Snow Day MCPS Menu Change Irks 'Real Food' Group


A double serving of double stuffed pizza drove one group pushing for healthy food in school cafeterias to sharply criticize MCPS last week. That's how last week's elementary school menu came to include a Monday and Friday double stuffed pizza day, plus a personal pizza option on Wednesday. Caplon and other MCPS officials also said Real Food's characterization of double stuffed pizza as "fast food" is wrong. MCPS lists the item as having fewer than 300 calories. "The kids are fine with it. If we take off Friday pizza, we get major criticism from the community, because Friday is always pizza day," Caplon said. "It's a whole-grain product that's low fat. In this case, it was the best way to re-arrange menu planning on a snow day." MCPS spokesperson Dana Tofig said calling the menu fast food is inaccurate. "Planning menus for 90,000-100,000 students is very difficult and takes a tremendous amount of planning and, at times, flexibility," Tofig wrote in an email. "While we appreciate the input from the community, we have to always balance that with the resources we have and the need to note be wasteful." Lindsey Parsons, co-director of Real Food, said buying processed food with less fat and salt "doesn't make it substantially more healthy." "It just makes it dry and tasteless," said Parsons, whose group is pushing to get additives out of school menu items and increase the nutrient content of the meals. "What makes processed foods less healthy is the removal or loss of nutrients through time. What we and our members would like to see in MCPS is fresh, real food prepared as close to the point of consumption as possible." Parsons pointed to the blueberry breads MCPS serves in elementary schools as an example. Real Food took the lead in advocating that MCPS drop pink flavored milk, something Caplon's division did starting in January. Caplon said Monday she felt the group's pizza complaints were unfair and not indicative of a willing partner in improving school lunch menus. "I resent them talking about it being junk food or fast food," Caplon said.

Back to Bethesda Beat

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Articles

Julii Hires Executive Chef, Plans September Opening at Pike & Rose

French-Mediterranean eatery is ‘passion’ project of Cava owners

Community Kitchen in Silver Spring Church Aims To Make Use of Discarded Produce

Manna Food Center creates partnership to provide meals for county’s residents in need

Bethesda Beat’s Voters' Guide: Candidates for State Senate

Here's what you need to know before you vote

Weekend Events: Drake Night at The Fillmore; Suds and Soles 5K in Rockville; Eva Noblezada at AMP Strathmore

What’s happening June 22-24
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module


Your Guides to Leading
Local Professionals

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module

Edit Module

Joel Rubin for Delegate District 18

Apple Ballot endorsed, Chevy Chase Town Council member and Obama administration official, Joel will put education first so all students succeed. Early voting ends June 21.


Bethesda Magazine Green Awards

Nominations are now accepted. The submission deadline is Friday, June 29.