Food for Thought

Food+for+Thought

Jordan Perry, Reporter]

Recently, you may have noticed a change in the food at school. For example, all of the vending machines, including the coffee machine, are gone. They have been replaced by one snack machine filled with “healthy alternatives”. This inconvenient decision can be blamed on the First Lady, Michelle Obama. In April of this year, she decided it was a dandy idea to take all of the junk food and caffeinated beverages out of every single school across the nation. On July 1st, Michelle, along with the support of the USDA, made it official that schools were banned from selling junk food in cafeterias, vending machines, or at bake sales for school fundraising. Now we are stuck without chips, candy, chocolate milk, or any of our most loved fatty foods.

Michelle’s husband, President Barack Obama, backed her up by saying, “When parents are working to teach their kids healthy habits at home, their work shouldn’t be undone by unhealthy messages at school.” The whole purpose of this is to try and decrease childhood obesity. In Michelle’s mind, she thinks she is making a difference, but banning certain foods at schools will not stop kids from eating unhealthy.

In our day and age, there are McDonalds’ on almost every corner, and it is much cheaper to go buy a hamburger and some fries than buy a salad. In the vending machines in high schools, chips were only a dollar, and now the low-calorie alternatives are much more expensive. This makes it very inconvenient to buy snacks from the vending machines and get coffee so students can actually stay awake in class. It is little things like this that make this ban appalling to high school students. Schools should have the authority to choose the snacks and meals they serve the way they see fit. Each school is unique so why should they all follow the same food regulations if they do not agree with them?

Some students are so distraught by this that they are taking a stand. It has been written that kids in some schools in California are starting “junk food black markets” where they sell junk food on the down-low to others in their school. There is no doubt that enterprising students across America are doing the same thing.

From a high school perspective, teenagers are more mature than middle school and elementary school kids. We are more involved with athletics in school and exercising more regularly because we are at that age of being more concerned with what goes into our bodies and how it affects us. From a middle school and elementary view, they mainly want to eat candy and fatty foods because they enjoy the sugar rush and satisfaction of the wonderful taste of artificial flavors.

In our own town, Woodland Park Juniors and seniors can just go off campus at lunch and get the food they have been craving all day because the school can no longer provide it. Freshman and sophomores cannot go off campus, but they can always go to the store before school and get chips and candy galore. So think about it Michelle. What kind of difference are you really making at my school?