Nov. 13, 2014 photo provided by Hunter Whitney, 17, a
senior at Richland Center High School in Richland
Center, Wis., shows Spanish rice for lunch at the
school. Whitney tweeted the photo with the message:
Had a very #healthylunch today. The apple
definitely made up for the "mystery mush #ThanksMichelleObama.
Along with photos of unsavory, some downright gross,
photos of school meals, the hashtag #ThanksMichelleObama
was among the top trends on Twitter within the United
States for a time on Friday, Nov. 21, 2014.
School kids are giving thanks to first lady Michelle
Obama just in time for the holiday with a sarcastic
Twitter hashtag about unappealing school lunches.
photos of unsavory-looking school meals, the hashtag #ThanksMichelleObama
was among the top trends on Twitter within the United States
for a time on Friday.
lady has become the symbol of healthier school meals as she
has pushed standards implemented in 2012 that require more
fruits, vegetables and whole grains in the lunch line in an
effort to combat childhood obesity. There are also limits on
sodium, sugar and fat.
schools have put the standards in place successfully, others
have said some of the new foods end up in the trash can.
Many of the
photos have a Thanksgiving theme think sad-looking
stuffing while others are everyday meals. The hashtag
appears to have started around two years ago, but didn't
really catch on until Friday after several websites picked
very #healthylunch today," Hunter Whitney of Wisconsin
tweeted. "The apple definitely made up for the 'mystery
of a soupy Spanish rice gone wrong and an apple on a school
lunch tray was retweeted more than 170 times.
is a senior at Richland Center High School in Richland
Center, Wisconsin. He said in an interview with The
Associated Press that his school lunches have gone downhill
over his four years in high school. Of the Spanish rice, he
said "you couldn't feel the individual grains of rice.
It was just a solid mush."
Turner, a junior at Fraser High School in Fraser, Michigan,
posted a photo of a mushy breakfast sandwich Friday morning.
She says she used to like the meals at her school.
don't blame my school for this because I know that they're
just following the rules," she said.
the critics, a handful of kids posted photos of more
appetizing lunches. Some people joked that the students are
far from the first generation to complain about their school
for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington advocacy
group that has lobbied for the healthier lunches, got in on
the game as well, tweeting pictures of colorful salad bars
and happy kids under the hashtag.
if the lunches were super unhealthy, there would be kids who
would complain," said CSPI's Margo Wootan.
House didn't have an immediate response, but an Agriculture
Department spokesman said most meals aren't as bad as the
photos depict. USDA oversees the school meals program.
are always provided full servings of both fruits and
vegetables as well as protein options, so clearly many of
the photos posted do not fully reflect the full range of
choices students are provided," said USDA's Cullen
Republicans are pushing a one-year waiver that would allow
some schools to opt out of healthier meal standards if they
lost money on meal programs over a six-month period. The
schools pushing for changes say limits on sodium and
requirements for more whole grains are particularly
challenging, while some school officials say kids are
throwing away fruits and vegetables they are required to
proposal drew a White House veto threat, and the first lady
aggressively lobbied against it.
going to fight until the bitter end to make sure that every
kid in this country continues to have the best nutrition
that they can have in our schools, because these kids, all
of these kids, are worth it," she said this summer.
proposal could come up again in a year-end spending bill.