Barely a week goes by that I don't write a post about the status of school lunches in the United States. Are they healthy enough? What are schools doing to make them better for kids? Do they fit within national guidelines for calories, fat, sodium, etc? Is pizza a vegetable?
No doubt, these are all important topics to cover. But I read a news item this morning that put them all in perspective for me. The Japanese government has recently announced a radiation limit for meals served in schools. The maximum allowable limit is 40 becquerels (or unit of radioactivity) per kilogram.
So while parents in the U.S. are fighting to ensure there's not too much fat or sodium in school lunches, parents in Japan are fretting over the amount of radiation there kids are consuming, both at school and at home. And while our PTA is holding fundraisers for school equipment and programs, schools in Japan are scrambling to come up with the funds to purchase dosimeters to detect radiation amounts in meals at schools.
My heart goes out to the parents in Japan who are struggling with this new worry for their children's health.