- In a letter to members of Congress Friday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack responded to criticism over new school lunch rules by saying that the department will eliminate daily and weekly limits of meats and grains.
- The new guidelines were implemented as a countermeasure to increasing childhood obesity levels by setting limits on calories and salt, phasing in more whole grains, requiring schools to offer at least one fruit or vegetable per meal, and dictating how much of certain food groups could be served, but some parents and many conservative lawmakers saw them as government overreach.
- Broader calorie limits remain in place, but the tweaks will let school lunch planners provide more meats and grains, making them Congress' latest interference in the rules after it prohibited the USDA last year from limiting potatoes and French fries and told school lunchrooms they could continue counting the tomato paste on pizzas as a vegetable.
From the article:
The Agriculture Department is responding to criticism over new school lunch rules by allowing more grains and meat in kids' meals. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told members of Congress in a letter Friday that the department will do away with daily and weekly limits of meats and grains. Several lawmakers wrote the department after the new rules went into effect in September saying kids aren't getting enough to eat. School administrators also complained, saying set maximums on grains and meats are too limiting as they try to plan daily meals. ...