Why Elementary Schools Going Vegetarian Will Be an Increasing Trend (Money)

Saw this today: Elementary School Cafeteria Goes Vegetarian.

A New York City elementary school cafeteria is one of the first in the nation to go meatless.

Students at P.S. 244 , the Active Learning Elementary School, are being treated to eclectic fare, including black bean and cheese quesadillas, falafel and tofu in an Asian sesame sauce.

“It’s been a really great response from the kids, but they also understand it’s about what is the healthiest option for them,” principal Bob Groff told ABCNews.com. “Because we teach them throughout our curriculum to make healthy choices, they understand what is happening and believe in what we’re doing too.”

Well, in a truly rational world, principal Bob Groff would not be able to talk out of his toothless mouth, anymore, given that he would already have been beaten to a bloody pulp.

All meals have to adhere to USDA standards, he said, making sure students get plenty of nutrients, including protein, for their growing bodies.

He wouldn’t know a nutrient if it knocked his teeth out.

The sort of brain rot infecting the general population nowadays (like thisdo take a quick glance) is just the quotidien norm. It’s like everyone is in a mad rush to be demonstrably more stupid, more led by the nose, more conforming, more “team moron” than the next guy.

But it’s a simple thing, easy to understrand. This is about money. It’s all and only about money. It’s combined with the sort of 1984, NewSpeak ignorance where War = Peace, and so bankrupt food conglomerate nutrition = Healthy!!! …Real, fresh, quality food—meat, fish, fowl, vegetable, fruit, nuts—is comparatively far more expensive than the cheap, packaged, multi-year-shelf-life industrial EXCREMENT that Bob Groff is feeding the children of that school.

And the derelict parents are probably lining up to applaud because they get to be as stupid as they want to be.

Guess how this would go over in France? No, really; just guess. And that’s just France. Here, you can see that just about every country on Earth cares far more about the nutrition of children than here is good ol’ Merca, land of the perpetually moronic, a veritable Idiocracy.

Here’s but one quote of many.

This spring I joined the International Exchange Forum on Children, Obesity, Food Choice, and the Environment in France’s Loire Valley, where 16 of us met first with each other, then with our French counterparts working in diet and health, and finally in the lunchrooms of two schools. The school lunches we ate were meals I’d be proud to serve.

At one school, students were served a choice of salads — mâche with smoked duck and fava beans, or mâche with smoked salmon and asparagus — followed by guinea fowl with roasted potatoes and carrots and steamed broccoli. For dessert, there was a choice of ripe, red-throughout strawberries or clafoutis. A pungent washed-rind cheese was offered, along with French bread and water. Yes, the kids took and ate the cheese.

French schoolchildren eat in brightly colored lunchrooms. Lunch hour includes exercise and lasts for two hours.

Our second meal was a little simpler, but then, the kids were younger, too. Children served themselves a butter lettuce salad from a bowl set on the table. The main dish was mashed potatoes with a sauce of ground beef (delicious!). Bread and water again were offered as well as the pungent cheese, and a choice of fresh strawberries or a little pastry.

In addition to the goodness of the food, there were other good things about these school lunches. First of all, they weren’t rushed. About two hours are given for lunch, a portion of which is used for very loud and active exercise. Second, they were civilized. Food was served on heated plates; real silverware and glasses — not plastic — were used; and the lunchrooms were pretty and comfortable for the kids.

I think it’s wonderful for America to be so dreadfully shamed by the French in this regard. There is no other word for it. Hey, Americans: stick your “Freedom Fries” up your pathetic asses. You can’t carry France’s bread, or water. Fact.


“The food is very good, Madame. The meat is 100% French,” the official said, picking up a brochure from her desk. I knew this brochure well, having e-mailed it to friends in the U.S. last year as a this-could-only-happen-in-France conversation piece. It lists in great detail the lunch menu for each school day over a two-month period. On Mondays, the menus are also posted on the wall outside every school in the country. The variety on the menus is astonishing: no single meal is repeated over the 32 school days in the period, and every meal includes an hors d’oeuvre, salad, main course, cheese plate and dessert.

There is more: the final column in the brochure carries the title “Suggestions for the evening.” That, too, changes daily. If your child has eaten turkey, ratatouille and a raspberry-filled crepe for lunch, the city of Paris suggests pasta, green beans and a fruit salad for dinner.

I finally saw the system in action earlier this month. Caught short by a sick nanny, my son, who was accustomed to eating leftovers from the refrigerator, sat in silence with his 25 classmates at tables in the nursery-school cafeteria, while city workers served a leisurely, five-course meal. One day, when I arrived to collect him, a server whispered for me to wait until the dessert course was over. Out in the hall, one of the staff shouted for “total quiet” to a crowd of 4-year-olds awaiting the next lunch seating. “I will now read you today’s menu,” he told them. “First, you will begin with a salad.”

“4-year-olds.” This country is pathetic in this regard, and principals like Bob Groff are too ignorant to even understand the depth of their stupidity (it’s why it’s hard to fix stupid: ignorance gets in the way).

In other news, a mother emails in to let me know that in an annual 5th grade state study project, part of it is the “foods of…” and the kids always look forward to the various regional specialties that get served. Not this year, though. Doesn’t conform to the USDA guidelines for cheap-ass crap, so the kids have to be content with pictures of food.

Oh, well, it’s just another day in “The Land of the Free.”

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  1. jon w says:

    It’s bull shit. If five year olds believe in the goodness of vegetables so much, offer them vegetables alongside the meat.

  2. Dimitri says:

    Wow, looks like I oughta move to France. I feel bad for the poor NY kids that are gonna be eating fucking tofu shit and being told it’s healthy.

  3. You are so right. They have so many people drinking the Kool Aid we are screwed!

  4. What’s going on is so obvious: The Gubment is trying to reduce the population (to a load of drooling tards who will do as they’re told and like it).

  5. @Nigel

    Well I’m no believer in big gov conspiracies. I think it’s basically a combination of ignorance (people actually truly believe that crap is “healthier”) and fascism (defined as a government corporatism partnership).

  6. Oh dear. You always harp on about France being the standard by which all things are set, food wise. But you haven’t been keeping up, have you.



  7. This is why we train for the zombie apocolypse

  8. Alarmist nonsense, Lucy. And yes, indeed, I do keep up and not much has changed, and certainly not anything distinctly different in the three times I’ve been there in the last 5 years from when I lived there in the early 90s.

    “Consumption at casual eateries serving burgers, sandwiches, pizza and other fast food has increased 14 percent in the past year alone, according to the survey.”

    Basically, they are comparing an enormously wide category of things (including those nice mom & pop sandwich shops that serve quality ingredients on a traditional baguette) to sit-down & get served restaurants.

    Essentially, they are comparing sit-down table service to _everything_ else, and calling it “fast food.” Cheap trick.

  9. Galina L. says:

    I read that news first time on CNN, and was appalled that comments were mostly positive http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/02/health/new-york-vegetarian-school/index.html#disqus_thread.
    When France banes vegetarianism in school cafeterias at 2011 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2011/oct/26/french-government-banning-vegetarianism-schools), school in NY going vegetarian at 2013!

  10. It may be money . . .but it also may be a knee jerk reaction to childhood obesity- and smug environmental and animal rights “do gooders”making command decisions on what’s best for everyone

    In the end, animals are not threatened as a species because we are eating them- they are threatened because their habitat is being washed over by a sea of humanity

  11. The human population is increasing at a rate of about three per second.
    What land will they live on? What food & drink will they consume? What waste products will they produce? What jobs will they have?

    I predict a global “Easter Island” (massive drop in the human population), long-term. I hope I’m not alive if/when it happens.

  12. The best means of limiting population growth is wealth.

  13. Joshua says:

    Nigel! Relax man, the situation is way better than the malthusians make it out to be.

    First, if we lived at New York City density levels, the entire population of the world could live in the Texas.

    Second, the rate of change of population growth (the second derivative for math weenies) is actually negative. i.e. The population is growing slower than it used to be. The population will most likely top out under 10 billion before the end of the century and then start decreasing. Think Europe and Japan as the models for the world.

  14. Joshua says:

    The best means of limiting population growth is wealth.
    And specifically educating women.

  15. “The best means of limiting population growth is wealth.”
    I agree. However, total consumption = mean per capita consumption * population

    Mean per capita consumption is rising faster than population is falling (population isn’t falling – it’s just increasing more slowly). Therefore, total consumption is increasing.

    Increasing total consumption = higher prices.

    Increasing population density = increasing human conflict.

    Decreasing population = too few young people supporting too many old people.

    Despite all of the above, I’m relaxed!

  16. “And specifically educating women.”
    Hear-hear! Improving education & technology are the means to solve the above problems.

  17. I do believe you’re right that this is just a front for lower costs, but they also truly believe they’re offering a healthier meal, too. However, it fascinates me that these people who create and enforce these rules/guidelines probably grew up on reasonably healthy, sane portions of real food. Yet how quickly it’s forgotten that that worked for them pretty well growing up.

    It is scary to think that many people are growing up without the knowledge of what a real meal should look like.

  18. ladysadie1 says:

    Yes, yes, the koolaid drinkers and idiots are out in full force. Wish my kids were in France, at least then I could be assured that they weren’t being starved at school and the food has some variety and nutritional value.

    In the “related news” category, the denial of the reward for 5th and 6th graders’ final projects is much more nefarious than I first believed… Tasting of foods from other regions or countries (in the case of 6th graders) has been banned specifically because it contains meat and vegetables which the principal believes it creates a conflict. This activity, which I think has educational value, has been a tradition in this district for at least 20 years.

    So what’s the problem??? Valentine’s parties, Christmas, Easter, (god forbid) Halloween and birthday treats are still allowed!!! What. The. Hell. Is happening here? More crap is perfectly fine, but foods that the kids studied about (along with learning about natural resources, customs, etc.) are not… guess it makes sense to someone, but not to me!

  19. I been working in the school systems for nearly 20 years. Just pathetic, the crap they feed to our kids. But, then again, they probably eat the same shit at home.

  20. LS1

    Simple. Those holiday treats are often just candy in different packages (that’s what breakfast cereal is–cookies & milk, basically). The difference is that one is manufactured by a food conglomerate and the other is home made and we’ve reached the despicable state where the former is preferred over the latter and the latter is deemed unhealthy.

    But Mother Nature cannot be fooled. This is why I love Paleo to whatever degree one wishes to individually go for it. It’s foundationally pretty sound,

  21. ladysadie1 says:

    Too close to the end of the school year for me to go on a tirade about this over at the school. My major problem, which your post actually reinforces quite nicely, is that the kids are specifically being refused the opportunity to taste anything other than the gubmint slop.

    The kids in France don’t have one single meal repeated in 32 days, and here not only is it the same crap week after miserable week, but now they are denied the chance to try something new. Oooohhhh, but birthday treats and Valentine’s junk, hell yeah?

    Something very wrong has happened here. Pizza parties are ok, but foods from around the country (or world) are a no-go. I usually don’t break out my tin-foil hat this early in the morning, but the kids’ vocabularies are being limited and now their exposure to foods that are not on the USDA list is forbidden. I don’t want my kids limited to a narrow scope of experience or ability to express themselves, and I do not want it for other people’s kids, either. I just get the feeling that there is a larger agenda at work here.

  22. LS1

    Well, you’re going to have to expose them, then. What’s the nearest metroplex? Chicago? Day trip on the train, BLD? All at ethnic restaurants? Please do Thai, Indian, or both.

  23. ladysadie1 says:

    Manhattan, the Little Apple, not the big one, is only about 45 minutes away. We are lucky that with the presence of Ft. Riley, there are tons of ethnic restaurants (and markets) there. In addition, I am graced with knowing a wonderful Indian family in another nearby town as well as having a personal addiction to making my kids try new things. BUT My kids aren’t the problem here…

    I have an objection to the school limiting opportunities for All the kids. A couple weeks ago, we began planting a garden and were lucky enough to have a lovely and talented girl from another family stay with us. I heard the child, AGE 13, ask my oldest if planting the “part of the peas that you eat” would “actually grow peas”. If a child doesn’t know that much, what hope do we have?

    For the school to eliminate, nay, FORBID! tasting of clam chowder, craydads, Vidalia onions, who knows what else…and yet allow cupcakes on birthdays… holy crap, no wonder the kids seem dumber and dumber. This defies logic!

    A school is supposed to be where kids learn. More and more I see home is where kids learn. School is just where I park them during the day so I can work, run errands and do chores around the house. This is so crazy that I am starting to wonder if I am actually doing my kids a disservice by teaching them at home when they will just be surrounded by total morons as they reach adulthood.

  24. Roy Batty says:

    It’s amazing that you have the gall to imply you know what good nutrition is when you are, by all objective measures, not in good shape.

    Try taking out the animal products and trying veganism for a couple months. What you ridicule may be exactly what you need. And judging from this blog, it seems to be the only thing you haven’t tried…

  25. ladysadie1 says:

    Good God. Roy, I hope you aren’t talking to me! Hole. E. Shit. New reader???

  26. “by all objective measures”

    Nice premise smuggling. You can count on dishonest people to do that every single time in some way or another.

    I take it you haven’t seen my latest photos, after coming back after two years filled with chronic pain from a cervical herniation.

    Tell you what. Post an average day food log of what you really eat and I’ll tell you about the nutrition. Incidentally, my book has a whole chapter on it, making fun of vegans, basically. Like, 5 pounds of mixed fruit & berries and they can’t get even close to 4 measly ounces of beef liver.

    Focus on my own demons all you want (you’re dishonest, so that’s expected), but you also know nothing abut nutrition, nor do you know that body composition unless at the extremes of starvation or obesity, is not well associated with longevity.

  27. You are what You eat. If you eat too much “fast food” you feel like a fried bacon :) Lucky children in France, they get what they need, at least some of them.

  28. No LS1, he’s talking about me (he’s new, I had to approve that comment). See, veganism is a psych disorder much like anorexia. Unless you’re an emaciated stick figure, you’re not in good shape.

    Lets see if he puts up a food log, I could go eat 3 meals at McDonald’s and easily beat his malnourished diet in terms of the 27 or so micros on average.

    It’s easy. They are malnourished and when that happens, your brain is the first thing to go.

  29. Don’t lure yourself, Richard, here in France we just got a late start in the downhill-race to school lunch mediocrity. The government is just as much concerned about what our kids eat, just not specifically in schools: public TV announcements targetting kids with “do not eat fat, sweets, or too salty”, “move a lot through the day so you don’t get fat”.

    We now have “meatless days” in some state-controlled cafeterias too, now, BTW.

    The only ray of hope, and main reason we still serve real food to kids whenever and wherever possible, is because the people employed as cooks still have a personal passion for food, that pushes them to work wonders despite budget restrictions and massively “official” stupid nutrition recommendations.

  30. Namu

    I think the best way for the French to curb the fat intake is to leave off the hunk of butter on the morsel of bread before the hunk of Camembert. 😉

  31. A few weeks after my kids started going to the public preschool (the private preschool was about 1000 times better but went bankrupt trying to compete with the ‘free’ service), the teacher asked if we were vegetarians.

    “No, on the contrary…”

    Turns out my kid wasn’t crazy about the meat they served because it wasn’t up to the high standards he was used to Daddy making at home (or his babička who makes excellent stick-to-your-ribs traditional Czech food). Cafeteria style cooking–the private preschool had lunches sent in from a local restaurant which were apparently quite good, took some getting used to, which he eventually did. Anyway, meat and fat phobia still haven’t made significant inroads here, yet, thank Thor. While I’m not crazy about the cheap white bread rolls and desserts they serve it’s not that bad in general so I’m going to sweat it.

  32. Big pharma and junk food outfits have a grip on just about every organisation involved in health and food advice in the UK. One neat trick is call yourself a charity, of make your organisations name sound like a Government Institution. Big pharma and junk food spends $billions every year on their propaganda, far too many healthcare professionals have either swallowed the lies hook, line and sinker, or are on the payroll. Meanwhile, we have to rely on a relatively small (but growing) number of honest and informed HCP’s and bloggers. A David versus Goliath situation for sure. Check out these black OP’s outfits and their pay masters.

    DUK The diabetes charity.

    Abbott Bayer Boehringer Ingelheim Bristol Myers Squibb Bupa Bunzl Everyclick First Capital Connect Flora pro.activ Kodak Lilly Lloyds Pharmacy Menarini Merck Serono Morphy Richards Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited Novartis Novo Nordisk Nursing Times PAL Technologies Ltd Pfizer Rowlands Pharmacies Sanofi-aventis SplendaTakeda Tesco Diets

    HEART UK -The Nation’s Cholesterol Charity

    Abbott Healthcare Alpro UK AstraZeneca BHR Pharma Cambridge Weight Plan Cereal Partners UK (Sh Wheat) Food & Drink Federation Fresenius Medical Care (UK) Limited Genzyme Therapeutics Hovis Kellogg’s (Optivita) Kowa Pharmaceutical Europe Co Limited L.IN.C Medical Systems Limited Merck Sharpe & Dhome PlanMyFood Pfizer Premier Foods Progenika Biopharma s.a. Roche Products Limited Unilever (Flora) Welch’s (Purple Grape Juice)

    The British Nutrition Foundation

    However, the organisation’s 39 members, which contribute to its funding, include – beside the Government, the EU – Cadbury, Kellogg’s, Northern Foods, McDonald’s, PizzaExpress, the main supermarket chains except Tesco, and producer bodies such as the Potato Council. The chairman of its board of trustees, Paul Hebblethwaite, is also chairman of the Biscuit, Cake, Chocolate and Confectionery Trade Association.

    The European Food Information Council

    Current EUFIC members are: AB Sugar, Ajinomoto Sweeteners Europe, Bunge, Cargill, Cereal Partners, Coca-Cola, Danone, DSM Nutritional Products Europe Ltd., Ferrero, Kraft Foods, Mars, McDonald’s, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Pfizer Animal Health, Südzucker, and Unilever.

    The British Heart Foundation

    Unilever Flora margarine.

  33. Yep, Eddie. I did a similar thing in my book in one of the chapters, listing all of the contributors for various things like ADA (diabetes & dietitian), AHA, etc.

    Follow the money.

  34. Well, since it appears I’m not getting that veg*n food log, here. Draft chapter from v2.0 of my book, which was further edited with more and better charts.


    So go ahead and promote you malnutrition and stick figure diet all you want, Roy. And with regard to your last two comments that hit the mod queue because you used a different email from the first time (which has now been edited, so you’ll be stuck in the mod queue), your information is out of date. Subscribe to the newsletter, get all the back issues (about 6 of them) and get up to speed with what’s really going on. That is, if you’re honest, which I doubt.

  35. Peggy Holloway says:

    I saw principal Groff in an interview on our local nightly news. He has a significant double chin. He looked like a great role model.

  36. Kids here in the UK when given the option will always go for fries. Education is the key and it starts at home. If all the options they had at school were salads and healthy foods they would probably leave the school at lunch and head to the nearest fast food takeaway. Shocking but true.

  37. I’ve been at my grandkid’s school lunches several times. A Houston suburb. Horrifying. The lunch ladies mostly just hand branded (corporate) plastic wrapped foods to the kids, who put it on DISPOSABLE plastic trays with plastic “silverware.” Milk is skim, but sugar laden chocolate milk is fine, right? They sometimes do have actual, real food cooked either on site or at a central kitchen, but it is not a given on any day.

    The kids are marched through in a quasi-military timing, about twenty minutes.
    Bless my quasi-paleo loving daughter, she fixes lunches as much as possible.

    I remember my school cafeteria experiences with great pleasure. Sometimes I stumble across that smell and it is oh, so good. The lunch ladies fixed us baked haddock, hamburgers, baked chicken, real vegetables, grits, real food. OK, we go Jello and sugary deserts, but OTOH, the milk was whole, and the butter was you know, butter.

    The French, best as I’ve been able to figure, put quality of life before anything else. Great REAL food, alcohol at lunch just fine, plenty of time to eat and talk with friends. In America, we are cogs in the corporate wheels, just a means to their ends. Watch the 1920’s Fritz Lang movie, “Metropolis.”

  38. pzo:

    “I remember my school cafeteria experiences with great pleasure. Sometimes I stumble across that smell and it is oh, so good. The lunch ladies fixed us baked haddock, hamburgers, baked chicken, real vegetables, grits, real food. OK, we go Jello and sugary deserts, but OTOH, the milk was whole, and the butter was you know, butter.”

    Mee too, and “lunch ladies” ought be a term of respect. When I was in elementary school in Verdi, NV, everything was comfort foodish, and they made it all, every day. We were never served packaged anything. I volunteered in the kitchen, both to serve food and do dishes. Loved it.

  39. In France they had “Let them eat cake!” shouted at the protesting masses, here in the US we have “Let them eat fake!” shouted at the sheeple being fattened up for a life-long career of misery and drudgery (if they’re lucky enough to get a job, that is).

  40. Aaron:

    What I want to know is how come it takes blogging about the French to get you to drop a comment after so long. :)

    Nice to see you. A treat.

  41. Haha. I’ve been so busy with everything else going on in my life that blog reading has fallen by the wayside. I do many glimps-and-run reads, which is how I learned about your resistant starch experiment, which sounds fascinating, by the way. But haven’t had time to comment or engage in dialog. It’s good to be back among old friends.

  42. Dr. Curmudgeon Gee says:

    those morons also bully school cafe for using too much butter & whole milk.

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