Rodney Davis Wants To Make Sure School Kids Keep Eating Lots Of Salt And More Carbohydrates
I’m finding myself perplexed this morning by a bill that was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives this week by Congressman Rodney Davis, a Republican from Illinois. The legislation would amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act in two ways: It would outlaw reductions in sodium levels in school kids’ lunches and would reinstate a requirement that lunches be “grain-rich”.
Why would any member of Congress seek to have a law passed requiring a high salt and high grain diet? There is no known health problem of salt deficiency among America’s children. On the contrary, most kids have a diet that is too high in salt, because it’s stuffed into heavily processed foods common in the American diet in order to improve the foods’ taste.
Neither are American children suffering nutritionally from grain-deficient diets. They’re eating too many grain-packed foods, made with white flour that has been stripped of its nutrition in order to make lightly-textured treats. The vast majority of grain flours that are eaten in the United States have little nutrition, and strongly contribute to high rates of obesity and diabetes.
It could be argued that American children would benefit from eating more whole grains, which are nutritious when properly prepared, but the bill introduced by Rodney Davis wouldn’t promote whole grains in particular. Instead, it promotes grains as a broad category, and almost all of the grain-based foods available in the United States are not whole grain. Even bread that is sold as “whole grain” is almost always not really based on whole grain.
So, why is Rodney Davis introducing legislation that would prevent more healthy sodium levels in children’s diets, and actually make their diets worse by requiring schools to feed students large amounts of grains?
Part of the answer to this mystery may come from the fact that Rodney Davis practically grew up at McDonalds fast food restaurants. His parents operated a McDonalds franchise, at which he worked when he was a teenager. McDonalds foods are notorious for being high in sodium, and the McDonalds hamburger buns are made from 100 percent white flour with all the nutrition of whole grains stripped out.
Another explanation may come from the nature of the congressional district that Rodney Davis represents. Though parts of it include suburbs of Saint Louis, Missouri, the 13th district of Illinois has large agricultural areas where a great deal of grain is grown. The 13th congressional district is also home to salt mines.
Would Rodney Davis really write a law that would worsen the health of American children, just to bring some people in his congressional district financial profit?
The record shows that Rodney Davis has, over the course of just two elections, taken $464,183 from agribusiness and $127,012 from mining interests. So, it’s not just a few people in the 13th district who have profited from salt and grain. Rodney Davis himself has a financial connection.
Considering this information, I find that my confusion is waning.