The Food Lobby Goes to School

March 03, 2009

by Jean Saunders, HSC School Wellness Director

American News Project documentary filmmaker Steven Greenstreet has recently created a short film, “The Food Lobby Goes to School, ” that is generating buzz online about the politics of  school food.  In this short piece, Steven profiles a recent meeting of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) where health advocates and industry lobbyists presented their positions on school food to IOM scientists.

At the request of the USDA, the IOM is reviewing and providing recommendations on  ways to update the nutrition standards and meal standards for the National School Meals Program. The IOM’s report, expected in October 2009,  will include the specifics of updated nutrition standards and meal standards.

Greenstreet points out that with more than $10 billion per year at stake, representatives from all parts of the food industry will be working hard over the next few months to encourage the adoption of standards that would keep – or bring – their particular food in schools. (The film highlights representatives of specific corporations as well as industry groups such as the National Pork Board.)

In this context, it is even more important than ever for parents, food service directors, advocates and others who support healthy food in school to make sure that your voice is heard.

One of the most time-sensitive ways that we can all raise our voices for healthy school food in the coming months is by supporting a health-promoting reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act. To learn more and add your name to a petition in support of healthy school meals, click here.

Check out Greenstreet’s video, “The Food Lobby Goes to School:”