They are also linked to problems with the kidneys, respiratory system, cardiovascular system, and cancer.
Heavy metals were found in 100% of school lunch samples, with cadmium and lead present at the highest concentrations. Lead levels of .015 µg/kg can cause developmental delays in children; the highest level found in a lunch sample was 94.4 µg/kg.
Veterinary hormones, often given to livestock and present in meat, are linked to reproductive issues, early onset puberty, cancer, and heart problems. MAA found 4 different veterinary hormones present in 9 school lunch samples.
Nutrients and Minerals
In addition to harmful toxins, MAA also tested for various beneficial nutrients and minerals. They found the school lunches to be deficient in almost every category, most significantly copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. Around 50% of samples lacked sufficient magnesium, zinc, and manganese. All of these minerals are vital to proper body function.
Nutrition is essential to our children’s physical, mental, and developmental health. The MAA study has revealed not only low nutrition in school lunches, but a host of actively harmful toxicants with myriad negative health consequences. This particularly impacts low-income children, for many of whom school lunch may be the only meal they eat that day.
Call to Action
School lunches must not only eliminate this unacceptable toxic load, but make meals more nutritious and healthy for our children at a national level. Our legislators paired with educators must make this action a top priority, on par with other countries globally.
What’s in our children’s school lunches is tied to What’s Making our Children Sick.