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BLOG: Ingredients DO Matter

Knowing what is in your food is important

Given that the September 10th School Board
meeting will be discussing Food Service goals and financials, I thought this
would be a good time to discuss one of the current circulating inaccuracies,
that is causing such harsh resentment. 
It seems to be that one of the most upsetting inaccuracies has come from
what is known as the new “Avoid Ingredient List”.  The Avoid
Ingredient
List is in the addendum to the wellness policy in the administrative regulations section http://www.udsd.org/uploaded/documents/Policies/200s/WELLNESS_ADMINISTRATIVE_REGULATIONS_with_HIGH_SCHOOL_MODIFICATION_(FINAL)_12-6-11.pdf

 

In the quest to try and find more healthful alternatives, and given the fact that there was so much resistance to cooking, the Nutrition Advisory Committee, a committee that was initially designed to work with food service to come up with healthier alternatives while paying close attention to the bottom line, thought a
reputable source on ingredient safety would be a good place to start.  Unfortunately the committee was never given the information it needed to make financially sound decisions, although had asked for it numerous times.  All of the
financial decisions were made ONLY by food service, as the committee had no
knowledge of any cost of any item.   In following with what some other districts, like Great Valley, had decided to do, we looked more closely at ingredients that we wanted to eliminate from any of the processed foods that may be served to the kids.  One of the inaccuracies that seemed to be presented to a task force recently was that the list contained an unrealistic expectation of 180 ingredients.  The list includes 16 ingredients, and actually by eliminating just one, would usually eliminate many of the others.  They are all ingredients found in in highly processed foods, and unless you are getting that type of food product, it is very easy to eliminate every one of these ingredients.  If they are on the list,
they were deemed as “avoid or cautionary ingredients” according to a
very reputable source, CSPI (Center for Science in Public Interest).  There are some additives that are included on the CSPI “cautionary” list, that although promised by school board members at a public meeting, to be added,  are not
currently on our school list (like other food colorings and High Fructose Corn
Syrup), because food service felt it would be too hard to find foods without
these ingredients. All Safety information of these additives along with others
can be found at http://www.cspinet.org/reports/chemcuisine.htm.  After reading about these ingredients, I would ask the question, do you think they belong in ANYONE’S food, especially kids ?

Acesulfame-K

Artificial Colorings: Blue 2, Green 3, Orange 3, Orange B, Red 3, Yellow 5,

    Yellow 6

Aspartame (nutrasweet)

Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)

Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)

Caramel Coloring

Cyclamate (not legal in U.S.)

MSG (Monosodium Glutamate)

Olestra (olean)

Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Trans Fat)

Potassium Bromate

Propyl Gallate

Saccharin

Sodium Nitrate

Sodium Nitrite



For those who are interested in learning more regarding the Food Service Financials, please attend the September 10th School Board Meeting.  I think that this would be a perfect opportunity for everyone to hear the same thing at the same time to cut down on the “hearsay” rumors that have caused many people to have very inaccurate information.  It will also be a great
time to ask the questions that so many of us have.  As an introduction to what the new government regulations will look like and some of the challenges that will be faced please read this article from the Philadelphia Inquirer Eat your fruits and veggies, or else . . .*  


The goal of the NIS Blog is to ensure that the correct information is circulated, so that hopefully ultimately we can all be on one side of the table; and instead of arguing about why it is being done, we can use our collaborative efforts to find
a way on how to get it done for the better health and well- being of the children. 
For anyone interested in joining the NIS initiative please email me at jsffitness@comcast.net

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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