In our pledge to change school lunches to make them more nutritional, we uncovered so much more that was of concern. Not only are people unaware of what ingredients are in the school foods that our kids are eating, but are also unaware of what they are consuming.
We have tried to work with the school systems, but there are many challenges, which prevent implementing many of the necessary positive changes. Cost and labor are just two of the challenges that are taken into consideration when making school food choices. Interestingly recent information has received much media attention concerning non-disclosed ingredients, like “pink slime”. These ingredients are present in the food not only served to children in school, but also in supermarket meats, but yet these ingredients are not listed on any label. In addition to school foods, foods sold in hospitals, restaurants as well as any food for sale in a retail store, need to have ALL nutritional and ingredient information readily available for the consumer. The only way to accomplish this goal is to petition the FDA and USDA to ensure that ALL nutritional information and EVERY ingredient that is in the food sold in the US is placed on the label of that product. Full disclosure is what we demand and deserve wherever food items are offered for sale. Since parents are not with their children when they buy lunch at school, a regulation needs to include full disclosure of ALL ingredients and nutritional information on school lunch menus, so parents can make informed decisions for their children prior to them buying the food.
At a time when the childhood obesity and type II diabetes rates are rising, and overall healthcare has become a concern, it is time that we all know what is in our food so that we can make educated decisions for ourselves and our families. Although the FDA and/or USDA may consider it safe, it still needs to be on the label. If you want to STOP this “secret” practice of partial disclosure that exists today then sign this petition and have your voice heard!
Tell the FDA and USDA that we, the consumer, have the right to know EVERYTHING that is in our food by making it mandatory that ALL ingredients and nutritional information be listed on food product labels in retail stores and visibly listed on food menus at restaurants, hospitals and schools.
To: Commissioner Hamburg,
Please make labeling of EVERY ingredient that is used in a food product, used and/or sold in our food supply, mandatory.
As of now, The Nutrition, Labeling and Education Act of 1990 requires U.S. food manufacturers to disclose certain nutritional information about their products via standardized package labels. This act needs to be changed so that ALL nutritional information, including ingredients is disclosed. In light of the recent report regarding “pink slime”, defined as the term used for a mixture of beef scraps and connective tissue (formerly used only for pet food and rendering) that is treated with ammonia hydroxide to remove pathogens like salmonella and E coli., and an additional report regarding the process used to create caramel coloring containing carcinogens, it has become evident that there are ingredients in our food supply that the general public is unaware of. This is very disturbing, as not only are educated consumers ingesting chemicals not disclosed, but innocent children are being served foods in schools with these questionable ingredients without their or their parent’s knowledge.
Why is it that these chemicals and other unknown ingredients are being approved to be used in our food supply even though evidence has shown safety concerns? As cited in a recent petition against the use of pink slime: “Two former government microbiologists claim that, for political reasons, pink slime was approved for human consumption by USDA over serious safety concerns”. Until recently, we did not even know what “pink slime” was, let alone the presence of it in the food that we were consuming.
Every ingredient that is in a food product sold in the US should be on the packaging of that item (for direct consumer products), or in a clearly visible location (for indirect consumer products). This includes foods sold in retail stores as well as dining establishments, like restaurants, hospitals and schools. In many cases, visible placement of this information on the menu would be best for communicating with consumers. In the case of a school, this information needs to be communicated to the parents of school children, along with the meal menu, so that the parents can make an informed decision regarding food choices. We have the right to know what ingredients are being used in the foods we purchase and consume, and ask that you enforce full disclosure of ALL ingredients on packaging and food menus.