Ketchup Is Not A Vegetable

For adults, one of the biggest guilty pleasures in life is having a big cheeseburger, a couple of onion rings, some potato wedges, a plate full of fresh cut french fries, and a bottle of Heinz ketchup to dip them in. But as health-conscious adults, when our waistlines start to expand we cut back on eating this type of stuff everyday. With drugs like Lipitor, we try to keep our cardiovascular systems healthy. But for kids, the ketchup still runs freely through their veins.

Ketchup

If you have been to a school cafeteria recently, you will have seen a bevy of products and prepared foods that do not instill the habits of healthy eating into the youth of our nation. Soda, french fries, pizza, burgers, and chips all line the lunch trays of students instead of healthier options like fresh vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Cumulatively these kinds of poor health decisions can cause high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and small cancerous growths which can spread into a metastatic growth like a pineal tumor or other brain cancers.

The reason why schools are loaded with junk instead of wholesome food is for one simple reason, it’s cheap. In an article on Fox News, the head of food services for a school district in Connecticut said that a loaf of white bread costs $4.00, while a loaf of whole wheat costs $4.25. Alone they are almost the same price, but if buying in bulk for schools, the disparity is much more apparent.

The Agriculture Department and USDA have recently partnered with First Lady Michelle Obama in a campaign to try and put healthier options back into cafeterias. The recommendations include fewer starch items, more vegetables, a reduced level of sodium, and the introduction of whole grains into the lunchroom.

While these recommendations sound like a total no-brainer to anyone with an active mind, they are being met with criticism and hesitation by some members of Congress. In order to cut costs in school systems and help farmers in the corn and livestock industries, some influential lawmakers are promoting legislation that counteracts the guidelines proposed by most licensed dietitians.

MSNBC reports that some of the more conservative members of Congress are against the changes proposed by the government agencies because it cuts into the freedom of school administrators and parents to make dietary decisions for their children. While this is a noble theory, it has little to no basis in reality. A group of 8 year-olds will always go for a can of soda and a couple of slices of pizza instead of a grilled chicken salad with a light vinaigrette. Some decisions need to be made for those who can’t fully comprehend heart disease and obesity.

While children shouldn’t be forced to eat a diet consisting entirely of couscous and celery, teaching them about proper nutrition habits at a young age is akin to teaching them the fundamentals of a foreign language or math. Young minds can absorb knowledge at a surprisingly better level than their stubborn adult counterparts and the grade school cafeteria is an excellent place to add a curriculum addendum.

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8 Responses to Ketchup Is Not A Vegetable

  1. imriz says:

    i hoped our public schools here would follow suit. i can see a lot of junk foods (chips and all) being sold in school canteens.

  2. Matsumoto says:

    I can totally dig this. I even wanted to put up a food business catering to the students because I worked as a tutor before and kids were eating heated up food 😀

  3. Well said, Gagay! Schools have health subjects naman. If this concern isn’t incorporated in the curriculum yet, then it’s time that school reps do so. I mean, it’s better to educate the youth now about what can happen to them when they’re provided with the wrong food combinations.

  4. marri says:

    most children have the pleasure of eating junk foods.
    adults may take small quantities because they are cautious about their health.

    we may enjoy some of these comfort foods, why not but in moderation of course.

  5. Hazel says:

    I’d pack off my son to school with saging in his bag. There’s just too much evil in commercialism. Schools, of all major parts of society, must try to have something healthy for the little heads they are mentoring.

  6. i agree with marri… iba kasi ang mga taste ng mga bata mas refer nila ang junkfood kahit alam naman nila masama ito.. compare sa adult na alam nila dahill conscious sila sa body nila.

  7. Herbert says:

    it is only made from vegetables 🙂 Tama d ba

  8. Stacy says:

    I think ketchup is made of tomato healthy naman siya not categorized as one of the junk foods.

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