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Peer Review:As you read a paper, address these criteria:.Provide positive feedback, where appropriate, on the criteria.Identify areas for improvement, where appropriate, and recommend improvements. T
As you read a paper, address these criteria:.
- Provide positive feedback, where appropriate, on the criteria.
- Identify areas for improvement, where appropriate, and recommend improvements.
The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:
- Recognize the elements and correct use of a thesis statement.
- Recognize transitional words, phrases, and sentences.
- Identify effective sentence variety and word choice.
- Identify positive qualities and opportunities for improvement in writing samples.
- Analyze the rhetorical strategies of ethos, pathos, logos in writing samples and for incorporation into essays or presentations.
- Correct grammatical and stylistic errors consistent with Standard Written English
- Recognize how to organize ideas with transitional words, phrases, and sentence
Solutions and Advantages: Regulations for School Lunch Programs
There is a serious problem facing the health our children today. As a nation, it is our responsibility to nurture and raise our posterity to the best of our ability, and we are not up to standards. Regulation for foods served in public schools has begun to improve in the past years as the USDA and the Department of Agriculture, along with an Act of Congress called the Health Hunger Free Kids Act have changed guidelines for nutrition standards. The outcome of this is that now kids are served foods which are made by the cheapest bidder; in factories that could be hundreds or thousands of miles away. The food is bland, packed full of chemicals like sodium and maltodextrin. Simply put, the kids do not approve (Jennings, 2013). Just as we value any of our nation’s precious resources, we must prize the quality of nutrition that our children receive; they are our future, and our prosperity depends on their success. Gone are the days of school cafeterias that cooked and prepared fresh and hot lunches. Gone are the lunch trays with the portion dividers, and the lunch line employee scooping hot chicken and mashed potatoes onto it, a side of vegetable medley, and perhaps some cobbler or cake for dessert. If the masses were able to witness the atrocities children are being served in schools first hand, they would be ashamed at where the regulations have led us. Across the country, more and more children are opting out of the currently established program and choosing to either bring lunch from elsewhere or not eat at all. And of those that are still getting hot lunch, most of them are throwing it away. Across the nation, our country needs regulation to bring back fresh foods made at schools. American kids need to consume vegetables, salads, fruits, and meats that are fresh. Regulations for food served in schools should allow for items provided by local producers, and campus farms to combat hunger, reduce obesity, and prevent disease.
Kids Want Healthy and Fresh Options
Let’s face it; kids are always eating! Their bodies are little furnaces and require constant refueling for them to grow. For many school children, it is not uncommon to consume half or more of their daily caloric intake while at school. Yet across the nation, school districts are losing money because kids are not satisfied with the quality or the portions they receive. In fact, it is not uncommon to see trash cans full of school lunches after a meal (Jennings, 2014). Since the guidelines for caloric intake set by Health Hunger Free Kids Act decreased, many children who force themselves to eat the re-heated and processed foods shipped from factories, complain that the small portions are rarely enough and leave more and more kids hungry. The lack of quantity and poor quality of food has even been brought to light by students across the nation on social media. In one video, students at Wallace County High School in Sharon Springs, Kansas, made a video showing athletes passing out during practice because they are famished. In another scene it shows students eating foods which they have bought at the store and keep in their lockers (Jennings, 2014). More to the point, even though more and more children are throwing away their school lunches, or opting out altogether, average meal prices continue to climb. The point is clear, children do not like the choices that school meal programs offer, and they are left hungry at the end of the day.
If the problem is that kids are left hungry because they refuse to eat the foods available, then the solution is to provide nationwide funding for the National Farm to School Network program. In this program, schools receive their foods by procuring them from local growers and farmers, as well as foods grown in their school gardens. The National Farm to School program is a multi-benefit program because it allows students to eat a healthy salad during lunch, with chicken or other proteins provided by local producers. The children are engaged in learning the processes of agriculture, and about the foods that are produced in their communities. Studies are showing that school children are learning to enjoy the foods they grow, and fruit and vegetable consumption is up 27% according to data from the USDA (USDA, 2015). Children prefer foods which are made fresh in the cafeteria that day, not re- heated cardboard that is packed full of the necessary vitamins. Schools that provide this program’s like National Farm to School will benefit though advanced educational opportunities regarding proper diet, as well as receiving a plethora of knowledge of agriculture, gardening, and nutrition (Farm to School, 2018).
School Gardens and Fresh Proteins Will Reduce Obesity
There is a growing concern in our nation that our children are becoming obese. One of the primary causes of this pandemic is the types of foods which are served in public schools today. With options like hot dogs, tater tots, and pizza, it is not hard to see why many children are becoming obese. Foods packed with chemical preservatives, like hot dogs and other deli meats, contribute to poor diets which promote the increase of low-density lipoprotein(LDL) in our children. In a study of 1,300 sixth-graders performed by the University of Michigan, it was found children who ate school lunches were 29% more obese than their counterparts who brought lunch from home. Additionally, those children who ate hot lunches from school were on average 16% more likely to eat fatty meats, and 22% more likely to consume sugary beverages (Schanzenbach, 2009). The issue with the foods being served is that they are packed full of high sodium, high carbohydrate, while being deficient in adequate fiber and nutrients. These foods are mass-produced and chosen for their cost-effectiveness (Boehlke, 2015). So the question is why? Why is it that regulations set forth by the Department of Agriculture and the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act have allowed such standards to be permissible in our schools? With statistics from the Center for Disease Control showing a staggering 12.5 million children in the U.S are obese, undoubtedly there is a need for more healthy and nutritious foods for our young generations.
The good news is that the National Farm to School Program which was established by the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act is growing in popularity and encouraging a change within our nation. With more schools growing their own gardens, and procuring meats from local producers, obesity in our children is decreasing. And it is not hard to see why. Children are able to consume vegetables that are fresh, not frozen. They have a new excitement in knowing the foods they are served were grown at their very own school, and they take pride in that. They are afforded the opportunity to work in the school garden, and receive not only valuable knowledge of nutritious food options, but also the physical exercise they so desperately need to reduce obesity. A few years ago, Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack announced school census data from the 2013-2014 school year which validated the benefits of Farm to School programs. He stated that there was a 17% increase in participation in school meal programs, a 17% reduction in plate waste, and that school meal programs were lowered by 21%. Data also revealed a 55% increase in foods purchased from local farmers and ranchers, which created new markets and improved local economies (USDA, 2015). It is clear that the solution for reducing obesity in our children is with programs like Farm to School. The comprehensive learning of healthier eating habits will benefit our future generations as they will learn about different agricultural processes and growing their own sustainable fruits and vegetables and have the chance to be hands on as well.
Fresh Fruits, Vegetables, and Meats Will Reduce Childhood Disease
Lastly, recent studies have begun to unlock the link between foods that are served in school lunch programs and the rising rates of childhood disease. The causes are diets too high in preservatives, sodium, sugar, and cholesterol, which lead to stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. The American Heart Association reports that foods high in sodium, which are found in condiments such salad dressings, and prepackaged foods, cause high blood pressure and stroke. On top of that, diabetes is on the rise in children by over 150% in the last ten years. This is attributed to unhealthy school lunches which contain high fructose corn syrup, and is the leading cause of type 2 diabetes. Additionally, studies have proven that kids who eat mostly processed foods are at a higher risk for fatty liver disease. Starches like refined flours, white rice, and processed grains cause insulin levels in the body to rise, which causes increased fat deposits in the liver and blood (Underwood, 2017).
To combat this epidemic on our American youth, the introduction of programs like Farm to School are providing alternative foods which are fresh, and made that day in schools across the country. These locally grown and produced foods do not need to be packed full of sodium and other preservatives. They don’t require to be frozen before shipping, because they are in close proximities to schools. The USDA and the Farm to School Program have partnered to promote healthy eating habits to students nationwide and the benefits are far-reaching. The greatest improvements have been in teaching kids aged k-12 the value of eating nutritious, high quality foods, and habits which they can take with them for the rest of their lives. They also encourage a willingness to try other vegetables when they are older, due to the gardening activities they learn while at the school farm or on field trips. Additionally, in recent years the Center for Disease Control(CDC) and the Institute of Medicine have begun promoting research-based findings for prevention of disease and obesity in American youth. With the help of the CDC, and a program called the Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities (HKHC) an initiative of the Robert Wood Foundation; in 2009 over 105 communities were granted funding from the initiative. These funds were put to work to increase funding for school gardens and student education, and established community networks for business with local producers. It also created funding for advertising campaigns which promoted healthier snack choices, as well as provided resources for outdoor physical activities like cycling and walking. The CDC is adapting strategies which will instill a sense of quality health in our future generations by promoting healthy eating habits along with regular exercise. These are the ingredients to reduced diseases in our young kids. Healthy and fresh, without artificial preservatives and other harmful ingredients which lead to heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Across America more communities are seeing the benefits of providing foods which are natural and grown in local communities.
In summary, it seems clear that there is a change in the aim of our school lunch programs in this country. Every day across the nation more schools are adopting the Farm to School program. Students are able to choose between various healthy salads, vegetables and locally produced foods instead of eating foods which cause obesity and disease. More to the point, thanks to programs like the Farm to School, children are learning the value of health equity. Health equity is the principle that all children should be afforded the opportunity to eat healthy and nutritious foods every day (USDA, 2015). By providing these foods, children are not forced to eat mass-produced, frozen and preservative filled foods made by the cheapest bidder. After all, as a nation we need to prize our youth, knowing they will be the future leaders of our great nation. American kids need to consume vegetables, salads, fruits, and meats that are fresh. Regulations for food served in schools should allow for items provided by local producers, and campus farms to combat hunger, reduce obesity, and prevent disease.
Boehlke, J.(2015, Oct 23) Childhood Obesity and Elementary School Cafeteria Food Retrieved from https://www.livestrong.com/article/519859-childhood-obesity-elementary-school-cafeteria-food
Jennings, D. (2014, Sept 11) First Lady's Lunch Program Leaving Kids Hungry and Wasting Millions Retrieved from https:/www.offthegridnews.com/current-events/first-ladys-lunch-program-leaving-kids
Schanzenbach, D. W. (2009). Do School Lunches Contribute to Childhood Obesity? The Journal of Human Resources, Volume 44 pg 684,691
National Farm to School Network. (2018) News Retrieved from http://www.farmtoschool.org/about/what-is-farm-to-school
Underwood, C (2017, Oct 3) Diseases From Eating Unhealthy School Lunches Retrieved from
USDA. (2015). New USDA Data Show Growing Farm to School Efforts Help Reduce Plate Waste, Increase Student Participation in Healthier School Meal Program Retrieved from https://www.fns.usda.gov/farmtoschool/farm-school
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