At the Very Least, Schools Shouldn't Serve Foods Known to Cause Cancer

Many experts agree that processed meats should be taken off the menu
Processed foods like hotdogs should be taken off the menu, many experts agree

Imagine for a moment you could walk into a school, hospital or health care facility and purchase a pack of cigarettes. 

Nearly unconscionable, right? 

The mandate to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products in community institutions has existed almost nearly as long as we've known they were dangerous to public health. And I think we can all agree that no school or health care institution with integrity has any business allowing known disease and cancer causing items to be sold on their premises. 

Health risk

So, after the American Academy of Pediatrics' recent call to remove processed meats from children’s diets, citing the imminent threat to children’s health and the cancer-causing principles of processed meats, shouldn’t we expect to see those foods replaced on school and hospital menus? 

I'm certainly not a medical professional, but the 67,000 pediatricians represented by the AAP are. 

And I'm inclined to listen when 67,000 doctors of any sort issue a statement like this one: "These chemicals [in processed meats] can interfere with thyroid hormone production and the blood's ability to deliver oxygen in the body. Nitrates and nitrites also have been linked with gastrointestinal and nervous system cancers."

Many experts agree processed meats should be avoided

Processed meat

Just to be clear, the country's leading source of advice and information regarding the health of our children has just told us without question that processed meats are a threat to our kids. 

Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to matter to (most) hospitals and/or schools. As proof, check out your child’s school lunch menu or the menu from the hospital where you live, and look for items like hot dogs, pepperoni, sausage, deli meat, and even chicken nuggets. 

How many days of the week are your children being served known disease and cancer causing foods? If you ask me, one day per week is one day too many. 

We can't expect these places to serve Gwyneth-Paltrow-approved macrobiotic raw vegan diets, but at the very least they can stop serving foods that are objectively known to be dangerous - even deadly - for children. 

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

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PBN Contributor:

Audrey Sanchez is the Founder and Executive Director of Balanced, a public health and nutrition nonprofit focused on institutional meat-reduction. Audrey lives in Kansas City with her daughter, husband, and a number of mischievous rescued animals.

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