New nutrition rule sparks food overhaul

Kristi Bui ’16
EE Senior News Editor

If you are a common buyer of the lunches offered here at Trumbull High School, chances are lately you’ve seen and tasted substantial differences within the food. Enacted on July 1, 2014, all schools in the United States have been placed under the United States Department of Agriculture’s Smart Snacks in School rule, requiring that all foods and beverages sold outside of school meal programs must meet nutrition standards.

Dubbed as “competitive foods,” these foods sold under the Smart Snacks in School rule must be “whole grain-rich” grain products, contain 10% of the daily value of nutrients calcium, potassium, vitamin D, or dietary fiber, and either contain as the first ingredient or be a combination of a fruit and/or a vegetable. THS has been no exception to this new law; the meals and snacks now offered here have been revamped to incorporate whole grain, fruits and vegetables.

Beginning with the removal of the school store inventory, the school has worked hard to elimnate foods and snacks that do not fall under the “competitive foods” rule. Subsequently, the school store has been wiped out clean of their candies and bags of chips from previous years, as they are no longer considered as healthy foods for consumption within the school.

The meals at THS have also been compromised, as pizzas, bagels, and all other sorts of high-carb food products are now being made using whole grain rich products in order to help bring more fiber into the students’ diets. Even the cookies served as a snack in the commons have now been heightened with whole grain.

Not only has the new law brought along new recipes to the food, but also a new taste. Whole grain products are typically perceived as having a healthier, more fibrous taste than refined grains. Feelings about the new healthy food have been been mixed. Some find it to taste fine, while others find it inedible, outraged over the loss of the school store.

Junior Nikaash Pasanoori is no exception, as he finds the whole grain foods not as filling as white. “In particular, I feel like the cookies have gotten worse, but I guess the larger size kind of makes up for that,” Pasanoori states.

Trumbull Health Advisory Committee board member, Kelly Cranston, remarked that their goal for the plan was to “enforce these new standards this year,” in order to “gradually see a change in nutrition.” Cranston states that the plan is “still in the first stage so [she’s] not seeing much change right now.”

As a representative of the THS student body to the board, she expresses the discontent amongst the students towards the new foods, hoping to make a compromise with the board to get a better outcome.

“I think some of the new rules and guidelines are too harsh and extreme. I see their concern for obesity but I think both options should be available,” Cranston adds.

She believes that although doctors and nurses may be concerned over what the school sells to students, economically it benefits them more to sell the candy in the school store to make a larger profit.

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