EXAMINING THE ALTERNATE POLICIES

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ALTERNATE POLICY NUMBER 1

PROCESSED VS. FRESH: Rid the school lunches of processed foods and replace it with fresh or organic food.



PROCESSED: Food processing is the methods and means used to transform raw materials such as vegetables and raw meat into attractive products that can be sold on the market. Although processing began as using crude methods such as sun drying, and salt-preservation, until the point where humans began processing food by canning, freeze drying, artificial coloring and sweeteners. Also, people add preservatives such as sodium benzonate, dried instant soups, etc.
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ADVANTAGES: Although many people give processed food a negative connotation, processing food removes toxins, preserves food for longer, and makes the food easy to sell or distribute. Also, processing may provide new foods available to the masses, can reduce the chance of disease, and help to kill microorganisms such as salmonella or E. Coli. Sometimes, processing actually improves the taste of the food significantly.

DISADVANTAGES: Although processing food can help to make the food safe and more readily available, among other things, there are also a wide array of disadvantages to consuming processed food. Firstly, processing food adds high levels of salt, trans fat, and preservatives, which are all bad for our health. Also, processed food loses many of the essential nutrients it had before processing, and also has less dietary fiber. Processed food can also be troublesome to people with allergies, because chemicals added to the food may cause allergies, even if the food itself does not. Generally, processed food is also fattening, has low nutritional value, and may even cause sickness. For instance, processed meat can increase the risk of you developing kidney, stomach, or colorectal cancer.



FRESH(ORGANIC): Fresh food basically contains less fat than processed food, and it is made up numerous nutrients without the extra fat, like in processed food. Also, fresh food contains a higher proportion of naturally occurring vitamins, fibers, and minerals than an equivalent product processed. Vitamin C, for example, is destroyed by heat in processing and therefore canned fruits have a lower contents of vitamin C than fresh ones. Often nutrients are deliberately removed from food in an effort to improve its longevity, appearance, or taste, but the opposite is for fresh food. As a result, processed foods often have a higher ration of calories to other essential nutrients than fresh or unprocessed foods.
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ADVANTAGES: Fresh food generally doesn't contain food additives, such as flavourings and texture-enhancing agents, which may have little or no nutritive value, or have unhealthy preservatices added to create more flavour. Also, organic food limits health risks because farmers keep out harmful chemicals and pesticides. People usually prefer organic food over processed because it tastes better. This is because well balanced soils grow strong healthy plants that taste great. Organic foods have been grown and handled without persistent toxic chemical inputs.

DISADVANTAGES: There are not many drawbacks of organic food, but the main reason why processed food is wanted is because it lasts longer than organic food which may spoil. Also, organic food is not as easy to distribute and market foods compared to processed foods. This is because usually canned foods are easy to handle. Organic foods can sometimes induce diseases and pathogenic micro-organisms like Salmonella in poultry.


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OVERALL SUMMARY OF PROCESSED VS. FRESH:
Even though both processed foods and fresh foods both have advantages, I feel that fresh food is a better choice for our cafeteria to use. As mentioned previously above, processed foods do provide advantages such as being easier to distribute, cheaper, being able to be stored longer, and removing some toxins from the food as well as many disadvantages. One of the major disadvantages includes that many bad things (including salt, trans fat, and preservatives) are added to the food which are horrible for your health. They lose essential nutrients by being processed, and processed foods also may risk the development of various cancers. On the other hand, fresh foods contains many more essential nutrients, less fat, and is overall much healthier for a human being. Many benefits result from the healthy fresh food including more energy and therefore consumers less. Maintaining healthier weight, and overall remaining a much healthier body. The only disadvantage to fresh food is that it is expensive. Despite this, I believe that the advantages and disadvantages of fresh foods out weight those of processed foods and therefore, replacing the processed food in which we currently have with fresh food would ultimately better our school. Even though fresh foods are more expensive while processed foods are cheaper ad very unhealthy, the fact that fresh foods are much healthier and would ultimately be healthier. Fresh food is the better choice rather than unhealthy processed foods.



ALTERNATE POLICY NUMBER 2

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PRICES OF FOOD: Lower the cost of lunches.

Average price of Middle School lunches around the area:
Hampton-$2.20
Shaler-$2.00
North Allegheny-$2.15
Pine-Richland-$1.75
Seneca Valley-$1.45
Butler-$1.50

As you can see, Hampton Middle School's price for lunch is the most expensive in the area at $2.20 or as high as $2.70 for just a basic lunch without extras. Additionally, some people buy two lunches to satify their hunger because the origional lunch does not provide enough nourishment. Some Middle School lunches in the area are as low as $1.45 (Seneca Valley). The price of our school lunch should be lower than $2.20. Some students cannot afford to buy lunch every day because of the price. As a result of this price change, there would be numerable advantages and a few minor disadvantages.

ADVANTAGES: To begin, one advantage of lowering the cost of lunch would be that the people who cannot buy lunch every school day due to the money issue would be more able to enjoy the lunch environment along with their peers. Additionally, reducing the price of lunch would potentially bring in more money for the school. If the price were lower, than more students would buy lunch. Also, students would purchase more extra food items if they spend less on their main portion of lunch. A final advantage of making the cost lower like near school districts would be that people would be more jovial at lunch, and they would be able to nourish their body better to help them focus on learning and possibley perform higher in afternoon classes.

DISADVANTAGES: One minor issue to lowering the cost of lunch would be that there is a slight possibility that the school could lose a pittance of money. This would occur if the same amount of students purchased the lunch and their was no extra income. However, this is doubtful because it is likely to attract more students to purchase food.


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ALTERNATE POLICY NUMBER 3

RECESS/BREAK


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ADVANTAGES: Research shows that people of all ages need a break to perform at the most efficient level. With recess teens can have a break in the school day. Studies also show that recess improves student learning and academic excellence.

Research says that kids excerise 6% more vigorously at recess than in gym class. Therefore, recess is physically healthy for kids. In "Education Week," 4/5 of the principals they interviewed said that recess has a positive impact on academic achievment. Also, 2/3 of the principals said students listen better and are more focused after recess. Recess (play) stimulates nerve growth in the portions of the brain that process emotions and executive functions.

The average attention span of an adult is 15-20 minutes, but for teenagers it is around 10-15 minutes. With about 45 minute classes, teenagers aren't able to focus through the whole period for all 8 periods. With a recess or break, students could get back on track and have a longer attention span. Moving around during recess will make the mind more alert. 15% of teens are overweight in the U.S. recess could divide that number in half.

DISADVANTAGES: Most things about recess are positive;however, research shows that that some negative consequences result from recess. One negative impact is that large amounts of discipline occur during recess. Also, recess takes crucial time out of the day which some see as time that could be used for learning.








Group Members: Patrick Keyser, Jon Keyser, Ryan Panza, Charley Bares, Alexander Russ, Eric Mickulan, and Ashley Stokes