Would you be at all surprised to learn that public school students who buy lunch in Public School cafeterias are–after a fashion–getting around the USDA Federal requirement that they consume certain foods with their meal?
Would you be more or less surprised to learn that the federal mandated will cost you as parents and taxpayers more, for no measurable good?
Most public school cafeterias used to provide regular mashed potatoes weekly, and by all accounts, most of the kids were eating them. But the USDA forced a switch from regular mashed to mashed sweet Potato. (I wouldn’t touch a sweet potato before I was thirty.) Guess what? Most of those Sweet potatoes end up in the trash.
Subversives! How dare they not eat what we have decided is best for them.
So how about all the mandatory fresh vegetables? How did they fare?
In the olden days you got the occasional industrial-sized spoonful of canned corn, and my sources, in several New Hampshire districts now, tell me that most kids ate it–unless they happened to hate corn. Not that many kids hate corn. Well the canned corn has been replaced (by order of the great and powerful
Oz USDA) with fresh or steamed Broccoli or similar (From Michelle’s White House Garden?)–at least in the schools where I’ve got contacts. Guess where that ends up? Not inside the children where it can do all those healthy things that consumed corn did. Most of the kids just toss it in the garbage.
Honestly, Broccoli. Broc-coli? Sounds like an infection, at least until you cover it with melted Velveeta–after which it becomes an infection of flavor on the taste-buds with a moderate chance of gas by the end of the school day. But then it would not meet the guidelines of the committee of Einsteins at the USDA tasked with plumbing the secrets of the nutrition universe river without a paddle.
The leftist bureaucrats over in the ‘ministry of chest pounding over solid waste’ must be in a tizzy calculating the effect of additional Broc-coli in the eco-system.
And that slice of fresh tomato and lettuce on the sandwich…trash as well.
And from all accounts–though I have not yet spoken to any lunch directors…um…directly…my impression is that the people charged with running these programs and cafeterias at the local level are not all that happy about it. I get the feeling that they want to see the kids eat and they do not want to see food wasted, and also–and this should seem obvious–that they have a much better sense of what amounts to a reasonably decent school lunch in their districts ending up inside a kids stomach instead of a garbage pail. But their hands are tied by the Federal mandates and rules. The end result is more money spent for food no one is actually eating.
This means that we are spending more in tax subsidies to support more expensive meals (Federal or local dollars), and spending more on the rising cost of school lunches driven up by mandates and Federal regulations, for which most if not all of the students are reaping no benefits whatsoever from the increased costs.
If that doesn’t define the very nature of a centralized government program what does?
So yeah…you can force healthy food onto the school lunch menu, but you can’t make them eat it. And they are not. Nor can we or should we expect that anyone will find a way to make them. “The everyone gets a trophy crowd” is not going to make anyone feel uncomfortable by forcing them to eat the healthy potatoes or steamed Broccoli, nor would parents tolerate it. So what we’ve essentially got is another expensive, pointless, Federal program that you have to pay for whose only measurable purpose is to make the politicians advocating the programs appear as if they have done something good or useful when in fact, all they have done is wast someone elses time and your money.