Skip to Content

Students in one rural Kentucky county, and their parents, are not what you’d call fans of the healthy school lunches touted by First Lady Michelle Obama.

“They say it tastes like vomit,” said Harlan County Public Schools board member Myra Mosley at last week’s meeting, according to The Harlan Daily Enterprise.

New USDA meal regulations implemented under the “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010″ has long been a signature issue for the first lady.

Michelle Obama on a Stage

Denizens of Harlan County aren’t exactly impressed, however.

Board members claim that have received bevy of complaints that area children are “starving” at lunch and for the remainder of the school day.

Why? The food tastes like arse and there’s not enough of it.


“Kids can’t learn when they’re hungry!” one parent shouted.

Jack Miniard, the district’s director of school and community nutrition, was there to explain that the healthy recipes are now required by law.

The federal government now governs both food choices and portion sizes in most American school districts including Harlan County, he said.

Under the National School Lunch Program, Under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, schools must provide lunches with certain amounts of fruits, vegetables, etc.

Specific gripes involved the new bread, which students don’t want to eat because it’s brown wheat, and the new milk, which is skim or 1 percent fat.

Two percent or whole need not apply anymore. The cafeteria’s chocolate- and strawberry-flavored milk offerings are now nonfat as well, per regulations.

There’s also a calorie cap, another point of contention: 850 for high school lunches, 700 for middle schools and a mere 650 calories for elementary schools.

Students can only have one serving of meat or other protein provided by the school. However, kids can buy a second each day with their own money.

On the plus side (if you can call it that, and many residents of this county apparently would not) you can eat as many fruits and vegetables as you want.

Across the country, students and parents have expressed dissatisfaction with the federal government’s new food regime and its rules and limitations.

Some wealthier school districts are simply backing out of the National School Lunch Program, even if it means giving up a six-figure annual subsidy.

What do you think? Do the regulations go too far? Or are they necessary to combat childhood obesity and encourage healthy eating at a young age?