Unfortunately, the best place to start with this are the
youngest members of society through the school lunch program.
In this era of government bailouts and concern over wasteful
spending, an opportunity presents itself to take a hard look at the National
School Lunch Program. When it was started in 1946 as a public safety measure it
certainly turned out to be a disaster.
Under the program, the USDA gives public schools cash for
every meal they serve – $2.57 for a free lunch, $2.17 for a reduced-price lunch
and 24 cents for a paid lunch.
In 2007, the program cost around $9 billion, a figure
acknowledged as inadequate to cover food costs.
What people don’t realize is that very little of this money
even goes toward food because the schools have to use it to pay for everything
from the custodial services to heating the cafeteria.
On top of these reimbursements, the schools are entitled to
receive commodity foods that are valued at a little over 20 cents per meal. The
list includes such highly nutritious foods such as high fat, low grade meats
and cheeses, processed foods like chicken nuggets, and pizza.
Since many schools do not have kitchens, many of these
delectable morsels are ready to be thawed, heated or simply unwrapped. Also, as
an additional treat, the schools get “bonuses” from the USDA, which essentially
throws good money after bad for leftovers from the big food producers.
When the schools allow fast-food snacks that contain the
same ingredients found in fast foods and the resulting meals routinely fail to
meet nutritional standards, maybe a handful of people in our nutritionally
illiterate society protest.
But, our government caring little about this, justifies it
by saying that they are “helping” to feed millions of American schoolchildren
with a great many of them from low-income households. And here we thought the
“weapons of mass destruction” were in Iraq.
But those that are not nutritionally illiterate are
demanding better. Parent advocacy groups like Better School Food have rejected
the National School Lunch Program and have turned instead to local farmers for
fresh alternatives. And even though they face heavy budget obstacles, these
groups are demonstrating that the schools can be in control of their own menus,
Schools, for example, in Berkley, Ca., while continuing to use USDA
commodities, cook food from scratch and add organic fruits and vegetables from
By adopting more efficient accounting software and different
bulk options like choosing milk dispensers over individual cartons, and working
with farmers to identify crops they can grow in volume and sell for reasonable
prices, they have cut costs.
It’s just too bad that our nutritionally illiterate society
has not yet discovered that most of us are lactose intolerant and that
switching to dairy alternatives like non-GMO soy milk, rice milk, coconut milk
or various nut milks would provide a far more nutritious venue.
A lot of the so-called “nutrition experts” believe that to
fix the National School Lunch Program you have to throw more money at it. But
without healthy, nutritious food and cooks and kitchens to prepare it,
increased financing will only create a larger junk-food distribution system.
What we need to do is to scrap the current system and start
The bureaucrats in Washington need to give schools enough
money to cook and serve unprocessed foods that are produced without pesticides,
chemical fertilizers or any other synthetic chemicals and are GMO free. And
when possible, these foods should be locally grown.
How much would it cost to feed 30 million American school
kids a wholesome meal? It could be done for about $5.00 per child or roughly
$27 billion a year plus a one-time investment in real kitchens.
It may sound
expensive but a healthy school lunch program would bring about long-term
savings and benefits in the areas of hunger, children’s health and dietary
habits, food safety, environmental preservation and energy conservation.
But the USDA would have to do its part as well (good luck!)
by making good on its lame commitment to back environmentally sound farming
practices and by realizing that there need to be a sound program to deliver
food, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, from farm to school. It would
also need to provide support for kitchens and healthy meal planning and it
would need to get of bed with Monsanto and the GMO travesty.
Actually, Congress had an opportunity to accomplish this
when it looked at the Child Nutrition and Women, Infants, and Child
Reauthorization Act. Guess what? It expired.
What about the Department of Education? Doesn’t eating well
require education? Shouldn’t students learn what foods are good and what foods
to choose and how what foods they choose affects their health and their
That’s why this new school lunch program should be partly
financed by the DOE and Arne Duncan the Secretary of Education should oversee
it, with Joe Biden stepping up to the plate, which he can never do, by making
school lunch a priority of his White House Task Force on Middle Class Working
Every public school child in America deserves good nutrition
coming from fresh ingredients. Parents that are cash-strapped should be able to
rely on the government to contribute to their kid’s physical
Let’s eliminate the American public schools from harboring
the real weapons of mass destruction!
When I was a kid, if I were told that I'd be writing a book about diet and nutrition when I was older, let alone having been doing a health related radio show for over 36 years, I would've thought that whoever told me that was out of their mind. Living in Newark, New Jersey, my parents and I consumed anything and everything that had a face or a mother except for dead, rotting, pig bodies, although we did eat bacon (as if all the other decomposing flesh bodies were somehow miraculously clean). Going through high school and college it was no different. In fact, my dietary change did not come until I was in my 30's.
Just to put things in perspective, after I graduated from Weequahic High School and before going to Seton Hall University, I had a part-time job working for a butcher. I was the delivery guy and occasionally had to go to the slaughterhouse to pick up products for the store. Needless to say, I had no consciousness nor awareness, as change never came then despite the horrors I witnessed on an almost daily basis.
After graduating with a degree in accounting from Seton Hall, I eventually got married and moved to a town called Livingston. Livingston was basically a yuppie community where everyone was judged by the neighborhood they lived in and their income. To say it was a "plastic" community would be an understatement.
Livingston and the shallowness finally got to me. I told my wife I was fed up and wanted to move. She made it clear she had to be near her friends and New York City. I finally got my act together and split for Colorado.
I was living with a lady in Aspen at the end of 1974, when one day she said, " let's become vegetarians". I have no idea what possessed me to say it, but I said, "okay"! At that point I went to the freezer and took out about $100 worth of frozen, dead body parts and gave them to a welfare mother who lived behind us. Well, everything was great for about a week or so, and then the chick split with another guy.
So here I was, a vegetarian for a couple weeks, not really knowing what to do, how to cook, or basically how to prepare anything. For about a month, I was getting by on carrot sticks, celery sticks, and yogurt. Fortunately, when I went vegan in 1990, it was a simple and natural progression. Anyway, as I walked around Aspen town, I noticed a little vegetarian restaurant called, "The Little Kitchen".
Let me back up just a little bit. It was April of 1975, the snow was melting and the runoff of Ajax Mountain filled the streets full of knee-deep mud. Now, Aspen was great to ski in, but was a bummer to walk in when the snow was melting.
I was ready to call it quits and I needed a warmer place. I'll elaborate on that in a minute.
But right now, back to "The Little Kitchen". Knowing that I was going to leave Aspen and basically a new vegetarian, I needed help. So, I cruised into the restaurant and told them my plight and asked them if they would teach me how to cook. I told them in return I would wash dishes and empty their trash. They then asked me what I did for a living and I told them I was an accountant.
The owner said to me, "Let's make a deal. You do our tax return and we'll feed you as well". So for the next couple of weeks I was doing their tax return, washing their dishes, emptying the trash, and learning as much as I could.
But, like I said, the mud was getting to me. So I picked up a travel book written by a guy named Foder. The name of the book was, "Hawaii". Looking through the book I noticed that in Lahaina, on Maui, there was a little vegetarian restaurant called," Mr. Natural's". I decided right then and there that I would go to Lahaina and work at "Mr. Natural's." To make a long story short, that's exactly what happened.
So, I'm working at "Mr. Natural's" and learning everything I can about my new dietary lifestyle - it was great. Every afternoon we would close for lunch at about 1 PM and go to the Sheraton Hotel in Ka'anapali and play volleyball, while somebody stayed behind to prepare dinner.
Since I was the new guy, and didn't really know how to cook, I never thought that I would be asked to stay behind to cook dinner. Well, one afternoon, that's exactly what happened; it was my turn. That posed a problem for me because I was at the point where I finally knew how to boil water.
I was desperate, clueless and basically up the creek without a paddle. Fortunately, there was a friend of mine sitting in the gazebo at the restaurant and I asked him if he knew how to cook. He said the only thing he knew how to cook was enchiladas. He said that his enchiladas were bean-less and dairy-less. I told him that I had no idea what an enchilada was or what he was talking about, but I needed him to show me because it was my turn to do the evening meal.
Well, the guys came back from playing volleyball and I'm asked what was for dinner. I told them enchiladas; the owner wasn't thrilled. I told him that mine were bean-less and dairy-less. When he tried the enchilada he said it was incredible. Being the humble guy that I was, I smiled and said, "You expected anything less"? It apparently was so good that it was the only item on the menu that we served twice a week. In fact, after about a week, we were selling five dozen every night we had them on the menu and people would walk around Lahaina broadcasting, 'enchilada's at "Natural's" tonight'. I never had to cook anything else.
A year later the restaurant closed, and somehow I gravitated to a little health food store in Wailuku. I never told anyone I was an accountant and basically relegated myself to being the truck driver. The guys who were running the health food store had friends in similar businesses and farms on many of the islands. I told them that if they could organize and form one company they could probably lock in the State. That's when they found out I was an accountant and "Down to Earth" was born. "Down to Earth" became the largest natural food store chain in the islands, and I was their Chief Financial Officer and co-manager of their biggest store for 13 years.
In 1981, I started to do a weekly radio show to try and expose people to a vegetarian diet and get them away from killing innocent creatures. I still do that show today. I pay for my own airtime and have no sponsors to not compromise my honesty. One bit of a hassle was the fact that I was forced to get a Masters Degree in Nutrition to shut up all the MD's that would call in asking for my credentials.
My doing this radio show enabled me, through endless research, to see the corruption that existed within the big food industries, the big pharmaceutical companies, the biotech industries and the government agencies. This information, unconscionable as it is, enabled me to realize how broken our health system is. This will be covered more in depth in the Introduction and throughout the book and when you finish the book you will see this clearly and it will hopefully inspire you to make changes.
I left Down to Earth in 1989, got nationally certified as a sports injury massage therapist and started traveling the world with a bunch of guys that were making a martial arts movie. After doing that for about four years I finally made it back to Honolulu and got a job as a massage therapist at the Honolulu Club, one of Hawaii's premier fitness clubs. It was there I met the love of my life who I have been with since 1998. She made me an offer I couldn't refuse. She said," If you want to be with me you've got to stop working on naked women". So, I went back into accounting and was the Chief Financial Officer of a large construction company for many years.
Going back to my Newark days when I was an infant, I had no idea what a "chicken" or "egg" or "fish" or "pig" or "cow" was. My dietary blueprint was thrust upon me by my parents as theirs was thrust upon them by their parents. It was by the grace of God that I was able to put things in their proper perspective and improve my health and elevate my consciousness.
The road that I started walking down in 1975 has finally led me to the point of writing my book, “A Sane Diet For An Insane World”. Hopefully, the information contained herein will be enlightening, motivating, and inspiring to encourage you to make different choices. Doing what we do out of conditioning is not always the best course to follow. I am hoping that by the grace of the many friends and personalities I have encountered along my path, you will have a better perspective of what road is the best road for you to travel on, not only for your health but your consciousness as well.
Last but not least: after being vaccinated as a kid I developed asthma, which plagued me all of my life. In 2007 I got exposed to the organic sulfur crystals, which got rid of my asthma in 3 days and has not come back in over 10 years. That, being the tip of the iceberg, has helped people reverse stage 4 cancers, autism, joint pain, blood pressure problems, migraine headaches, erectile dysfunction, gingivitis, and more. Also, because of the detoxification effects by the release of oxygen that permeates and heals all the cells in the body, it removes parasites, radiation, fluoride, free radicals, and all the other crap that is thrust upon us in the environment by Big Business.
For more, please view www.healthtalkhawaii.com and www.asanediet.com.