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School Lunch Debate: Pro or Con

School Lunch Debate: Pro or Con
Where do you stand on the school lunch issue? Is it an agricultural problem?

Recently, I have avoided the whole school lunch issue – both in social media and in news stories. It's a hot button issue that obviously needs attention, but sometimes a single person has to choose their battles and this wasn't one for me.

My kids eat school lunch every day. Every year, I reluctantly offer to pack lunches, or help them by at least being well stocked in lunch-ready packable items.  Every year, thankfully, my kids tell me no.

But I accidentally read an article the other day about school lunches that sparked my curiosity. So the other night at supper, I talked to my kids about school lunches beyond our normal supper routine of "What did you have for lunch today?"

Where's the beef? Or pork or chicken? Where is the real source of protein that growing bodies need? If they want it, is it even on the menu that day? (USDA photo)

Related: School Lunch Standards Cause Food Fight

My question: "How do you really feel about school lunches?  Do you feel like you get enough to eat and enough protein to get you through the day?"

According to my 14-year-old, Emi Lou: "Mom, prison meals have more protein than a school lunch!"

My 18-year-old daughter Casey chimed in. "She's right Mom! That's a fact, I've never been to prison but I'm pretty sure that is a fact. And they took all the salt away so kids are now packing salt shakers for lunch!"

Cole Campbell, age 11 but going on 68, explains it this way: "Well, Mom, I think they are focusing on an important issue, childhood obesity, but going at it all wrong. The kids who have this problem are bringing their own lunch of a dozen twinkles anyway and the rest of us are paying the price."

Related: Legislators Call for Flexibility as Schools Drop Out of Lunch Program

I honestly had no idea they felt this way! Mom of the Year, right here!

My kids are always hungry, or as they say "sstttaarrrvvviiiinnnngggg" after school, but I was too at that age, so I just assumed it was a kid thing. Of course, back in the day at Triton West in Boggstown, Indiana, our cooks couldn't be beat. We had home-cooked meals every day, yet I was still hungry after school.

So maybe I have opened a can of worms for myself.  But I have kids and I am part of agriculture, so maybe it is a battle I need to choose. What's your opinion?

The opinions of Jennifer Campbell are not necessarily those of Indiana Prairie Farmer or the Penton Farm Progress Group.

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