September 25, 2012 7 Comments
There appears to be a nationwide student uproar over Michelle Obama’s absurd dictations on school lunches. According to Mrs. O’s guidelines, high school students are allotted only 200 calories more than an elementary student. One teacher posted a picture of a sad “cheese” filled bread stick with a dollop of tomato sauce, three apple slices and some raw spinach. This apparently met the guidelines for a high school lunch. Students are outraged, particularly athletes. A You Tube video titled ‘We Are Hungry’ has gone viral. In one Massachusetts school, students are selling black market Hersey’s syrup by the squirt. Yes, it’s come to this, sweets are now on the black market.
From day one, Michelle Obama’s insistence that children be served healthy food has been met with one thing: Wasted food. Last year the government mandated snacks at a number of urban schools. These included raw radishes and green onions. Teachers collected the food to take home for their families, otherwise Mrs. O’s healthy food would have gone to complete waste. Now that the Agriculture Department’s full list of regulations is in effect, everything from how many tomatoes can be on a salad to a ban on candy bar fundraisers, food is being wasted by the case. One school estimates four boxes of peaches were wasted on a single day.
In short, kids aren’t eating the healthy, largely meatless lunches that Mrs. O wants them to eat. The result? Kids are hungry, they aren’t getting anywhere near the calories they need to get. Especially so for athletes and kids who work. Food is being wasted, thrown away for no reason other than kids don’t want to eat Mrs. O’s healthy mandated food. Meanwhile the band can’t sell candy bars for their fundraiser and lunch ladies have to count how many tomatoes are on a salad. These are just the silliest regulations, the regs number in the dozens of pages.
This is so typical of government. Some do gooder decides the country has a problem so she uses government to tell everyone else how to live their lives. Government issues endless regulations, increases costs and then expects everyone to put up with it. Meanwhile, the little people don’t like being limited in their options and they don’t like the food the do gooder wants them to eat. So they don’t eat the government mandated food and instead turn to the black market. Of course the black market food is worse for kids than whatever the cafeteria was dumping on their plates before.
This all begins though with a do gooder who wants to use the power of the state to force everyone to live as she sees fit. This is the danger of the all powerful state, it limits personal freedom. The way to combat fat kids isn’t through mandated one size fits all school lunches. The kids have already proven themselves resourceful enough to create a black market for sweets. Thus Mrs. O has done nothing to combat fat kids. Instead, she’s wasted government money and parents money on school lunches that aren’t big enough for growing high schoolers which contain food no one wants to eat.
When kids are throwing out all of their healthy food, nothing has been done to combat the supposed problem Mrs. O thinks the country has. After all, the kids will just turn to the local kiddie capitalist selling squirts of Hersey’s syrup, candy and doughnuts from his locker. Make no mistake, if it’s happening in one school it’s happening everywhere. Perhaps if Mrs. O got out of the city for a change she might see that the problem with fat kids really has nothing to do with school lunches. It has to do with lifestyle choices, it has absolutely nothing to do with lunch. Rather than solving the problem, Mrs. O has arguably made things worse. Why would kids spend their lunch money on a lunch they won’t eat when Johnny is selling candy bars and hits of chocolate syrup from his locker?