Michelle Obama school food initiative leads to “salty black market”

The first lady's healthy school lunch mandate has spawned a condiment-based "black market" in some Indiana schools.
The first lady's healthy school lunch mandate has spawned a condiment-based "black market" in some Indiana schools.

Michelle Obama's school health initiative hasn't been met with the best reception. Some states, like Texas, have felt that the First Lady's health measures have infringed on their rights to make their own decisions, and the recent USDA school recipe book was almost universally slammed for failing to uphold its own nutrition standards.

The latest revolt against the healthy lunch mandate, however, hasn't come from school administrations or local governments. John Payne, a school administrator hailing from Hartford City, Indiana, recently testified to a House subcommittee that the first lady's mandate has led to what he describes as a "contraband economy" undermining the schools attempts at providing healthier foods. 

Students in Hartford City schools have been caught smuggling packets of salt, pepper, sugar, and other condiments to sell to each other and make their lunch options more bearable.

Beyond that, Payne says testified that an increasing number of students have bypassed the school's cafeteria rules by brining in their own lunches, and that, in a few select cases, parents have started to routinely take their children out to eat fast food for lunch.

On top of this, several of his district's yearly fundraisers, like bake sales, have been canceled in lieu of the rules, and that large quantities of food like "whole-grain items and most of the broccoli end up in the trash."

Your cafeteria offerings don't have to taste bad or cost exorbitant amounts of funding to be healthy. If you're looking for ways to provide more nutritious options in your restaurant or cafeteria consider Food Service Solutions' flexible software. Our free or reduced meal software makes it easier for your school to get reimbursements, and our accounting software helps you quickly maximize your profits.

Contact us at 1(800) 425-1425, or send us an email at sales@foodserve.com to learn more.

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