Food Group Fiasco

Cheyenne Jones, reporter

With the new school year starting, BV West students return to eating the typical cafeteria food. Students prepare to numbly meander through the cafeteria selecting their favorite main course, sides, and drink. However, as we were sitting in class, most likely daydreaming, the announcements rudely stirred us out of our stupor and exclaimed the sudden change in our typical lunch routine. Different from previous years, we would now have to select three out of five of the food groups.

The new rule with the food groups only applies to those who buy a meal. A school lunch is only determined to be a meal if the main course falls under the category of what the school determines to be a “healthy” food. This is ironic since everything the school serves is frozen processed food. In addition, the new rule about the food groups is ambiguous. Who can say that the tomato sauce drowning the whole grain pasta does not fall under the category of a vegetable? Not only is the new rule ambiguous it also ineffective too.

Although the school’s new lunch rule is aimed at creating a healthier BV West population, the rule only applies to those who purchase a school meal. So, if someone buys a pizza, which no longer falls under the category of a school meal, he or she is not required to fulfill the new food group rule. Thus, the new rule is ineffective. It creates enough hassle to elicit annoyance from the student population but leaves large enough loopholes for students escape the influence of the administration and continue their original “unhealthy” meals.

Proponents for the change argue that with the rising obesity rate in the US a drastic revamp of school lunches is the answer. Although their intentions are not malicious it is not administrators’ or the government’s right to interfere in students’ lives in such a manner.  It is the students’ right to decide what food they consume. Besides, if students purchase the well-balanced meal at school with their three out of five food groups they could easily go home and fill up on cookies and an assortment of other junk food.

Ergo, if BV West truly wants to instill in the student body the importance of healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle more should be done to educate the students of the importance of being healthy. Although the importance of nutrition and exercise is emphasized in freshmen Gym and Health class sophomore year, when BV West students become juniors and seniors the importance of nutrition is no longer mentioned. Thus, if BV West wants to imprint in the students’ minds the importance of being healthy classes should be taught during advisory about nutrition and exercise. This would be an improvement from being the typical social hour Advisory has become. Besides, once students are out of the protective cocoon of high school students will be faced with the unhealthy food choices and they will not have that lunch lady demanding that they go back and grab their serving of vegetables before they can check-out.