| The Massachusetts House just passed a bill banning junk food in schools. Now the bill goes to the Senate.
Under the bill, schools would be encouraged to sell nonfried fruit and vegetables, whole grain products, nonfat or low-fat dairy products, noncarbonated water and juice with no additives. There would be no more sugary soda, cookies or candy bars, and fewer chips and sports drinks.
The man behind the bill was Rep. Peter Koutoujian. I've been following his work for a while, as this is NOT the first time he's proposed a totally amazing bill targeted at schools. In the past, he's tried (unsuccessfully so far as I could tell) to ban all forms of commercial marketing in schools. From the article:
But versions of the bill have stalled for years, encountering resistance from the grocery lobby and those who have argued nutritional values should be instilled at home, not by government.
However, Koutoujian noted, "Children are in our schools for six or eight hours a day, sometimes eating one or two meals. As good parents we should not allow them unfettered access to foods that are terrible for them. If kids are eating healthy at home, kids shouldn't be eating junk food at school. And if they're not eating healthy at home, they shouldn't compound that at school."
Also important to note is that this bill ONLY applies to "competitive foods" (foods outside the National School Lunch Program) and it exempts bake sale fundraisers. And... to top off this already great bill... it includes a Farm to School program!
Cross your fingers that this passes in the Senate!