Too Much Processed Meat on School’s Breakfast Menu

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(Memphis) - The breakfast schools are feeding children is killing them, claims one national organization. It says processed meats, like bacon and sausage, are now linked to cancer. Memphis City School servers more than 50,000 students breakfast every day.

“I try to stay up on the trends, “said Sonia Worsham. “I watch health shows and things like that.”

She is more food conscious than most, “We don't really know what's in our food.”

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine hopes to change that. They claim school breakfasts, like the ones served at Memphis City Schools, contain process meats, which are linked to cancer.

“When we talk about our kids having breakfast in the schools, you do want your children to have a healthy meal,” said Worhsam.

The group is sending out a warning about the risks of eating harmful foods, like bacon and sausage.

“Processed meat is associated with certain chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and specifically with some forms of cancer, especially colorectal cancer,” said Susan Levin, a licensed dietician who works for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

MCS says it’s made huge strides in the last five years, offering more fruit, whole grains, and low fat dairy products, but the group wants the processed meats gone entirely.

“The more we serve them to children the more we put them at risk,” Levin said.

She says harmful meats can be replaced with whole grain cereals and bagels.

That’s something Worsham feeds her 10-year-old daughter instead, “On the days that they're having the sausage and things like that, we do try to have a healthy breakfast in the morning, or some type of oat based cereal or something like that.”

Memphis City Schools is not the only district that received a failing grade. Desoto County Schools also fell short of PCRM’s standard of no processed meats.