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Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Culinary no-no #291

Culinary no-no's



Like many of my fellow grade school students, I was spoiled living so close to home that I could walk there for my daily lunch prepared by Mom. Not so in high school.

That was okay because the hot lunches served at the old Don Bosco in Milwaukee were pretty darn good.

Unlike say MPS that issued a weekly menu, at Don Bosco we never knew what would be plopped on our trays until it actually happened. On rare occasions some student would somehow manage to wiggle out of class and slip by the cafeteria and discover what was on the menu and the news would spread like wildfire throughout the school.




Consistently a balanced hot meal was offered. My favorite was a breaded, boneless pork cutlet swimming in brown gravy. The same gravy was ladled onto mashed potatoes right beside green beans or corn. You could dunk your bread, a cross between white and rye into that gravy.

You never realize what you have until it’s gone. When Don Bosco closed and I had to transfer to another Catholic high school, the lunch offerings dried up like the 2012 drought. No more 3-course meals that required fork and knife. Here were my choices: a hamburger, sloppy joe, hot ham sandwich, or bring my lunch. God, those pork cutlets seemed like filet mignon.

No matter the menu, we all got by. No one complained. No one got out of control overweight. No government official intervened.

Of course that was $#@%^*&^$^% years ago. When Barack Obama was elected, his wife didn’t choose illiteracy, or AIDS, or space travel as her cause. No, she wanted to be Nanny State Queen, dictating what you and your children should eat. If you think that’s harsh or over the top, guess again.

In 2010, when the Nanny State dominated the White House, the US Senate and the US House, they rammed through the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 into law. 

When the legislation reads, in part, "Congress 
finds that—‘‘(I) eating habits and other wellness-related behavior habits are established early in life; and ‘‘(II) good nutrition and wellness are important contributors to the overall health of young children and essential to cognitive development,” the party that governs by a crying towel couldn’t possibly have voted no.

School lunches are going to change, starting with the upcoming school year.

The US Department of Agriculture writes:

“This rule requires most schools to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat free and low-fat fluid milk in school meals; reduce the levels of sodium, saturated fat and trans fat in meals; and meet the nutrition needs of school children within their calorie requirements. These improvements to the school meal programs, largely based on recommendations made by the Institute of the National Academies of Medicine, are expected to enhance the diet and health of school children, and help mitigate the childhood obesity trend.”

Can we say, “Feel good?”

Specifics, please. Again, from the USDA:

"In summary, the January 2011 proposed rule sought to improve lunches and breakfasts by requiring schools to:

• Offer fruits and vegetables as two separate meal components;

• Offer fruit daily at breakfast and lunch;

• Offer vegetables daily at lunch, including specific vegetable subgroups weekly (dark green, orange, legumes, and other as defined in the 2005 Dietary Guidelines) and a limited quantity of

starchy vegetables throughout the week;

• Offer whole grains: half of the grains would be whole grain-rich upon implementation of the rule and all grains would be whole-grain rich two years post implementation;

• Offer a daily meat/meat alternate at breakfast;

• Offer fluid milk that is fat-free (unflavored and flavored) and low-fat (unflavored only);

• Offer meals that meet specific calorie ranges for each age/grade group;

• Reduce the sodium content of meals gradually over a 10-year period through two intermediate sodium targets at two and four years post implementation;

• Prepare meals using food products or ingredients that contain zero grams of trans fat per serving;

• Require students to select a fruit or a vegetable as part of the reimbursable meal..."

OK, in less government-ese and more layman’s terms, what does it all mean?

That’s easy. The government has provided a comparison of what was on the school menu before and what will be on the school menu now.

Before these two came along to run rough shod...


Obama Eating via

Here’s what would be served on a typical weekday:

Hot dog on bun (3 oz) with ketchup (4 T)

Canned Pears (1/4 cup)

Raw Celery and Carrots (1/8 cup each) with ranch dressing (1.75 T)

Low-fat (1%) Chocolate Milk (8 oz)

That was before the Nanny State ran amok.  The hot dog menu is now kaput. In its place:

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Meat Sauce (1/2 cup) and Whole Wheat Roll
Green Beans, cooked (1/2 cup)
Broccoli (1/2 cup)

Cauliflower (1/2 cup)

Kiwi Halves, raw (1/2 cup)

Low-fat (1%) Milk (8 oz)

Low Fat Ranch Dip (1 oz)
Soft Margarine (5 g)

Whole wheat spaghetti instead of a hot dog? This sounds Communistic, not to mention totally unappetizing.

Here’s a complete before and after look from the USDA.

By the way, if schools don’t comply with all these new warm and fuzzy government rules and regulations, they will lose government funding or be fined. Yes, you could call it blackmail.

My guess is Michelle Obama would have gone into cardiac arrest at the thought of a student like me licking his chops over those huge ladles of gravy.

School lunches notoriously have been bad enough.


But at least they had stuff kids liked and would eat.

Columnist Kyle Olson sums it up best:

“School lunches are the latest way for the 'experts' to tell parents how to live their lives and educate their children. Of course, these are the same 'experts' who are overseeing school systems with multi-million dollar deficits, pitiful graduation rates and students unprepared for higher education. But at least they’re safe from the deadly hamburger.”


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