Issue 134 | 📚Back to school emails are coming.

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“Sufficient sleep, exercise, healthy food, friendship, and peace of mind

are necessities, not luxuries.”

– Mark Halperin

_The Daily Tonic is a two to five minute read sharing science backed

health news and tips, all while getting you to crack a smile or even_ lol on occasion.

Thursday. August is right around the corner, which means “back to school”season is coming. Get ready for all those “back to school” sales, emails, andsponsored ads. We have to make sure kids have the latest binder, sticky notes,and mechanical pencils. However, there is something more important than havingthe latest school supplies–healthy lunches for kids. Let’s dive in.

Fewer Apple Sauce Flavors–A Tragedy

Maybe you have kids, maybe you don’t. Maybe you’re planning to have kidssomeday, maybe you aren’t. Either way, school lunches matter. The foods wemake available to our next generation will shape the health of our society inthe coming years. Will we continue the current trend towards more chronicdisease, or will we finally reverse our current trajectory? School lunchesplay a pivotal role in how we answer that question. Pre-pandemic, nearly100,000 schools and institutions served school lunches to 29.6 millionstudents each day, including 20.1 million free lunches. Generally speaking,school lunches may not seem to be the pinnacle of healthy food choices, butfor many kids they are far better than the alternative. In many low incomecommunities, free school lunches may be the only place kids will accessfruits, vegetables, or even milk. Are these free lunches made up of allorganic, non-GMO, regenerative ingredients? Most definitely not, but they arestill leaps and bounds above what these kids would have access to outside ofschool. There is strong documentedevidenceshowing that access to school lunches reduces food insecurity, improvesdietary intake, and positively impacts health and obesity rates. So what’s thebig problem as we head back to school post pandemic? Well, it looks like someschool districts will have less apple sauce flavorsavailable,but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Ok, all jokes aside, foodmanufacturers and distributors are struggling to supply schools ahead ofreopenings next month due to labor shortages and transportationchallenges.You see, next month will mark the first time in over 15 months when manyschool districts are expecting a 100% headcount school season. Combine thatwith labor shortages and supply chain woes in our food system and you get abig problem. The system simply isn’t ready for that type of demand. BeforeCOVID-19, Arizona’s Tucson Unified School District served roughly 35,000 mealsa day. So far this school year, that number has plummeted by nearly90%. 70% ofthe families in this particular district qualify for free or reduced-pricemeals, so there is a need for these lunches to be made available. This is ofcourse just one example of a more widespread problem across the U.S. Thesolution? This is a tough one without an obvious solution, but it is anotherexample of why we need to move away from such a consolidated food system. Theway things are set up now, our food system just isn’t agile enough to adapt tothe challenges of a post pandemic world. And the most unfortunate part is thatthe communities most impacted by these shortcomings in our food system are thecommunities that are already the least healthy and need the most help.

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Mental Health Matters

At The Daily Tonic we talk a lot about food, we sometimes talk about movementand exercise, and seldomly talk about mental health. For some reason, mentalhealth just never seems to get the airtime it should. Maybe it is because itis a bit more abstract than simply talking about what food is healthy and whatfood you should avoid. Mental health matters and in case you missed it,Olympic gymnast Simone Biles pulled out of competition inTokyo,citing mental health as her reason for doing so. Here is an article with somepractical advice on how to support someone that is going through a mentallytough time. We can all be better about discussing mental health more often andmore openly. Regardless of how you may feel about Simone Biles pulling out ofcompetition, the importance of mental health and having that conversation issomething we should all agree on.

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Issue 136 | 🚫Stop doing this after your workout

Issue 132 | 🐄 Extinct cows?