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The reason is simple: Studies show that public school students aren’t eating what cafeterias are serving, turning many operations into money-losers. While the school districts can opt out, doing so results in federal subsidy cuts for those programs.
“Overly prescriptive regulations have resulted in unintended consequences, including reduced student lunch participation, higher costs and food waste. Federal nutrition standards should be modified to help school menu planners manage these challenges and prepare nutritious meals that appeal to diverse student tastes,” a new policy paper from the association said.
Salt’s a biggie, and the Department of Agriculture under former President Barack Obama was pressing for even lower amounts, which the association wants to shelve. It warned that “naturally occurring sodium present in meat, milk and other low-fat dairy foods will force schools to take nutritious choices off the menu, including many soups, entrée salads and low-fat deli sandwiches.”
Whole grains are a problem, too. The Obama administration pushed for expensive all-grain products to be used, forcing schools to spend more on the products kids won’t buy.