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Somehow the conversation got around to food and school lunches.
Cathy said, "I give my kids pita bread filled with lettuce, grated carrot, meat, tomato and things, like McDonalds make those wrap-a-rounds. Tom had his lunch stolen twice last week. It's the same with Marie."
I asked why more parents don't do this.
"The school has a healthy food policy but parents are too lazy to take the time to do something different, even with all the kitchen gadgets we have now. It's so easy to throw in a sugary candy bar and a couple of sandwiches of pre cut cheese and sausage meat. Most just give them money."
"There is one eight year old there who is so fat that he swings his legs out to walk, half turning as he goes. He is from a split family and his father has him from Sunday to Wednesday then mother has him from Wednesday till Saturday.
His mother gives him reasonably good food but dad's a baker and fills him with cream buns, jam tarts, cake and dohnuts. He comes to school each day with a bag of the stuff for the other kids so he doesn't get called the usual names associated with his size."
"One girl asked Marie why she ate grass. Marie said it was shredded lettuce. The girl said they throw that stuff away. She didn't have the faintest idea what sprouts were.
"I give them frozen fruit salad tubs. It's thawed by lunch time. I suppose it looks like something from a shop so other kids want it. It doesn't enter their heads that they can make it at home."
I was really as astonished as Chef Jamie Oliver when he discovered English kids didn't know what a carrot or stick of celery was. When they can't tell a cucumber from a tomato what hope is there? Where do they think meat comes from? Do they know we have to kill a cow to have a steak?
Have they ever thought you could grow tomatoes, not have to rely on a shop to provide them?
There is a multi billion dollar move to control the worlds' food supply. It's bound to succeed if this state of ignorance exists among the youth of the planet. Already we have seedless fruit so we can't plant more and huge companies "own" varieties of genetically modified wheat that can only be bought from them.
Unless we act soon all our food will come from conglomerates that will demand their own price for what we can now grow for ourselves.
It is not a matter of not being able to run anywhere; it's a matter of being able to get out of a lounge chair; of taking ten minutes to do something that should only take one minute. It's missing out on so many of life's joys that enrich us.
One day they'll have a sex life (or part of one; there is a physical aspect here.) and pass on their body metabolism and bad habits to another generation to spread ruin in more lives.
James C. Ross has a wide range of interests including psychology, sociology and education. His blog http://www.IQChildren.blogspot.com has more articles of interest. You're welcome to contribute. Pop in for a look.