School Lunches: How The Food Industry Controls Student Meals
In a biting piece in The New York Times Sunday, investigative reporter Lucy Komisar offers an in-depth look at how the food industry — and its complex web of internal alliances — is taking over school meals. And not in a good way.
Komisar notes that the U.S. Department of Agriculture spends about $1 billion annually to send fresh products to schools across the country as part of the $13.3 billion National School Lunch Program. But increasingly, schools are paying high prices for third-party food processors to turn those products into fried and fat-laden items.
Deals between management companies, food processors and food manufacturers complicate the system and exchange more money within the system as schools foot the bill, Komisar finds. The report also details accounting tricks and contractual incentives that make the business all the more lucrative — click through to The New York Times to read the full report and more about motivating factors for both the companies and the schools.