When science fails to back up your radical food views and the majority of consumers regard your dietary recommendations unpalatable, what do you do? You file a lawsuit, of course. That is the latest move by a group of vegan physicians. The Los Angeles, California, school district is being sued by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine because of processed meats on the district’s breakfast and lunch menus for children. The Physicians Committee is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit group that advocates in favor of a vegetarian or a vegan diet.
These meatless morons are asking the court to ban the districts from offering processed meats because they say there is a recognized association between eating processed meats and developing cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. The suit claims that serving processed meats violates the California Educational Code, which says foods must be of the “highest quality and provide the greatest nutritional value.” What makes this claim especially laughable is that processed meats are among the highest quality meat products on the market, with an excellent nutrition and food safety record. Hot dogs, sausage, deli meats, and the holy grail of meat, bacon, are among some of the best loved meat products by the 90% of Americans who eat meat. The USDA and the FDA have stated these foods are safe and there is no credible link to diseases.
The North American Meat Institute calls the lawsuit a publicity stunt. “We stand by the nutrition benefits that meat, both fresh and processed, provide for growing children, such as being a good source of iron, zinc, and Vitamin B12,” said spokesperson Janet Riley. The methods and motives of the physicians group are rather transparent. They are not really interested in the health of children, but just in advancing their vegan agenda. They targeted a school system in a state that suffers from rampant food paranoia. Just think how many tax dollars will be used to fight this in court rather than to educate children. More likely, what will happen is that spineless school administrators will cave, pull the meat from the menu, and the Physicians Committee will claim a precedent and do the same thing to other school systems.
It is time we as consumers and parents put a stop to this nonsense. We must advocate in our schools and in our communities for our right to make food choices and for science and nutrition facts to be the basis for decisions on school menus. Parents should be able to decide what their children are eating at school and should be presented with the facts, not fiction, about nutrition. The radical, food police represent a small minority of consumers, but they are a powerful and dangerous force that is having a serious impact on our food choices.
By Gary Truitt