After a long string of initiatives for healthier cafeteria foods for Montgomery County students, MCPS has finally announced that it is working on finding ways to restrict some additives that are currently being added to food.
Some of the additives included currently in the food are certain artificial sweeteners, artificial food dyes, MSG, and beef that have been finely processed. These items are believed to cause health issues.
This year, when the school system bids for school food products from manufacturers, MCPS will bid according to this new set of restrictions, as MCPS Director of Food and Nutrition Services Marla Caplon announced.
One advocacy group that has fought for the additive removal in MCPS foods is called Real Food for Kids Montgomery, which is an organization that lobbies with MCPS to restrict the harmful ingredients in the food that the county buys.
In a public statement, Lindsay Parsons from Real Food for Kids Montgomery said, “There are many excellent, clean-label snacks available these days and we look forward to seeing some of these healthier snack options take the place of items that adversely impact student health and learning.”
For students, the new restrictions mean that products such as Welch’s Fruit snacks and some Frito Lay chips will eventually be phased out and unable to be sold to MCPS cafeterias, causing mixed reactions from students who regularly eat in there.
Rockville High School junior Jonathan Garcia said, “I am going to miss the fruit snacks in the cafeteria because they’re so good yet so cheap. I don’t know if any alternatives will be more expensive and less of a bargain.”
Article by the MoCo Student Staff Writer Xavier Rivera of Rockville High School
Graphic by the MoCo Student Graphics Editor Cynthia Song of Richard Montgomery High School