The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 is misnamed. This act mandated the recent unpopular changes to the U.S. school lunch program. The act imposes an almost vegan diet on all children in the program. The lunches are composed almost entirely of plant-based foods, with fat and protein being severely limited. Many parents and students have complained that the students are hungry and unsatisfied. Many, if not most, of the students throw out the factory fruits and vegetables that they are placed on their trays in the lunch line. Many have trouble paying attention to their classes, because they are hungry. Rather than fighting hunger, this program is causing hunger.
But it is possible to design a school lunch program that will provide excellent nourishment to children, improving their health, and even their school work. Such a program was designed by Dr. Weston A. Price, many years ago.
If his program was followed today, the health and performance of our schoolchildren would both increase greatly.
The Problem to Be Solved—Poor Children with Severe Tooth Decay
Dr. Price had decided to study the nutrition of children in a poor area. The depression had hit this area very hard, and the quality of food that families could afford was very low, The diet consisted of coffee, and grain-based foods such as white bread, pancakes, doughnuts, all heavily sweetened with sugar and syrup, along with vegetable oils. The children in this area were suffering from severe dental decay, showed many markers of poor health, and did poorly in their schoolwork.
The Solution—A Great Nutritious Lunch
Dr. Price designed a study to see if the health and schoolwork of these children would improve if given a diet based on his nutritional studies.
Dr. Price arranged for a number of these children to receive a lunch at a local mission, for six days a week. Detailed records were kept of the children’s height, weight, and dental condition, as well as their grades in school. The food they ate at home was unchanged. The only difference is that the children were given a meal designed by Dr. Price.
The menu is as follows:
Meat and Bone Marrow Stew
The main item on the menu was a very rich stew, made up mostly of bone marrow and fine cuts of meat. The meat was broiled very quickly to retain the nutrients, finely chopped, then added to the rest of the stew which was described as a bone marrow and meat broth. The stew also included various finely chopped vegetables, always including carrots. The recipe for my version of this stew is in Tender Grassfed Meat. A full pint of this stew was given to the children on most days. On a few days, for variety, organ meats or a rich fish chowder were substituted for the stew. The meat and bone marrow the children were given were from pastured animals, as factory meat did not exist at that time.
The children were given two glasses of full-fat milk, which was almost certainly raw.
Rolls Made from Freshly Ground Whole Wheat, Served with Plenty of Rich Butter
The wheat for these rolls was made from freshly ground whole wheat, and the rolls were spread thickly with rich butter. The wheat was ground just before the rolls were made.
The children also received a helping of what was described as cooked fruit, with very little sweetening.
The children were given one teaspoon of a mixture that was made from high vitamin cod liver oil, and high vitamin butter oil.
It is interesting that no raw fruits or vegetables were served. Most of the calories in this meal were from animal fat, and the meal was largely based on fatty animal foods.
This is the exact opposite of the almost vegan diet mandated by the U.S. school lunch program, which is based almost totally on fruits and vegetables, with almost no fat or protein allowed. Many of the fruits and vegetables served in the school lunch program are raw, and calories are severely restricted.
Many of the children who are on the current school lunch program stuff themselves with candy, chips, and fast food as soon as they get out of school, because they are hungry. Student athletes have reported passing out during practice, because they are not getting enough food.
So, which diet was better for children?
Regular saliva testing was done on the children in Dr. Price’s program. Within six weeks, the children had changed from a condition of rampant and severe dental decay to a condition where no further dental decay was indicated. Every child who was on this program had their dental decay stop and be completely controlled. Two of the children’s teachers came to Dr. Price to ask him what he had done. Each teacher spoke of a different particular child who had been one of the worst students in the class, but was now the best student. The behavior of the children in school also improved greatly. Dr. Price mentioned that there had been other such incidents and other improvements, but he did not describe them in detail in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.
If the government really wants to improve the health of children in the school lunch program, I suggest they adopt the program devised by Doctor Price.
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