New Brunswick — For once, the schools themselves have received the failing grade. More than half of New Brunswick’s schools were evaluated on their menu offerings for the province’s youth. The verdict? A big fat problem. The food being sold is unhealthy and leading to the province’s very high obesity rates — one of the highest in Canada. The New Brunswick Medical Society and New Brunswick School District officials around the province are saying that now is the time for change.
“No more plodding around the issue. It’s obvious that not even teenagers know what’s good for them, so it’s time to get rid of junk altogether and supply only the healthiest of foods as options,” said District 18 superintendent Alan Kilbride, munching his very last bag of Lay’s potato chips before the ban begins next week.
Local farmers are overjoyed that their produce will be sold at schools, although the stipulation that it all be organic is a pain for some. Farmers are also a little wary of the rule that it must all be vegan and gluten-free. Kelly Watchmir, a farm owner in Nackawic, said that because most people don’t actually know what gluten is or does, there might be some loopholes for people to sell some extra food.
“Everyone sees these words on magazine covers and then glazes over them. They will buy anything with buzzwords on the packaging. The key for farmers is to market their bacon as gluten-free vegan bacon, or the bread as free-range.”
Even teachers can’t escape the new rules — as role-models for students, any non-locally sourced food will be confiscated.
Parents are furious that the new menu means a severe rise in lunch costs. Most students will need at least $30 in lunch money to eat a meal that doesn’t even begin to fill them up.
“My boy doesn’t even like organic squash chips, and now he has to pay $10 a bag for them at ‘nutrition break,'” ranted an irate Lynda Fellows, mother of 4 students.
“Carbs are what tides him over between breaks. Feed my kids crackers at least!”
Unfortunately for Fellows, crackers have also received the ban-hammer due to high sodium content and being classified as a refined carbohydrate. The province remains optimistic that future generations will be slimmer and healthier due to the changes, if a lot more reliant on welfare cheques, employment insurance and financial support to subsidize their healthier eating habits.