Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

What Shocking Foods Linger In Your Children’s School Lunches

Published on June 18, 2014 by   ·   No Comments Pin It
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James Costa is a man with no children himself who cares deeply for kids. A longtime dear friend to GGA and philanthropist, James made the impersonal, personal. After seeing what kids were eating at public schools in the US, he knew we could do better as a nation. Enter Lunch Hour – a documentary, expose, and call for action – made by James, purely out of a passion to see a healthier nation of kids.  Food doesn’t stop at what we put in our bodies – it informs how our nation works, from greenhouse gasses to school shootings, all these tragedies can be connected to the sugared slop served to the vast majority of school children.

Watch the trailer, and read James cri de coeur below;

If you asked me what I thought about school lunch 5 years ago I probably would have said ‘What about it? I haven’t had one in years.” Now ask me and I’d say, “Can you believe what schools are feeding our children! It’s a national crisis.”

I started caring about school lunch a few years ago when I saw what kids were eating in a cafeteria in the South Bronx. I was stunned by the poor quality. How could we serve this to children? Weren’t we the country that cared about kids and would literally do anything for them.

If you believe that then I want to ask you “What are you doing to get healthy food in our schools?”

The diet of most school meals is a lot of meat and cheese. Michelle Obama has done a great job working with schools and chefs to get more veggies in our school cafeterias but there is a current backlash happening that should scare the heck out of the vegan community. There are people in our congress who want to turn back the clock on these incremental changes and go back to piling meat and cheese on our kids plates. I find this unacceptable and hope people who see my documentary Lunch Hour will not let this happen.

If you want to see what they want to bring back just watch the first 15 minutes of my film. If that doesn’t scare the heck of you then I’m not sure what will. The school lunch program is huge (31 million meals are served each day, and since its inception it has served 224 billion meals!) so if we think it’s going to go organic and plant-based tomorrow, we are being quite naive. This is big, big business. Mainstream food companies have a big say in what goes in the school lunch program. This is going to be a team effort and we are going to have to play well with others. Think the sandbox.. and there is only one pail. We are going to have to share, and sometimes not be happy, but what is the alternative? I won’t stop fighting this issue until the meals served in our schools are healthy and our kids are educated on making the right food choices that are best for them and will give them a chance to have a healthy and happy life.

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I know people in our animal rights movement are sometimes criticized for caring more about animals than people.  The main critique from the animal rights movement is that there are enough groups that care about kids, and not nearly enough who care about animals. I’ll agree with them on that, but I’d like to propose to them that if they got more involved in the nutrition of children they may save a lot more animals.  If we invested some of our time working with locals schools trying to get healthy meals on our kids plates will be saving a lot of animals ending up on a plate.

James Costa

James Costa

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Start by sharing this post, and let’s hope all your friends watch the film til the movement swells to mass action. Our kids deserve a fighting chance.


James Costa is Chairman of the Board for The Hunt’s Point Alliance for Children in the South Bronx as well as board member for The International Documentary Association. Lunch Hour is his first film.

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