White House asked to stay away from school nutrition summit

White House asked to stay away from school nutrition summit

Michelle Obama’s food policy czar, celebrity chef Sam Kass, was once so in with the lunch lady crowd that he landed a guest judge spot on a tearful school lunch episode of Food Network’s “Chopped” and handed out awards at the School Nutrition Association’s convention in Denver.

Two years later, when he asked to speak at the group’s annual convention this week in Boston, the answer: “No.”

 

The rebuke shows how ugly the fight has become between the first lady and her supporters, who want kids to eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains in their school lunches, and the organization that represents cafeteria workers and their allies who argue that the federal government is going too far in its push for healthier meals.

 

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At stake is the health of millions of kids, an $11 billion school lunch program dominated by big food companies that want to build brand loyalty early and even the legacy of the first lady — who has made combating the childhood obesity epidemic her primary cause.

 

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