Web Page Potpourri: PCRM

PCRM is the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

A column devoted to informative alternative health resources on the internet

3443 Guilford Terrace * Baltimore, Maryland 21218 USA * Phone: 410-467-3727 * 


PCRM Healthy School Lunch Campaign


The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is not afraid to be a bit edgy. For instance, last year they released an advertisement featuring a glowing school lunch tray filled with a cheeseburger, a pint of milk, some fries and some gloppy looking dessert. The ad, decrying school lunch use of 420 million pounds of surplus meat, was titled "Weapons of Mass Destruction." Do you remember that kind of meal from your youth? I do! I ate that way almost every day in public school.

PORM points out that, like the meat industry, the dairy interests also maintain power over the National School Lunch Program; cow's milk is required to be offered as part of a "qualifying" meal in order for a school to receive USDA reimbursement. The USDA will not reimburse a school for a lunch that includes a non-dairy beverage, such as calcium-fortified soymilk, except in cases of certified medical need.

PORM's Healthy School Lunch Campaign website (HealthySchoolLunches.org) offers important information on how to improve the National School Lunch Program, including resources for parents, for schools, and for any nutrition activists concerned about children. The site details how to express support, for instance, for an amendment to the National School Lunch Act that would require the addition of non-dairy beverages as a reimbursable alternative to cow's milk.

HealthySchoolLunches.org is one of several companion websites to PCRM's main website (pcrm.org). Others include AtkinsDietAlert.com, CancerProject.org, HumaneSeal.org, SafeDiets.org, and StrongBones.org.

My favorite search term on pcrm.org (when I'm not looking for specific health information) is "lawsuit." In one successful PCRM-led lawsuit, the court found that the USDA violated federal law by withholding documents revealing bias among members of its Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. Currently, PCRM has an active suit against Tyson Foods for false and misleading food advertisements.

Decades after graduating from public school, I'm still trying to "unlearn" the nutritional lessons taught in the school cafeteria. PCRM has been one of my most helpful guides in redirecting my diet toward health-supporting foods.


Marjorie Roswell is a web developer at a health policy organization in Baltimore.

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published this page in Web Page Potpourri 2011-12-19 22:12:54 -0500
Margie Roswell
Websites. Mapping. Music. Nutrition. Global Health.