Never before in modern history has the food police wielded so much power and control over what we eat, how we eat and when we eat. It’s bad enough that childrens nutrition issues have plagued the ‘mommy wars’ over the last few decades, foisting superiority and self righteousness upon those poor peasants who buy peas, both fresh and frozen, based on what’s more readily available and economical rather than what their neighbors are gonna think.
Out of all the noble causes out there, First Lady Michell Obama has chosen government meddling in the institution which government can exchange freedom of choice with sanctioned government meal allotments. In effort to fight childhood obesity, Ms. Obama has stepped up and made her position very clear — Parents, you are not smart enough, savvy enough or sophisticated enough to make food choices for your kids, so let the government step in and save you from yourself.
School lunches around the country have been given the ultimatum. Comply with new government rules on nutrition (or as Ms. Obama and the USDA call their “wellness policy”) or be sentenced to death. Okay, not sentenced to death, that’s comical hyperbole to make a point, but be punished by way of fines or federal funding withholdings.
A few months back, a story of a preschool girl in North Carolina surfaced whose lunch was taken away by a government agent doing a quality check at a school, was confiscated because she had dared to bring a turkey sandwich, apple juice, a banana and chips in her lunch. The story made national headlines. The meal was replaced by a government sanctioned meal of chicken nuggets and a slew of cafeteria vegetables and fruits. The 4-year-old reportedly ate a few of the soggy nuggets and called it a day. Who could blame her?
Now it appears the next item on the chopping block is…chocolate milk. Actually, all flavored milk, including strawberry milk. Schools are banning flavored milk all over the country. Why? Because an 8 oz. carton of flavored milk contains about 4 teaspoons of added sugar. The result? Hysteria!
Problem is, of most schools who have nixed flavored milk, milk consumption has dropped as much as 70%. If students don’t drink milk, they fail to meet the USDA vitamin D requirements. (Guess they didn’t see that coming.) So now many schools are circling back around and once again offering low fat versions of flavored milk after milk sales and dairy consumption went flat, while other schools still insist on trying out the ban, because we all know, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, right?
Meanwhile, school principals report all over the country that much of the newly regulated school lunches are being thrown in the garbage, creating waste and leaving children once again, undernourished. If kids aren’t eating the stuff and they go home and eat a bunch of cupcakes because they’re starving and that’s the only thing in the house, how are they better off?
Furthermore, aren’t people at least slightly concerned over the governments interference over how we manage our children’s well being? Don’t you find the whole thing slightly reminiscent of the 1951 propaganda film, Good Eating Habits?
I’m not sure why we don’t just focus on food that tastes good prepared by real chefs. Keep the chocolate milk and improve the quality of the food. Giving children the option of soggy nuggets or tofu hotdogs is not the answer. Giving them a respectable choice of well thought out, freshly prepared, made from scratch food items seems like the more logical approach. But who am I? I’m just a parent.
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