Yes, Let's Stuff The School Children Full Of Fake Fat

Here’s a clip from the Today show featuring “fat substitutes.” The jabbering lady to the right seems positively enthralled with the idea of feeding “a dietary fiber” with “no taste and no calories” that is ” a gel” made from “corn husks” to school children in the form of “cafeteria cookies.”

Um, let’s feed the children meat and veggies? Not a byproduct of over-produced government subsidy corn? Soylent fat is corn husks!

Look, even the dude who got the gastric bypass isn’t buying it. That man would rather cut his belly open and sew his stomach shut than eat this crap. —MEGHANN MARCO

The Today Show


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  1. mantari says:

    Soylent fat is corn husks!
    Meghann with an instant classic!

    (See? I didn’t call you Ben again.)

  2. TedSez says:

    They should just give them those “light” (i.e., Olestra-laden) Lay’s potato chips. As we all know, kids love farts!

  3. SteveD1of1 says:

    If the government would spend half the money on physical education as it would on this horrid fake fat crap, we’d have a lot fewer chubby children in the classroom.

    When I was a kid, we ate baked chicken (with the skin on), deep-fried fishsticks, hamburgers and hot dogs (among other cafeteria atrocities).

    Because we had P.E., there weren’t many plus-size couch potatettes with fat rolls on the school rolls.

  4. spanky says:

    I think that, before you eat something, you should ask yourself, “Is it food?”

  5. MaliBoo Radley says:

    Is it just me or does “cafeteria cookies” sound like a eupemism for toddler turds?

    Just saying …

  6. FishingCrue says:

    It’s not just the PE that’s lacking, it’s physical play in general. When I was a kid I played outside pretty much every chance I got; climbing trees, riding bikes and playing manhunt. Now either parents don’t want to let kids out of their sight because of the grossly overinflated specter of kidnapping or the kids are too busy playing video games to go outside. Blaming the schools/foods ignores the cultural change in how kids play.

  7. Spider Jerusalem says:

    To be fair, kids are playing video games BECAUSE their parents teach them from a very young age that going outside is bad.

    For me, I was very active outside until I got skin cancer when I was 15. I hated the removal surgeries so much, I stopped going out into the sun where possible. It didn’t help that that was the same year my parents broke down and got the Net. It also probably didn’t help that I was an Academic Decathlete. When you can letter in having brains, why bother with the physical exertion?

  8. homerjay says:

    Okay, I’ve never eaten seaweed but isnt saying:
    “Its a seaweed extract with no fishy taste”

    kinda like saying:
    “Its a banana extract without that monkey taste”


    Still, I think the best term in that whole thing is “mouth feel.”
    Outside of the culinary world, that is a grossly underutilized term.

  9. LAGirl says:

    @spiderjerusalem: dang. skin cancer at 15? where did you grow up? i spent so much time in the sun as a kid out here in Los Angeles, i am terrified that it will catch up with me one of these days.

    i agree with other posters…too much time on the computer + video games + not enough physical activity = fatty fat fats!

  10. Falconfire says:

    @homerjay: Yeah your right, I have eaten seaweed and I have never eating the stuff where it tasted like fish, or even closely related to fish unless it was on sushi and then it was the FISH that tasted like fish.

    Seaweed tastes like well seaweed honestly, its great in a salad.

  11. notebook says:

    It’s nice to know that this is what kids a few years younger then me will be eating.

  12. Starfury says:

    When I was a kid I walked to/from school from about grade 2 through high school. I didn’t have a car and rode my bike everywhere I went. Once I got a car I rode less and have put on a bit of excess weight (which I’m working on losing). My kids get driven to/from school and love TV/Gameboy. That has been changing; tv time is reduced and more outside play is happening. I don’t buy reduced fat/sugar food that has substitues in it, I’ll eat less of the “bad” food.

  13. zentec says:

    It’s time for people to just stop buying this crap.

    Al: It seems a little dry.

    Hawish-Lady: It’s a little dry because it lacks the natural fat.

    That’s all you need to know. Not all fats are bad, just the ones that are not natural.

  14. Youthier says:

    @SteveD1of1: @FishingCrue: I agree! Schools keep cutting back on P.E., recess, etc. to devote more time to teaching academics and meeting state standards but from where I’m sitting, we aren’t getting much smarter as a country.

    You can get by if you’re thin and stupid or fat and smart but fat and stupid usually doesn’t work out to well.

  15. guroth says:

    People are ignorant and probably think seaweed will taste “fishy” if they have never had it before.

  16. cgmaetc says:

    You are all right… too much TV, lack of PE programs, limited play at recess (our students only got 10 minutes in the morning and 30 for lunch –that includes eating time) are all contributing factors. However, I can’t help but wonder if the schools provided healthy, hand-prepared lunches (like that school in “SuperSize Me”) would the problem be less prevalent. See, school breakfast/lunch programs operate on the idea that these 1 or 2 meals are the only meals the child will receive (obviously, since their parent’s can’t afford the $4/day of the lunch, they can afford to feed them dinner too), so they load the meal up with fat, carbs, and sugar to keep the kids going all day. Unfortunately, the family usually eat takeout for dinner, and the cupboards are loaded with chips, cookies, juices and soda.

  17. Spider Jerusalem says:

    @LAGirl: I grew up in Los Angeles too, but I spent every waking moment at the beach during the summer, and out of doors, on the playground the rest of the time in the Valley. I was so brown back then, I looked just like my daddy, who’s Semetic. Since I stopped going out in the sun, I realize that was just the deep tan that I’ve never managed to get back. I now look like my Irish mum.

  18. Spider Jerusalem says:

    All y’all who say seaweed doesn’t taste “fishy”, you’re lying. I can’t deal with the taste/smell of seaweed as my kids bring it in, big dried sheets, sometimes flavored with wasabe, but always smelling of fish. Even when I get vegetable rolls, I have to get the kind where the seaweed is on the inside of the rice, and the rice is coated with sesame seeds to block the taste as much as possible.

    I KNOW seaweed extract is in a LOT of stuff, and I have no problem with that, but the smell of dried seaweed is unbearable for me and a lot of people who don’t/can’t eat fish.

  19. lilyHaze says:

    I’ll agree that it’s tempting to buy the light and fat-free stuff. “See, I’m eating healthy!!”

    Olestra.. Didn’t that cause anal leakage or something similar? Scary stuff..

  20. superlayne says:

    @cgmaetc: I agree. My school has the worst school lunches ever. They try to make junk foods the kids will eat, but they make it really cheap so it’s all disgusting. Things would be so much better if the schools actually let the workers cook, rather than use the frozen stuff.

    Personally, I think in many places there is a danger with going outside, especially in larger cities, but there are no gym classes and no health classes funded well enough to work.

    Everyone should just get a damn tredmill.

  21. Spider Jerusalem says:

    @superlayne: I was under the impression that school lunches, at least in my district, were military surplus or something, which is why it always came pre-packaged.

    Man, whatever happened to VR helmets? I remember reading in my Junior Scholastic how kids were supposed to get VR outfits that could plug into the school wall and play a round of virtual tennis or dragon-slaying before class.

  22. @FishingCrue, @spiderjerusalem:

    My mom was trying to make the point that kids stay inside and play video games because their parents make them stay in to my dad months ago but he seemed to think that parents just weren’t trying.

    I side with y’all and my mom because parents do let their kids out when it’s an organized event with a billion other parents watching like soccer. If parents were apathetic there wouldn’t even be that.

  23. etinterrapax says:

    Also, even when school lunches really started going downhill, there was probably some latitude in that it was only a third of what kids were eating. Now meals at home are lousy too, because fewer and fewer people cook. So we’ll have to fork that onto the equation with the curtailed recess and no outdoor play and limited PE and unhealthy school meals.

  24. brattpowered says:

    I think a big part of the fat kid epidemic do is the fact that everything built in the past 50 years is suburban wasteland crap. The only place for kids to play is the berm between the Wal*Mart and the Chick-Fil-A.

    What fear-mongered-by-the-media Mommy would let their kid cross the 6 lane superhighway to escape the treeless subdivision anyway?

  25. superlayne says:

    @spiderjerusalem: My school has one of those “quality food product” vendor trucks ship in frozen food about once a week, kind of like Swan foods. Only its terrible and I’ve never had Swan products. We also get pizza from a local Buck’s. They order it once a week and keep it in the fridge until the next one.

  26. humorbot says:

    Please just read The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which warrants a Consumerist post of its own.

  27. I posted on this back in January!

    I say, if the kids are going to eat crap, at least try and make it less crappy. Go Z Trim.

  28. Juliekins says:

    This immediately made me think of one of the funniest things I ever saw on Craigslist:


    This is what drives me crazy about all these “light” junk foods. Just because you replace the fat with butt lube and slap “100 Calories” on the bag inside the box inside the shrinkwrap doesn’t suddenly make it healthy! 100 Calories of crap is just portion controlled crap, folks. Want to know something that’s less than 100 calories and comes in its own package? AN APPLE! Holy fucking fiber, batman! An ounce of reduced fat cheese is too! Want to know another one? An ounce of beef jerky! What about a small banana! Or…a half ounce of almonds! The mind boggles.

    You can even get those little snack size Ziplocs and a cheap food scale (or some measuring cups, even) and make your very own 100 Calorie packs.

  29. WV.Hillbilly says:

    Cafeteria cookies sounds about like confinement loaf.

  30. Jmarsh04 says:

    Ah, Olestra.

    Had it once (in those Lays Light chips) and my wife almost took me to the emergency room due to the “explosiveness” of the side-effects.

    It was scary. REALLY scary.

  31. strathmeyer says:

    It’s a good thing they don’t teach nutrition to school children. Then of how much more it would cost to feed them properly.

  32. palaste says:

    @homerjay: Maybe it’s not fishy as in “like fish”, maybe it’s fishy as in “suspicious”.

  33. palaste says:

    @homerjay: Maybe it’s not fishy as in “like fish”, maybe it’s fishy as in “suspicious”.

  34. jetmore says:

    Nature already invented a “dietary fiber with no taste and [nearly] no calories”–it’s called celery.

    God forbid we should feed kids real food that’s not dressed in euphemisms like “cafeteria cookies.” How inane.

  35. Red_Eye says:

    @FitJulie: Right on Julie. I am no health nut but this stupid movement to make food safer by removing crap that makes people si is stupid. Its called Darwin folks if StupidSally wants to sit down and eat 5000 calories of lays fried in peanut oil a day tough! Its her problem encourage her, let her remove herself from the gene pool.

  36. quantum-shaman says:

    okay folks here are the options: “doesn’t have natural fat” vs. “fake fat”. what heinous long-term metabolic outcomes might we possibly anticipate? should be exciting! i despise how these corporations experiment on people who are not only highly impressionable, but too ignorant to know better. the woman should be force-fed the stuff until it’s exploding out of every body cavity.

  37. bdgbill says:

    “Lay’s Light” Now With 20% Less Anal Leakage!

    SNL had a great bit about this.

    I agree with many of the posts here. I hate fake versions of fatty foods. I would rather have a few “real” chocalate chip cookies a month, than a bag of scientificaly enhanced, glow in the dark, taste like ass, “low fat” cookies every night.

    I sometimes get strange looks at Starbucks when I specify “not the low fat” when ordering my cranberry orange muffin.

  38. formergr says:

    Oh god, that Craig’s List post linked above is hilarious– I had to shut my office door so I wouldn’t have to explain to anyone why I’m crying laughing.

  39. QuirkyRachel says:

    Mmmmm, fake fat. Yummmy.

    Best advice I ever got on food shopping. Buy it if you can identify most of the ingredients and could actually buy them separately at a store.

  40. QuirkyRachel says:

    Oh, this also reminds me of when I worked at a supermarket. We had these low-carb chocolate bars. I tasted a piece of one and it was so nasty that I had to go find something else to eat to get the taste out of my mouth. Anyway, I was at the register once, and a woman comes through my line. She has a stack of these chocolate bars. I must have had a look on my face because she leans over says to me in a conspiratorial whisper, “It’s better than ex lax.” lol!!

  41. shimsham says:

    I can always tell it’s going to be a Meghann Marco-authored post without looking at the byline. She seems to think that snarky, mean, and crude are substitutes for cleverness.

  42. Her Grace says:

    I’m only 4 years out of high school, and this is what a typical set of options for lunch was at my school:
    *Chicken fillet sandwhich (breaded, fried chicken on white buns, usually with mayo)
    *Pizza (pepperoni, sausage, or cheese–never veggie–that was actually pretty tasty, if awful for you, because they hand made it rather than buying frozen. Laden with cheese and literally dripping fat, though.)
    *Fried okra (school’s “vegetable” of choice)
    *French fries (each and every day! Fridays they mixed it up and had spicy curly fries)

    There were occasional other options, like hamburgers, hotdogs, pork chops, and corn on the cob. The main drink offering was milk (whole, 2%, skim (sometimes), or chocolate), and there was usually also an option for “fresh” fruit or a pbj sandwhich. Juice was available, but generally sold out after the first lunch period.

    Gym was only required for one year (one semester when the school switched to block scheduling). Most students were given the option to sit out and do something else instead of sports. There was no free time, and health was more focused on how to put a condom on (also very useful and important information!) than nutrition. And then people wondered why students were fat.

  43. TechnoDestructo says:


    That was Mad TV. Almost never funny, but damned if that wasn’t.

  44. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    PE is not the problem…actually it’s a part of the problem. Public schools make PE so incredibly boring that kids don’t WANT to go outside and play. Beside that, food is a bigger part of the problem too. They should put healthy food in school cafeterias. I find it quite hypocritical when you walk into health class, the teacher villifies fast food and junk food, but the moment you step into the cafeteria, there’s nothing but junk food on the menu.

  45. cgmaetc says:

    @strathmeyer: Oh, but when I did teach nutrition to my 3rd graders, my students started questioning the healthiness of the cafeteria food. When the principal got word of this, she “encouraged” me to discontinue teaching the lessons by calling me a “troublemaker” and threatening to write me up. Good times.

  46. asherchang says:

    @SteveD1of1: actually, although diet alone is not as potent of a weight control/loss method as it is with exercise, studies show (google it) that childhood exercise shows no correlation to childhood obesity.

  47. Namilia says:

    @Her Grace: Grace, I graduated in 2004, but I have a younger brother who is graduating this year and I can assure you that the menu has not changed. Here in NC, chicken fillets are always on the menu as is pizza (as you said, sausage or pepperoni and so fat-laden that if you put a napkin on it to soak some of it up it drenches 3-4 napkins), PBJs are also always on the menu (but are made out of some barely edible peanut-butter jam mix, I guess it is too expensive to buy the peanut butter and jelly seperate), and the items of the day are very often “country fried pork chops” or “meat loaf” (the mystery meat of yesteryear).

    For sides you have a choice of french fries, mashed potatoes with gravy (most kids go for both of these and proceed to dip their fries in the potatoes), a fruit that was suspended in syrup and a veggie of choice (like you said, fried okra usually). Milk was always whole, 2% and chocolate; having skim was VERY rare. Gatorade was available, as were salads and bottled water, but you had to pay extra to get something nutritionally viable — Imagine that!

    Gym class is still only required a single semester, and it is very easy at that. I do not know how it was for my brother, but for me it mostly consisted of running a lap in the gym, and having the rest of the period to do whatever we liked (even if it was just sitting in the bleachers talking). Health class did not, as you said, teach anything about nutrition, and I guess because of how conservative my area is, it focused solely on the gender that was taking the class; it discussed the reproductive system and strongly encouraged abstinence and how horrible STD’s are and that was that. No learning about how to put a condom on or anything.

    I am a product of such a generation. As a child I played outside a lot, building teepees out of sticks and sheets and flying homemade kites in the park. But as I aged I played more and more inside, especially after my family got the internet…It is depressing, and slightly despicable, to me that when I have kids that whatever school they end up in it likely will be worse. Cafeteria Cookies? I agree with whomever said it, sounds like toddler poo.