What’s on the Menu?

What's on the Menu?

Today on the lunch menu: enriched flour, thiamine mononitrate, maltodextrin, and artificial flavors!

This past week, ODA Upper School students were enlightened about what unnatural ingredients are really hidden in the food we eat every day by nutritionalist Deanna Latson. Mrs. Latson was able to spend an hour speaking to the school via Skype, from her home in California. She explained that she owed her involvement in health and nutrition to her father, whose health she helped fix when he was going through many health issues and taking 15 prescribed pills a day. When told he would die without these pills, Mrs. Latson became determined to save his health in a more natural way, simply by changing his diet and way of life. After successfully impacting both her father and herself, Mrs. Latson now shares her knowledge with others around the world.

Naturally, there were mixed opinions on how students felt about this information. As teenagers, constantly moving and growing, we tend to eat whatever we can get our hands on, no matter its health benefits or detriments. There is no stopping a hungry teenager. Because of this, many students were not willing to give up their routine diets, despite some of the horrifying information Mrs. Latson shared about common foods we eat daily. For example, any ingredient that is hard to pronounce is particularly important to avoid, like thiamine mononitrate.

“I’m not going to change what I eat just because of her presentation. I eat what I like and nothing has gone wrong with my health yet. I know I exercise enough to eat what I want, so I’m going to keep enjoying what I eat”, says Senior Angus Martin.

However, in the past two days since the presentation, students have been seen all around the lunch room studying the labels of packages foods they eat, which was a rare sight before Mrs. Latson came to speak.

“I don’t think I’ll completely change my diet after the presentation, but I definitely am more aware of what I’m eating. I never thought to check labels for things like enriched flour before, but now that I know all these ingredients are so bad for me, I want to know what’s in the things I’m eating” says junior Rachel Kramer.

Being aware of what we’re eating is the most important thing we can be, even if we don’t cut out every ounce of sugar or artificial ingredients from our daily routines. It may not have resulted in a complete 180 of the student body’s diet, but Deanna Latson’s presentation certainly pushed the majority of students a step in the right direction.