- Murrieta Valley High School
- United States of America
One of the worst problems facing America today is it's increasing levels of overweight and obesity. "A recent report published by a research team at Johns Hopkins University predicts that if current trends continue, by the year 2015, 75 percent of all Americans, including 24 percent of all children and adolescents, will be overweight or obese" (PCRM).
These numbers are astonishingly high, so health has become a key issue. One main focus has grown on the influence of American schools.
The National School Lunch Program (NSLP), established in 1946, is one of five federally funded child nutrition programs which provide meals to children across the country daily. "Schools participating in the NSLP receive cash subsidies and commodity foods for each meal served and bonus commodities, as they are available from agricultural surplus. In return, schools must serve lunches that meet federal nutrition requirements" (PCRM).
Unfortunately, there are many factors, including financial constraints and outdated federal requirements, which permit schools to serve unhealthful food.
"One of the most significant roadblocks to change is the USDA’s commodity system. Each year, the USDA purchases hundreds of millions of pounds of pork, beef, and other animal products, primarily as an economic benefit to agricultural interests, and donates them to the NSLP and other food assistance programs. Unfortunately, these “entitlement foods” are almost all unhealthful foods. This system makes it easy and inexpensive for food service directors to choose chicken nuggets, hot dogs, and other high-cholesterol, high-fat foods" (PCRM).
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine's (PCRM) "Healthy School Lunch Campaign was established in 2001 to help protect children’s health and to reduce childhood obesity rates by increasing the availability of healthful plant-based foods in schools" (PCRM). "To earn a high grade on PCRM’s School Lunch Report Card, school districts must go above and beyond USDA requirements, which many nutrition experts believe are inadequate" (PCRM).
Since the induction of the Healthy School Lunch Campaign, many school districts have begun to increase the availability of healthy vegetarian and vegan entrées. And while a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is an entirely acceptable vegan option, some schools have even begun to offer more creative and tasteful options, such as veggie burgers and extended salad bars. These advances have been highly praised and are the initial steps which will lead today's generations into a more healthy, productive future.
These are changes that we hope to be seen in our own schools and community. We hope that Murrieta Valley High School may take the lead in providing healthful food options which may promote a more successful, healthy future for it’s students. We know that a productive life begins with a positive diet. For those who already choose to eat healthfully, as well as those who have not been given the option, we are for the better availability of food which is nourishing for both our bodies and minds.
We, the undersigned, call on the administration at Murrieta Valley High School to provide a healthier, better balanced menu of school lunch options, including options for individuals who may be vegetarian or vegan.
This should include choices which are devoid of meat, as well as choices which are free of animal products completely.
We ask of this for personal health reasons, as well as ethics.
These are options we do not see available at the current time, and for this reason we are calling on MVHS to help us in providing them.
The Students for Healthy School Options petition to Murrieta Valley High School was written by Bryan and is in the category Health at GoPetition.