Ultra-Orthodox Schools Resist Mandate on Vegetables, Fearing Kosher Violation – Forward.com.
WASHINGTON — Getting schoolchildren to eat green vegetables is anything but easy. Getting students in ultra-Orthodox schools to eat these vegetables as part of their school lunch could soon become impossible.Representatives of ultra-Orthodox groups have been petitioning the government, in meetings and through correspondence since last October, to exempt their schools from the legal requirement to serve leafy dark green vegetables as part of a menu eligible for federal funding.Their reason has nothing to do with the taste of spinach, kale, or cabbage. It is because these and other leafy greens might be infested with tiny insects that would render them non-kosher. The groups have asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to find substitutes that would maintain the nutritional benefits of these vegetables without having ultra-Orthodox children risk eating food that might contradict their dietary laws.
Ultra-Orthodox schools took issue with two of the measures. One problem stemmed from limiting the amount of grain-based foods served at schools. Administrators noted that for the purpose of saying the blessing over the bread (HaMotzi) and the blessing on nourishment (Birkat Hamazon), students require a certain amount of bread, usually one slice. But that would take up all the grain allocation for a meal and would not allow other grain-based foods on the lunch plate.
I think our religious, halachah-following ancestors ( like 100 years ago, not in the deep past) ate leafy green vegtables without intensive checking for bugs. And they also did not bench 3 times a day every day. (Why is mezonot not good enough for lunch?)