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From The News That Surprises No One Files: Healthy Lunches Unpopular With Students
Posted: 21 February 2011 04:19 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Officials with Chicago Public Schools said school lunch sales have dropped about 5 percent since the introduction of a healthier menu.

“If they’re going to feed us healthy, they need to feed us something good that’s healthy,” said Mijoy Roussell, a Claremont Academy sixth-grader who replaced lunch with a candy packet. “This food is disgusting, which is why I’m not eating lunch.”

Truly it is the evil corporations and their marketing wizards that are causing this.  I cannot see why a child would prefer candy to “broccoli, peas, carrots, zucchini, rice and beans”.

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Posted: 21 February 2011 04:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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nothing that a few bouts of true hunger couldn’t fix

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Posted: 21 February 2011 04:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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healthy food don’t need to taste like rabbit food

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Posted: 21 February 2011 05:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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First:  While I agree with CC, I’m amazed that most of the vegetarians and vegans I’ve met are terrible cooks and make everything taste like grass.  Yet, when I make an Indian or Szechwan vegan dish, they all love it.  They need to learn how to use spicing and avoid steaming or boiling everything.

Second:  Time for nitpicking.  It’s /b]NOT “healthy”, it’s “healtful”.  The former means the food is not sick. (And don’t try to weasel out of it by claiming that healthful food is also healthy.  It’s dead.)

Occam

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Posted: 21 February 2011 05:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I dunno, seems to me folks are biologically primed to enjoy fats, salt and sugars. I recall the McLean Deluxe, a healthy (sorry, Occam wink ) alternative that McDonald’s spent a huge amount developing and promoting. I actually had a few of them and thought they were good enough for fast food, but most people hated them and they ended up being a complete flop.

The only way to get folks to eat healthy is to remove all other options from the menu, and from all competing menus. That is, it’d have to be done by regulation, and that’s not going to happen. Calorie counts (as Bloomberg has mandated in NYC for all chain restaurants) are fine so far as they go, but there’s no evidence they actually change behavior to any measurable degree. Again, people eat what tastes good, and what tastes good is what’s got fat, sugar and salt in it.

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Posted: 21 February 2011 06:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Occam. - 21 February 2011 05:47 PM

“healtful”.  The former means the food is not sick. (And don’t try to weasel out of it by claiming that healthful food is also healthy.  It’s dead.)
Occam

That don’t even look spelt right.
Oh… healthful |ˈhelθfəl|
adjective
having or conducive to good health : healthful methods of cooking vegetables. See note at sanitary .

I was starting to get convinced but than they tossed that “sanitary” at me and now I just don’t know any more.

PS. I do get your point if it’s dead it can’t be healthy. . .  but it looks so juicy and green/colorful ...

[ Edited: 21 February 2011 06:14 PM by citizenschallenge.pm ]
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Posted: 21 February 2011 06:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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You’re right, Doug, but there isn’t a dichotomy between healthul and fat, salt and sugar.  Stir fried (canola oil) mixed vegetables (cauliflower, carrots, celery, bell pepper, etc.) with some salt and sugar, along with a decent amount of onion, garlic, cumin, cardomon, vegetable bouillon, a dash of tabasco will be healthful and still taste good.

I never tried a McLean Deluxe, but I’ll bet slipping a bit of soy lecithin (which gives a very greasy texture) an unsaturated oil, along with some black pepper, a bit of salt and tomato sauce and fruit juice (say, orange) into the meat patty would have made it much more palatable, and still healtful. 

The problem is the same as with political correctness - people start with a good idea then become fundamentalists and take it to silly extremes.

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Posted: 21 February 2011 07:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I mean, it’s certainly possible that McDonald’s had a bad recipe, but I don’t believe it. Firstly, there is no evidence that given a choice people will tend to choose healthy alternatives over fat, salt and sugar. It’s just too difficult to fool our biological heritage; the mouth and stomach have fat, sugar and salt sensors that are quite good at telling us what we’re eating.

Second, whatever one may say about McDonald’s, they know what people want. They have very good, extensive labs for food manufacture and testing. Again, it’s not completely impossible that they did their jobs poorly, but I’d want evidence before I’d believe that. My assumption is that they did the best job they could and tested the hell out of it before it went public. They’re in the business to sell product and make money, after all.

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Posted: 21 February 2011 08:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Learning to eat foods that are good for you begins at home. Kids who don’t grow up eating healthy food aren’t going to like it. I’d be interested in seeing how these kids mentioned in the article eat at home, what their parents eat.

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Posted: 21 February 2011 10:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Sorry Doug, but I don’t feel your argument is logical (otherwise we’d have to accept the authority of priests LOL ).  For example, I would like to have frozen dinners available for when I’m in a rush.  I’ve tried a variety of them, and they were all designed by professional food experts.  However, they all taste like drek.  I can’t believe how bad many of them are.  Since they continue to sell I have to believe the majority of our population has had their taste buds shot off. 

Just because the commercial food technologists know enough to load everything with fat, salt, and sugar doesn’t make them nearly as highly skilled as I think they should be.

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Posted: 21 February 2011 10:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Dead Monky - 21 February 2011 04:19 PM

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Officials with Chicago Public Schools said school lunch sales have dropped about 5 percent since the introduction of a healthier menu.

“If they’re going to feed us healthy, they need to feed us something good that’s healthy,” said Mijoy Roussell, a Claremont Academy sixth-grader who replaced lunch with a candy packet. “This food is disgusting, which is why I’m not eating lunch.”

Truly it is the evil corporations and their marketing wizards that are causing this.  I cannot see why a child would prefer candy to “broccoli, peas, carrots, zucchini, rice and beans”.

You can’t? There are certainly days when I can. People have always wanted sweets and fat. It’s an issue for a lot of people, young and old. I love vegetables, but I also love good candy.

C

Wait,  hmmm were you being sarcastic? I don’t know you well enough to tell, yet.

[ Edited: 21 February 2011 10:57 PM by Bees Mom ]
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Posted: 21 February 2011 11:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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dougsmith - 21 February 2011 05:58 PM

I dunno, seems to me folks are biologically primed to enjoy fats, salt and sugars. I recall the McLean Deluxe, a healthy (sorry, Occam wink ) alternative that McDonald’s spent a huge amount developing and promoting. I actually had a few of them and thought they were good enough for fast food, but most people hated them and they ended up being a complete flop.

The only way to get folks to eat healthy is to remove all other options from the menu, and from all competing menus. That is, it’d have to be done by regulation, and that’s not going to happen. Calorie counts (as Bloomberg has mandated in NYC for all chain restaurants) are fine so far as they go, but there’s no evidence they actually change behavior to any measurable degree. Again, people eat what tastes good, and what tastes good is what’s got fat, sugar and salt in it.

Yeah, I think so, too. When you’re running around the Savannah, carrying babies and having to club your meal to death, you want high calories and huge portions. Not that I think we should still eat this way, but I understand why some do.

C

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Posted: 22 February 2011 01:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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One effective way to get people to eat more healthy is to make healthy food cheaper in relation to unhealthy food. End federal subsidies on all of those “unhealthy” products. Especially corn syrup.

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Posted: 22 February 2011 06:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Occam. - 21 February 2011 10:51 PM

Sorry Doug, but I don’t feel your argument is logical (otherwise we’d have to accept the authority of priests LOL ).  For example, I would like to have frozen dinners available for when I’m in a rush.  I’ve tried a variety of them, and they were all designed by professional food experts.  However, they all taste like drek.  I can’t believe how bad many of them are.  Since they continue to sell I have to believe the majority of our population has had their taste buds shot off. 

Just because the commercial food technologists know enough to load everything with fat, salt, and sugar doesn’t make them nearly as highly skilled as I think they should be.

Well, one question is whether they can make food that is (cheap, easy to prepare, etc., and) palatable to the greatest common denominator, and another question is whether they can make food that pleases everyone.

The latter, of course, is impossible. Re. the former question, if it tasted like drek to everyone who was in the market for fast food or frozen dinners in the case of Swanson, they’d be out of business. Given that McDonald’s is the largest and most successful fast food purveyor in the world, and that there isn’t any sophisticated loyalty program in place as with religions (i.e. the competition is always available, won’t send you to hell, and typically right next door), they must be doing something right. Part of what they’re doing right has to do with ambience and affordability. But part has also to do with fat, salt, sugar and flavor.

To put it another way, if people typically preferred to eat healthy, the market would provide healthy options. But in fact what people prefer is to jabber hypocritically about how they want to eat healthy and about how awful companies like McDonald’s are for providing unhealthy food, while eating that sort of food all the time. (And here I’m talking about a large section of the public; not everyone).

That said, I do agree with you that I prefer other options to fast food and frozen dinners. It’s been near a decade since I’ve eaten at a US fast food place, and more than a decade for the frozen dinners. But I’ve nothing at all against them in principle.

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Posted: 22 February 2011 07:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Bees Mom - 21 February 2011 10:54 PM

Wait,  hmmm were you being sarcastic? I don’t know you well enough to tell, yet.

Heavens no.  It’s clearly the bright colorful packaging and flashy, brainwashing commercials that make kids want candy.  Not the sugar and deliciousness.

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Posted: 22 February 2011 08:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Just to throw a little more grease on the kitchen fire, here is a link to an article on a study showing many people stick with fast food even after a heart attack.

More targeted post-surgery counseling is needed to change dietary behavior

Somehow I doubt that would help.

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