L.A. School District’s Healthy Lunches Spur Junk Food "Black Market"

By:  Brian Koenig
12/27/2011
       
L.A. School District’s Healthy Lunches Spur Junk Food "Black Market"

The Los Angeles Unified School District embraced First Lady Michelle Obama’s "war on obesity" campaign earlier this year when school officials launched a program to phase out junk food and offer a "trail-blazing" new menu of black-bean burgers, quinoa salad, and a catalog of other "healthy" foods. But according to an article published by the Los Angeles Times, L.A. Unified’s efforts to purge its school cafeterias of cheeseburgers and fries has in fact spawned an underground ring of junk food bootlegging.

The new menu, introduced this fall, was lauded as a revolutionary step toward eradicating the "growing epidemic" of obesity, diabetes, and other health issues percolating among America’s youth. The Times reported that ever since the district radically altered its food menus — "think Caribbean meatballs and pad Thai, in place of nachos and strawberry milk" — uneaten lunches are finding a home in the bottom of school trash bins. However, writes the L.A. paper, not only is the food unpopular, poor logistics have also attributed to the program’s hasty demise:

The Los Angeles Unified School District embraced First Lady Michelle Obama’s "war on obesity" campaign earlier this year when school officials launched a program to phase out junk food and offer a "trail-blazing" new menu of black-bean burgers, quinoa salad, and a catalog of other "healthy" foods. But according to an article published by the Los Angeles Times, L.A. Unified’s efforts to purge its school cafeterias of cheeseburgers and fries has in fact spawned an underground ring of junk food bootlegging.

The new menu, introduced this fall, was lauded as a revolutionary step toward eradicating the "growing epidemic" of obesity, diabetes, and other health issues percolating among America’s youth. The Times reported that ever since the district radically altered its food menus — "think Caribbean meatballs and pad Thai, in place of nachos and strawberry milk" — uneaten lunches are finding a home in the bottom of school trash bins. However, writes the L.A. paper, not only is the food unpopular, poor logistics have also attributed to the program’s hasty demise:

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Photo: First lady Michelle Obama in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House campus on May 17, 2010, where she announced a new agreement between the Partnership for a Healthier America and Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) in support of the 'Let's Move!' childhood obesity campaign: AP Images

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