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The New York Daily News reported over the weekend about how the city’s high school students who buy their lunch in school cafeterias are spending 12 percent more this year than last – which is coincidental with a change in chefs. The new executive chef for the New York City Department of education has engineered the elimination of “grease-soaked French fries and cardboard-like pizza,” while bringing in “low-fat dishes, including spicy tofu” as well as whole wheat pizza dough, baked fries and salad bars.

"We need to put a spin on it, make it look like it does on the street," says the Cuban-born chef, Chef Jorge Leon Collazo. "That's why they buy so much yogurt - it says Stonyfield not N.Y.C. Department of Education."

“Soda is out,” the Daily News writes. “Snapple fruit-juice-only vending machines are in. Pineapple pieces and baked pitas are plentiful. Potato chips showered in salt and butter-rich cakes are hard to find. Collazo trimmed the sugar, salt and fat in recipes, swapped white-flour products for whole grain rolls, pastas and cereals and increased fruit and vegetable selections. Fryers are forbidden in new kitchens and their use is discouraged in old ones. The vast school system's next nutritious goal is to offer only reduced fat or skim milk. They are creating chocolate, vanilla and strawberry skim milk to sweeten the deal.”
KC's View:
While some would suggest that school districts have no business trying to enforce these changes - that they should only be concerned with reading, writing and arithmetic – what we’re really talking about here is a kind of nutritional education that hopefully will serve these kids well as they mature into adults who eat less fast food and have better, more refined culinary tastes.