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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Mailbag: Nov. 29

    Poor students hurt most by pizza’s vegetable status

    In response to “Online comments: Tomato paste, not pizza is a vegetable” (Nov. 28 issue):

    In her letter printed on Nov. 28, a reader named Etta claims that the responsibility for the nutrition of children rests with the parents. While, ideally, she is correct, there is a problem with this theory. The students in this country who will be most affected by this new legislation are those who attend Title I Schools.

    The U.S. Department of Education classifies a Title I school as one with at least 35 percent of the student population receiving free or reduced-price lunch, a program for which eligibility is determined by parental income. According to data from the 2008-09 school year, there are 11,353 public elementary and secondary schools that are classified as Title I schools in the US and Puerto Rico, which is about 12 percent of the total of public schools in the nation. Many of the children at these schools receive free breakfast and lunch, and these are the only meals they are guaranteed that day. They do not know if they will have supper that night, or if they do, it may be something from the hot roller at 7-11, as that’s all they are able to afford.

    So when we have potentially hundreds of thousands of children in the US relying on their school meals for the only food they will eat that day, it is imperative that those meals be healthy. However, with the government passing resolutions stating that tomato paste, ketchup, and French fries are vegetables (those latter two being attempted during the Reagan administration), we are denying proper nutrition to these children. Because while the tomato paste itself may hold some nutritional value, if the pizza that public schools are serving now are the same as they served when I attended a Title I elementary school (from 1992-1997), it is little more than cardboard with a splash of sauce, a sprinkle of cheese, and soaked in grease for the hour preceding lunch.

    — Beth Dietzel
    Research Specialist, Plant Pathology
    University of Arizona

    What about boys?

    In response to “Sex Ed can go beyond scare tactics” (Nov. 22 issue):

    The answer for appropriate sex education adolescent girls is obvious: talk to their gynecologists. Adolescent boys have a more difficult mountain to climb. They have no doctors to talk to about sex. I eagerly await a column or two on this clearly penultimate topic. 

    — Steve Brandon
    UA Alumni 1997

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