BakingBusiness.com posted this press release about the Grain Foods Foundation’s new initiative to “educate” schoolchildren about “healthy whole grains”:
BOSTON — A grains nutrition curriculum promoting the healthfulness of grain-based foods has been developed and is being distributed this month by the Grain Foods Foundation.
The curriculum is aimed at teachers in grades 3-6, the ages children generally form their eating habits, according to Mullen, the G.F.F. agency that oversaw creation of the curriculum.
Included in the curriculum packets are activities for the classroom and at home (with parents), two classroom posters as well as an in-class whiteboard activity to be conducted by teachers.
The G.F.F. said the curricula would be distributed in the first half of April in 16 target markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Washington, Atlanta, Houston, Miami, Kansas City, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Seattle, Cleveland, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Nashville and Omaha.
This is war. Because they share the message of the USDA and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (read “effective deep-pocketed lobbying”) to eat more “healthy whole grains,” they appear to be on the side of right. Hook these kids with the opiate in wheat, gliadin, and they have eager customers for life. And, if they gain plenty of weight and become diabetic at, say, age 16 or 24, they have a new customer for the diabetes drug industry–you know, the people who have been vigorous financial supporters of the Wheat Lobby for 20 years. Everyone wins! . . . except your kids.
In my mind, this is unconscionable, despicable, downright dirty. It’s like Bernie Madoff showing up in your child’s classroom one day to pitch his latest hedge fund opportunity, all with the blessing of the SEC.
Anyone wishing to at least let educators know that this is not the good news it pretends to be is invited to send a letter to your child’s school to at least voice your opinion. Here’s a sample letter. Feel free to use it.
Dear Principal _____
I have become aware of an initiative by an industry-representing trade and lobbying group, the Grain Foods Foundation, to provide “Grain Education Packets” to teachers of Grades 3 through 6, which may include the ____________
With the increasing prevalence of celiac disease and gluten intolerance – an estimated 90% of which is undiagnosed – wheat flour should actually contain a warning message! And it’s not just about gluten. Two slices of whole wheat bread will spike blood sugar higher than a Snickers bar, due to its extremely efficient-digested carbohydrates. Additionally, the lectins in wheat play havoc on the gastrointestinal system. There are studies exploring the link between the gliadin protein in wheat and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, as gliadin can penetrate the blood-brain barrier. There is an entirely new frontier in exploring the effects of modern, hybridized wheat and its effect on health and obesity. I think, as with the tobacco industry, in 10 years or so we will look back on these past 3-4 decades and say, “what were we thinking???”
I am trying to wean my own ___________-grader off of wheat products, and would resent private industry lobbyists effectively reaching ______her/him in our schools. To me this is the equivalent of allowing Joe Camel to pitch cigarettes in schools, with “whole grains” hearkening to a time when “low tar” or “filtered” cigarettes were considered less bad, so they were pitched as healthy.
As a parent with a child attending __________