Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Food Police

I'm not a huge fan of the Civil Liberties Union. Like so many organizations and agencies their original purpose was noble, but they have taken too many issues to too many extremes. But I do wish they would get in a frenzy about the latest trends to help children eat healthy.

I heard on the news last night that school districts across the country are starting to ban chocolate milk from the school lunches because of its high fat and sugar content.

Is nothing sacred? Soda is already banned from most schools because it is not a healthy drink, but chocolate milk at least has some nutritional value. And it has been a staple of American dining for as long as I can remember.

Then I heard about schools in Chicago where students are not allowed to bring their own lunches. No more brown bags or cute little lunch buckets from home. Students must purchase a lunch from the cafeteria, and if they bring any snacks from home that are determined to be unhealthy, the snacks are confiscated. The logic behind this move, which apparently isn't limited to the Chicago area, is that the school is protecting the students from making poor food choices and giving them the alternative of a healthier food.

Where is it going to end? Will the food police come into our homes next and confiscate all our unhealthy food? No more Oreos and chocolate milk. No more ice-cream. Good-bye chips and salsa and Buffalo Wings.

Not that I eat all that, but it sure sounds good and we ought to be able to eat snacks without someone slapping our hands.

I understand that obesity is a major health issue, but those who are obese and continue to stay that way are making choices. We all ought to be able to continue to make choices. That is what freedom and democracy is all about. It's not about having the food police tell us what we can and cannot eat.

And they'd  better keep their hands off my pretzels, that's all I've got to say.

8 comments:

Tracy Farr said...

I think I NEED some food police in my life. "Sir, do you realize you were eating 70 cookies in a 55-cookie zone? I need to see your license, health insurance and waist size."

Okay, maybe not.

LuAnn said...

My first thought when I heard Chicago was banning homemade lunches at schools was, well, how do they know what the kids are eating at home? Maybe they didn't bring an apple in their lunchbox, but that doesn't mean they aren't eating one for a snack when they get home later that same day. As long as children's diets meet the minimum daily requirements of the food pyramid, it doesn't matter how those servings are divvied up!

Maryann Miller said...

Tracy, I put a call in to the food 911 hotline. The police are on their way.

Mike said...

The saddest part of the Chicago story is if you look at the picture of the cafeteria lunch that ran in the corrected story, it was a hot dog (on a white bread bun) and tater tots. That's nutrition??? All I know is if my daughter's school tried this, they would have a mighty fight on their hands. One comment posted on the story said: "the school is not my child's parent. the teacher is not my child's parent. the principal is not my child's parent. I am my child's parent, and I will decide what they eat." couldn't have said it better.

Helen Ginger said...

The obesity rate for children continues to rise and people are complaining about the food the cafeterias feed the kids. So schools are trying to serve better food. That doesn't stop parents from feeding their kids cookies and high fat foods at home. It doesn't stop them from sending bag lunches with their kids with whatever they want them to eat. Granted, I don't have small kids anymore, but I'm in favor of schools trying to help kids grow up healthy.

Pam Torres said...

I really don't see how this will make any difference to the children if they go home and eat whatever. This is a parental issue. As a parent I tried to make sure that healthy food was available. Now, if I want to give my grand-kids chocolate milk and candy, I'll be damned if somebody will take that privilege from me, I earned it!

LuAnn said...

I agree with Mike. I'm so glad my kids are all grown. When I look at the school menu in the newspaper, it's all carbs and fat. Sure, the kids have the option to partake of the salad bar, but will they choose that over a pizza pocket or, like Mike said, a corn dog?

Murr Brewster said...

Naah--you're right--we mustn't let the mythical food police tell us what we can stuff our children with. That's the job of Archer Daniels Midland and the American fat and sugar council. Maybe I'm old, but we sure didn't have chocolate milk available at school, let alone soda and candy. Look around: it's a walking diabetes clinic out there on the streets. These kids won't live long enough to get Medicare.