Sense and sensibility

Over-the-top stories on foodservice.

Schools are back in session, and apparently that means open season on school foodservice. This week alone I have seen no fewer than 10 opinion pieces on the state of school foodservice, most of them negative and at least one, as you’ll see, just a bit over the top.

One of the great things about America is freedom of speech, and the Internet has given virtually everyone a place to utter their opinions freely. That doesn’t necessarily mean we get substantive and reasoned debate as a result, however.

Earlier this week I saw a column in an online publication called Natural News that was titled “School Lunch: Where the Real Weapons of Mass Destruction Lie.” You can see why it got my attention.

It was written by a Hawaiian “citizen journalist” by the name of Hesh Goldstein. His bio listed him as “vegetarian since 1975, vegan since 1990. Moderator of a weekly radio show in Honolulu called Health Talk since 1981.” Goldstein doesn’t say what his background is in health and nutrition, other than to note that he “obtained a master’s degree in nutrition, in 2007, to silence the so-called ‘doctors’ that called in on my weekly radio show asking for my ‘credentials.’”

His opinion piece blamed school foodservice and the federal government for the childhood obesity problem. He calls the National School Lunch Program “a disaster,” claims that the public “is kept nutritionally uneducated,” and suggests that school meals “routinely fail to meet nutritional standards.”

Goldstein makes a number of outrageous and/or contradictory claims and suggestions in the article. For example, he says that “very little” of the reimbursement money schools in the NSLP receive actually goes to food. Why? “Because the schools have to use it to pay for everything from the custodial services to heating the cafeteria.”

More From FoodService Director

Managing Your Business
business man smash computer

Foodservice directors spend a lot of time taking care of other people, whether it’s K-12 students who aren’t always eating enough at home, malnourished patients back for return visits or employees squabbling among themselves. That kind of pressure can weigh heavily—and come home from work. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America finds that 83% of men and 72% of women say stress at work carries over into their personal lives, and 50% call staff management their main culprit for workplace stress.

“Stress is very difficult in our world, and work-life balance is very much a...

Industry News & Opinion

Students at an Arkansas high school may have to take creative measures to get a meal, thanks to a school policy that prevents parents from dropping off lunches left at home.

The Catholic High School for Boys in Little Rock, Ark., last week posted a picture on Facebook of a sign that reads, “Stop. If you are dropping off your son’s forgotten lunch, books, homework, equipment, etc., please turn around and exit the building. Your son will learn to problem-solve in your absence.”

While social media opinions on the school’s rule were mixed, some commenters expressed concern that...

Industry News & Opinion

Novato Unified School District in Novato, Calif., has created a new vegetarian grab-and-go item as part of the district’s Meatless Monday initiative, marinij.com reports .

The Fiesta Rice and Bean Shaker, which is served in disposable cups, contains rice, corn, black beans, taco seasoning, corn tortilla chips and romaine lettuce topped with an optional salsa and ranch dressing. It’s also customizable, as students are able to select which ingredients they’d like to include.

The vegetarian shaker is made using produce from a nearby organic garden. Sofie Garcia, an employee in...

Industry News & Opinion

High school students in Dallastown Area School District in Dallastown, Pa., will soon see the addition of live prep stations in their cafeteria, as well as an area where they can access food at any time during the school day.

The district has partnered with Chartwells for the revamp, which will allow students to watch their food being prepared and also includes the addition of new menu items, says the York Dispatch .

Chartwells’ mid-Atlantic dietitian, Aliza Stern, believes these changes will be welcomed by students as they become increasingly interested in different types...

FSD Resources