One of the most impassioned speeches about childhood nutrition that I've seen anywhere is this letter that Christopher Kimball had published recently in the Boston Globe. Christopher Kimball is the founder and editor of the magazine Cook's Illustrated, and the host of the TV show America's Test Kitchen.
It's worth clicking to read the whole letter, but here's an excerpt.
Stop feeding my kids the offal from the bottom of the processed food barrel: turkey loaf, chicken nuggets, processed macaroni and cheese, high fructose corn syrup, palm oil, preservatives, artificial flavors and colors, and whatever surplus foodstuffs the USDA happens to have on hand that week.
One of America's greatest shortcomings is the triumph of commerce over culture even when it affects the health and well-being of the next generation. For the most part, public schools have abdicated their sacred role as guardians of our children's minds and bodies and have succumbed to the lure of either budgetary pressures (one large school district in Colorado signed a $10 million pouring rights deal with Coca Cola) or simple convenience.
Boston's Mayor Thomas Menino is the self-proclaimed education mayor. Our nation's first lady is a former teacher and advocate for better schools. We've all heard speeches galore about the quality (or lack thereof) of public school education. Yet our kids are nothing more than a gigantic captive market for our nation's fast-food industry and dumping ground for low-quality USDA surplus.
One day, mothers and fathers across America are going to wake up, throw open the window, and yell, ''We're mad, and we're not going to take it anymore!" Like Hercules, we are going to clean the stables of the corporate profiteers, the bureaucrats, and the number-crunching nutritionists and demand that school lunches be put back on the front burner.
How about that day being tomorrow?