Finally. The President and I agree on something.
Yes, white bread is just about ready to make a comeback on school lunch menus. Now, before I get a ton of emails about the benefits of whole grains in our diets, let me say this.
Okay, okay. I know, I know, I know. We’ve heard the studies. The idea is that whole grains would be more nourishing. The studies say those whole grains help cultivate healthy habits and reduce obesity rates. They can be wonderful in some deliciously baked moist bread, among other things. But in cheap pastas, crackers, and bread, they fall into the same class as low-grade-cardboard.
Well. We’ve had whole grains in our U.S. schools since 2014. The majority of the kids hate them. And today, our kids are still having a world-class obesity problem right here in America. The numbers for this are astounding. Still.
So, Trump and his Henchmen called off the requirement. Albeit, the schools, the kids, the parents, were all complaining about the taste and costs of those whole grains. As a result, the Trump administration rolled back a rule that required foods like pasta and bread be made with whole grains.
A bunch of cafeteria directors lobbied for the change. They mainly contend that they want greater flexibility to serve foods like white bread. When the whole grain versions won’t work.
And I get it.
If you are going to eat Mac and Cheese, by god, let it be Mac and Cheese.
An actual quote from Gay Anderson, who is the president of the School Nutrition Association: “The staff asked right away, ‘Oh my God, can we go back to the other saltines?'”
The other saltines. Those are the ones that REALLY know how to hold a piece of cheddar cheese, or a big lump of Braunschweiger. Trust me on the cracker thing. My name is Polly, and we ALL know WHO wants a cracker.
The rollback addresses those rules on grains, milk and salt that were championed by former first lady Michelle Obama. Don’t get me wrong. I am all on board for good nutrition, exercise and fitness. Good health should be a priority. But I have long been a staunch advocate for the entire class of “white pasty foods.” If it is white, or pasty, or both, it has got to be good.
I say all this from the heart. There was nothing like getting to the end of the cafeteria line at Our Lady of Mercy. Yes, right there, before you pushed your tray past the lunch lady — the one who took your money — were all those glorious stacks and stacks of butter bread, and peanut butter bread. All magically cut on the diagonal. All on that magnificent, fluffy white bread. You could take as much as you wanted, but you had to eat it.
And when we learned about Heaven in religion class, this visual was frequently referenced.
That glorious white bread.
So yes. I am all in on the policy change.
Because the bacon, the lettuce, and the tomato, must all come together on the mayonnaise-slathered Wonder Bread.
“The path to paradise begins in hell.”
― Dante Alighieri
“Earth’s crammed with heaven…
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes.”
― Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh
“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden