Cafeteria workers at three elementary schools in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pa. welcomed students back from Christmas break with heaping helpings of insect-filled brown rice this week. Meanwhile, at Sidwell Friends, the children of Barack and Michelle Obama are enjoying panzanella salad, ratatouille and all-natural winter chicken stew.
The insect incident happened on Monday at Donaldson, McKee and Wilson elementary schools in the West Allegheny School District, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
The bugs were rice weevils — flying critters that reproduce impressively and can live for up to two years. School officials believe the weevils came in the sealed bags of brown rice.
None of the 130 kids who may have ingested the beetle-like creatures became ill. Allegheny County Health Department officials assured school district officials that the bugs are not harmful (and tend to die in the cooking process).
Meanwhile, thankfully, Sidwell Friends School, which enrolls first daughters Malia and Sasha, has reported no rice weevil problems this week.
In fact, the private school in Washington, D.C. (where tuition is $36,264 per student) is having another banner week of school lunches.
For example, the scrumptious menu for Friday, Jan. 9 at the school where the Obamas their children is:
Soup du Jour
Blackened Portobello Salad
All Natural Winter Chicken Stew
Sidwell Friends is not subject to the unpopular Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which has long been a signature issue for Michelle Obama.
On the other hand, the West Allegheny School District is subject to the complex, stringent legislation.
The district is also an enthusiastic, hale and hearty cheerleader for it. A West Allegheny School District flyer for the 2014-15 school year proudly boasts of “calorie maximums” and a despotic mandate forcing little kids to select fruits and vegetables. Also, any snacks that don’t meet stringent calorie, sodium and nutrition requirements are strictly forbidden. (No soft drinks that aren’t diet, either — even for high schoolers.)
Most school districts across the country are subject to the Hunger-Free Kids Act. They have to be. Otherwise, they cannot obtain federal school lunch money.
Under the lunch regime championed by the first lady, participating schools get federal money but must stringently limit the number of calories and the amount of sugar, fat and sodium in every morsel of food sold at schools. Also, in what presumably falls outside the hunger-free aspect of the act, there are the calorie caps.
The law has caused kids to stop eating public-school cafeteria food and to take to Twitter in droves. (RELATED: The School Lunches Malia And Sasha Eat Vs. The Crap Michelle Obama Has Foisted On America)
Parents have expressed serious frustration about the massive federal intervention into what American schoolchildren must now eat in public school cafeterias. (RELATED: Kentucky Students To First Lady Michelle Obama: Your Food ‘Tastes Like Vomit’)
Some school districts — particularly wealthier ones — have opted out of the healthy-lunch regime and the attached federal dollars.