noted, children are throwing good food away. Only non-coercive instruction from people who actually know and care will teach children to eat healthy for life, whether in school or at home. I know many adults who say that they will never eat peas or broccoli because of how it was forced on them when they were young. The nutrition lessons my mother taught me with love are what stay with me today.

  • U-tar Woodland Hills, UT
    May 27, 2014 8:40 p.m.

    The obama's are good at feeding us a lot of crap, politics and bad lunches.

  • Jazzsmack Holladay, UT
    May 27, 2014 6:57 p.m.

    It doesn't matter what Michelle Obama thinks she is not the boss.

    Let the local schools handle lunches it is not the federal government's business.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    May 27, 2014 6:30 p.m.

    Some of the most overweight children I know come from poverty-stricken families (because high caloric fast food and carbs are cheap). They tend to be on welfare and also tend to be on medicaid. They also tend to use medicaid to deal with health related problems due to being overweight or obese. I had a 7th grade student tell me today that he lost 60 pounds due to better nutrition choices at school (in part). Removing the temptation of unhealthy choices is key in losing weight. Those who've lost weight know this to be true.

    Yes, it might be socialism, but schools are already government funded, and the lunch program (government subsidized lunch) was already government run. Students aren't forced to eat school lunch. They always have the choice to bring food from home so it isn't as socialist as the fear-mongering alarmists would have you believe (they constantly misuse the term socialism).

    If conservatives really want to reduce medical expenses for those on medicaid or medicare and save taxpayer money in the long run, you would think they would support healthy food choices for those who eat government subsidized lunches (school lunch).

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 27, 2014 6:17 p.m.

    VST... just get the local tax payers to step up and approve the program, and it is a good as done. In fact locals schools could do what ever they want if they would just turn down federal dollars. They would not have to do common core. They wouldn't have to feed kids healthy food. They could all they want... just turn down the dollars.... and raise the funds locally.

    Enough localities do that and the federal programs would go away due to lack of interest. It just takes locals choosing to take the first step. Which in most cases... they will not.

    May 27, 2014 5:56 p.m.

    What does the FLOTUS mean when she says, "unacceptable." That sounds like something the POTUS would say. Are they getting their roles confused?

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    May 27, 2014 3:01 p.m.

    "You can serve it but that doesn't mean they'll eat it. My older kids don't eat at school then eat when they get home at 2:15."
    We can serve kids cookies, candy and cake if our objective is to have them eat everything. Let a kid go hungry if they and their parents demand we serve them junk with taxpayers dollars. Teach your children well as their parents health will slowly go by.......

  • souptwins Lindon, UT
    May 27, 2014 1:09 p.m.

    My daughter once saw Michelle Obama on TV and said "I do not like that woman." I chuckled and asked why. She responded, "She took my cookie." Hard to argue with that reasoning. BTW-- my daughter is not overweight. I have no problem with making sure we offer healthy choices but also think there should be some balance and reasonable guidelines. Schools now have the healthiest garbage cans in the world. You can serve it but that doesn't mean they'll eat it. My older kids don't eat at school then eat when they get home at 2:15.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    May 27, 2014 12:11 p.m.

    @ Concinnity, rather than substantive responses, you attack me - the old red herring tactic. Attack the messenger and not the issue. There is no socialism here. It is a small program, and I acknowledge there may be abuses. But as I said, I would rather have that than the massive abuses favored by the GOP. They are not about saving money, but as point out by others, they want to spend differently. And spend they do! Your rant about socialism, and your subsequent attack on me, to quote you directly, "doesn't contribute toward the dialog of this article in any meaningful way."

    And for those of you who attack the First Lady, this is mostly a public education effort, and a good one. It is no different than Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" campaign or Laura Bush's reading program. All three of these First Ladies have made a positive contribution, and if they can encourage their chosen initiatives, including obtain funding, we are the better for it.

  • BJMoose Syracuse, UT
    May 27, 2014 11:43 a.m.

    All I know is that I don't want to return to the early 80's when Reagan made a fool of himself trying to get them to count ketchup as a vegetable!

  • boneheaded, but not a smidgen SLC, UT
    May 27, 2014 11:42 a.m.

    glad we voted michelle into office. i wonder if she can just feed all of us, not just the school children.

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    May 27, 2014 11:32 a.m.

    If she wants to get these kids healthy, how about she does something that will actually be effective. Change the SNAP program so that it only will pay for nutritious foods. Why should SNAP be paying for a family to get hotdots at 7-11, or Pizza from Papa Murphy's? If the issue is getting them eating healthy, the most effective place for that is in the home.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 27, 2014 11:16 a.m.

    Manny - it is because those school districts and schools are spending federal dollars on those programs. If you spend the feds money, you do so by the feds rules.

    She has just as much business expressing her opinion on the batter as did Bush's wife have to push causes she was behind, and every other first lady. Why shouldn't she be able to do what every other first lady before her was able to do? Is this a special rule you have for Democrat first ladies... or is it driven by something else? Why the special rules?

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 27, 2014 11:13 a.m.

    So funny.... its not a debate if government money will be spent, but what government money will be spent on - as usual. This time rather than the regular debate of social programs versus military spending, it is the battle between our government funds being spent on Chips and soft drinks versus apples and fruit juices.

    This is really the battle lines between socialism and free markets? If our kids get junk food for lunch? If you don't like what our socialist school system is feeding your kids, do the free market response and pack your kids own lunch. No one is taking away your choice. They are just taking away the choice to spend government funds on junk food. If you want to send your kid to school with a Twinkies and a Mountain Dew for lunch... go for it.

    Socialism... good golly we do go to extremes to make this a socialism argument.

  • David Centerville, UT
    May 27, 2014 11:13 a.m.

    Schools should promote healthy foods by what is offered in the school cafeterias and vending machines. I am all for Michelle Obama's efforts.

    My kids don't like school lunches so we send them with a sack lunch: whole grain sandwiches, a fruit or vegetable. They can drink water from the drinking fountain. My kids report they are full, and they are eating healthier than what they get in the cafeteria even with Obama's initiative.

    But it is true that in America we have an obesity epidemic. We need to educate and let people make their own decisions, but it is certainly wise for schools to offer healthier foods.

  • Concinnity Richfield, UT
    May 27, 2014 11:10 a.m.

    @ Esquire:

    In truth, you should've stopped before starting your soapbox oratory. It has simply evidenced your lack of knowledge concerning this particular issue and clearly demonstrates a certain level of political ignorance... especially when deferring so completely from the actual issue at hand in the article.

    Your statement about the "goal and mission of the GOP" is especially telling of that ignorance and the proliferation of your general political bias. Blowing off steam doesn't contribute toward the dialog of this article in any meaningful way. Please try again after pondering the issue in a more deliberate and direct way... without the political theatrics.

  • Manny Saint George, UT
    May 27, 2014 10:54 a.m.

    So, why is she involved in school lunch decisions again ??
    Aren't those decisions up to the local school districts or even the state school boards ??
    The last thing on her schedule is to try and control or even have any input what kids eat at our schools.

  • Bored to the point of THIS! Ogden, UT
    May 27, 2014 10:52 a.m.

    This is a great example of what the GOP really cares about... which is money!

    We're really going to fight good nutrition in our school lunches? The GOP says the rules are too strict, yet the rules are designed to help our future generation be healthier.

    I'd be curious to see the obesity rates of the congressmen who are leading this fight! I'd bet their states already have high rates!

    Also, I find it interesting the GOP is more interested in making it easy for a business to sell inferior quality food to the government (public schools).

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    May 27, 2014 10:39 a.m.

    @ Concinnity, socialism? Are you kidding me? If you want the government to be "solvent", oppose the efforts in the Republican controlled House of Representatives to prevent the Pentagon from restructuring to be more efficient and spend less. The money we have spent each year in Afghanistan would be enough to pay the tuition of every single college student in America. Focusing in on a relatively small program (or any social program) where a lot of good is done overall, despite some abuses, and deliberately ignoring a much bigger problem, smacks of something, doesn't it? You talk of accountability, but will you yet again vote for the same Member of Congress (in your case, Jason Chaffetz) who sits in the majority, who votes to force the Pentagon to waste money? That is a simple way to demand accountability, but most Utahns won't do it. For me, I would rather err in favor of good nutrition programs, even where there may be abuses, rather than making a deliberate decision to enrich the already rich, which is the goal and mission of the GOP.

  • Concinnity Richfield, UT
    May 27, 2014 10:11 a.m.

    In theory, socialist ideas all sound good and can be made to pull at the heartstrings when presented in certain ways. But that still doesn't change the fact that we have become too socialistic in allowing too much government intrusion and involvement in our everyday lives.

    Society needs to eventually learn some accountability for the rudimentary needs in their lives. My sister-in-law teaches elementary school in an area where the majority of students participate in this program. Yet many of the parents of these kids drive newer cars than hers, dress nicer than one would expect, and many of the kids talk about watching cable tv shows. And we're supposed to believe they all need help with their basic food needs?? Some actually do.

    In otherwords, the qualifications for these programs have become too lenient and broad. Either that, or the government has allowed too much fraud. Either way, it is another enormous government expense that needs to be reigned in and held to a higher degree of accountability.

    Keeping our government solvent and not going bankrupt is not being heartless... regardless of the spin liberals will try to put on this.