Casey Oklahoma

School Lunches and Nutrition

A brief but eye opening review on the nutrition offered in American school lunch programs today. Maybe the lunch you thought students were receiving is actually a lunch not worth serving.

Dear Future President,

I have one question, what is defined as a nutritionally valuable meal to you? Every individual has their own needs when it comes to nutrition, but the nutrition offered to our students in schools today is an issue worth solving. Students nationwide are still under the horrible bind of poor nutrition offered both in grade school and in college. My name is Casey Bales, and I'm a high school student here to inform you about our lunch programs in schools all over America.

If you do not know, this is a concern that has been focused upon for more than six years. Within that time, there has been only a slight decrease in the poor nutrition problem in schools around America. Nutrition is a factor in everyday life that determines the amount of productivity you as an individual have, and students should have the opportunity to thrive and be as best as possible so that they are successful later in life. Yes, the issue of poor nutrition has gradually been being resolved with the promotion of healthful foods in vending machines and schools, but that has truly reached very few schools in America. People need to realize the importance of nutrition for students, and work as a team to fix it, along with the government doing so as well.

We need better lunch programs, and for that we need supporters, and for that we need to address the issue more closely. This issue has had a good cause with a bad execution. A personal story of my experience with school lunch programs is an excellent example of why nutrition improvement is important. I have seen nothing but downfall during the past two years here at my school, starting from an almost sufficient meal for lunch to almost nothing on a tray to eat. Last year, my sophomore year, I remember that they served chicken (nuggets and pot pie) raw twice, and to my knowledge of what I remember, the servers of our lunch told us that it was just pink dye that they put in the chicken. Why would you need to put pink dye in chicken? Or maybe you are just trying to cover up the fact that it was not cooked properly for students, thus resulting in poor nutrition intake.The only meat that is okay to eat slightly under cooked occasionally are things like steak, but eating raw chicken will poison the consumer, which is nutritionally inadequate and unsafe. There has been many times that I have questioned the food we have been served, even in the small portions that we have been offered, but the times that the chicken was served raw was most memorable for me due to its significance of the health conditions and nutrition value to the students of our school that it affects.

I know what some people might be thinking right now, and they aren't entirely wrong for thinking so. Why not bring your own lunch to school if what they are offering is so unhealthful for students? The problem with that is that more than often times, packed lunches actually end up being worse that what the school offers, which is horrifying. It makes me cringe that even when the chance to bring healthful and wholesome foods to school is offered, it is not taken advantage of. The amount of sugar and starch found in packed lunches is believed to be greater than that of what school lunches have. This is another reason of why we must act together to fix this situation.

In conclusion, all of these factors are what is leading ultimately to a downfall in our student's nutrition nationwide. This can potentially harm the learning environments and education system over all. Students today just aren't receiving the right amount of nutrition, nor the correct form of it. The government of the United States needs to take action in this catastrophe, and fix our school's lunch programs.

East Central High School - Tulsa

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