The other day my local newspaper printed an article about a charitable organization which provides "backpack lunches" for children in poverty. The gist of the article was that these children experience a greater degree of hunger and that often, these care packages mean the difference between eating and not eating on the days when the children are not in school.
Now, those who know me well here on CD know that there is no love lost between me and America's youth, however, my philosophy is that if you are going to do something that you might as well do it right.
In the article they listed the ingredients of these backpack lunches. And frankly, it was pretty horrific for a purely nutritional point of view. They consist of "four canned meals containing meat, four gelatin and pudding cups, two bowls of cereal, two snack-size bags of Wheat Thins, two juice boxes, and two boxes of shelf-stable chocolate milk".
Just from what I know about processed foods, I can estimate that the sodium content of the products is most probably off the charts. The fat content, sugar content *and* the content of chemical preservatives, artificial flavoring and other ingredients is totally unacceptable.
I realize that it is unfortunate that people must live in hunger, but considering that the underprivileged in this country has the worst diet nutritionally of any of the socio-economic classes, wouldn't this be a golden opportunity to not only FEED the kids but TEACH them about good nutrition as well?
Couldn't they put in ONE STINKING APPLE? How about something GREEN? Maybe some roasted soy nuts, or something HEALTHY instead of junk to eat. Is it really better to feed them "just anything" to keep them from being hungry, even if the food they eat is NOT NUTRITIONAL and could end up hurting them more in the long run?
As a group of people who are interested in health and wellness, what are your opinions on this?