Reporter Ed Bruske spent a week working in a Washington, D.C. public school lunchroom. His series of articles (1, 2, 3) that resulted are fantastic reading for anyone following the ongoing debate regarding school lunches and the challenges for enacting real reform. Today's entry looked at how sugar is used in school food.
Bruske lists the multiple ways schools find to sugar up our kids -- Pop-Tarts, sugar cereal, canned fruit in syrup, flavored milk, cookies and other desserts and even juice. Yes, juice is part of the problem, too. By weight, it has just as much sugar as Coke. Bruske observes that a 4 oz cup of apple juice has the equivalent of 3 tsp of sugar. As for flavored milk, an 8 oz carton of the brand served in the DC school contains 6 tsp of sugar. It's the same percentage of sugar as juice but at twice the service size, it's almost the same amount of sugar as a can of Coke -- and handed out to many of our kids for free. Got diabetes?
I recommend an experiment. Take a cup measure and put in 4 oz (1/2 cup) of water. Then add 3 tsp of sugar. If you’re feeling saucy, double the amount of both. Now drink. That’s what we serve to our kids at school? Yuck.
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