Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, May 1, 2017

Contact:  Stephanie Feldstein (734) 395-0770,  

Trump Administration Rolls Back School Lunch Health, Sustainability Safeguards

WASHINGTON— Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue signed a proclamation today to roll back whole-grain, nonfat milk and low-sodium nutrition requirements in the national school lunch program. The previous standards were instituted as part of the Obama administration's campaign against childhood obesity that has been widely supported by public-health and environmental organizations.

“It's not only possible to make nutritious food that kids will eat, but it's necessary for their health and the health of the planet,” said Stephanie Feldstein, population and sustainability director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “This is like arguing whether ketchup is a vegetable all over again. We just can't afford to erase the progress that's been made toward healthier, more sustainable school lunches.”

Perdue's remarks on the proclamation highlight concerns about wasted food, claiming that students aren't eating the foods prepared under the previous administration's guidelines. But the proclamation does not indicate that any resources or assistance will be provided to help schools track and prevent food waste.

“Cafeterias across the country have been successful in making favorite dishes healthier in the five years that these standards have been in effect,” said Feldstein. ”Schools need more resources to serve wholesome food kids will eat and to reduce food waste without sacrificing nutrition.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.3 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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