What Are They Feeding You?

By Sami Donovan

You’ve heard those nasty rumors about the cafeteria food, the ones that have been around since kindergarten? We’ve all heard them, such as the milk being old and like cottage cheese, or the cheese on sandwiches sticking to the roof or bouncing like a bouncy ball…well if you do your research you can learn what we are being fed, somewhat.

On 4j School District nutrition section about our food, they state our fruits and vegetables are delivered from local Lane County farms like Emerald Fruit and Produce and Organically Grown Company, they also mention that when local food isn’t available that they receive produce from Duck Produce.

The 4j School District is highest on the charts to purchase the most locally grown produce shown at lanefood.org. Willamette Farm & Food Coalition tell about what district does what for their schools in Lane County. Eugene 4j School District has valuable information about what produce we receive from different places and the money spent on these fresh produce.

What about 4j School District’s milk and dairy products? 4j School District purchases the yogurt for the morning parfait from Lochmead Dairy, a local company in Oregon that produces many dairy products. The 1% milk that comes from dairy farms all over the Willamette Valley, have rBST free milk; rBST is a hormone given to cows to make them produce more milk and in a shorter time span, but rBST is not good for cows. It causes problems in the milk and other problems like hoof disorders which means the cows need even more drugs which makes the milk worse for us.

The breads we get (bread, hamburger and hot dog buns, etc) all are 100% whole heat and are baked at the Franz Bakery in Springfield, based on what 4j School District reports.

Willamette Farm and Food Coalition state that The Village School is, from what they are aware of, the only school that is purchasing locally raised meat and there is no information given about the meat our school receives, so where is our meat coming from? All the 4j website has to say is produce and very small selection on bread and milk, so why is our meat such a secret to us? As some may recall, beef was once taken out of all schools for causing health problems and risks to students and the cows themselves. After all that, the food is safer, but why are they keeping our meat, a main part of most meals, such a secret? Food services was contacted by telephone, but they chose not to comment on the supplier of the meat.

Are there any pesticides or chemicals used to modify any of our food? We won’t know because there are many big companies giving us our food and as we all have seen in our lives, not always does the cafeteria food seem to meet the health guidelines, but we won’t ever learn how their food is truly grown or know what is in it because no information is given. If our food is locally grown or made, why do so many students find it so gross if they eat a similar meal at home? It’s a questionable topic all students should think about and be aware of.