77 percent of foods purchased by US schools are purchased from distributors like Sysco or Reinhart and only 11 percent come from local sources. Locally grown fruits and vegetables are served by some schools but not in South Dakota.
According to USDA’s Farm to School Census, 36 percent of the U.S. public school districts that completed the questionnaire reported serving at least some locally produced foods in school lunches or breakfasts during school years 2011-12 or 2012-13. While fruits and vegetables topped the list of local foods served in schools in 2011-12, 45 percent of the school districts that used local foods reported serving locally produced milk, and 27 percent reported serving locally produced baked goods. [United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service]South Dakota's GOP At-large US Representative wants even more business to go to corporate sources.
Marshall, Minnesota-based pizza peddler Schwan's gives Republicans including South Dakota's At-large Representative Kristi Noem campaign cash. So do other industrial ag companies like Crystal Sugar selling salted fat to schools. Now she is paying them back.
Rep. Kristi Noem on Tuesday announced plans for legislation that reduces federal mandates on school meal standards, including the more stringent whole grain requirements that went into effect in July 2014 and the Target 2 sodium requirements set to be implemented in the coming years. [Mitchell Daily Republic]Mother Jones tells readers why:
But opponents of the act argue that the requirements leave students with unappetizing choices that result in tons of waste. This notion was supported in a spring 2014 report from the Harvard School of Public Health, which found that nearly 75 percent of vegetables and 40 percent of fruit being served in school cafeterias were ending up in trash cans. But critics have pointed out that helping "struggling schools" is not the sole agenda of the SNA—its sponsors include Domino's Pizza, General Mills Foodservice, PepsiCo Foodservice, and Tyson Foods, Inc.—all of whom contract with school cafeterias and would benefit from less stringent nutritional regulations. [Allie Gross]Most South Dakota schools could be feeding food waste to chickens and hogs maybe composting for community gardens. Hot Springs, Philip and Midland enjoy geothermal water to heat greenhouses.
Progress has been made under current school lunch rules but as industrial agriculture lines Republican pockets South Dakota's children will continue to suffer from elevated risks to obesity.