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The Wretched Nationalization of School Lunch


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The Wretched Nationalization of School Lunch

By Anthony Gregory | Monday October 1, 2012 at 12:58 PM PDT

210 5

Don’t you love how all political debates seem to center around two false alternatives? The Obama administration’s school lunch guidelines, codified in a 2010 law and spearheaded by the First Lady, have prompted many students, teachers, parents, and conservative opponents of the regime to protest the smaller portions. Kids complain that they are hungry after eating the low-calorie meals. In response, liberals point to high levels of American obesity and say that under the status quo ante children consumed excessive gobs of fat and sugar. And so these are the two options: unhealthy and not very appetizing Republican school lunches, or even less appetizing and marginally more healthful Democratic school lunches. Or to put it in the Manichean terms of the pundit class—mass obesity and diabetes vs. mass starvation.

Lost in the talking points is the most pressing question: why do the USDA and White House have anything to do with what tens of millions of young Americans eat every day in the first place?

If I could add some more nuance to the topic, I might note where I agree with Mrs. Obama as well as where I agree with her conservative detractors. It is true that school lunches have been terrible for years and that the school system has encouraged horribly unhealthy habits. The rightwing defense of the high-carb, high-fat, processed American diet has become a perverse thing to behold, given that conservatives tout prudence, personal restraint, and moderation as important cultural values.

On the other hand, it is indeed paternalistic in the extreme for the First Lady or the presidency to tell kids what to eat, to limit their choices, to deprive growing youth of the calories they need to get through the day, to impose a one-size-fits-all regimen upon American schools. And this progressive attitude that if kids are complaining they should just clean off their plates and suck it up is not helping at all. Nor do I really trust government cafeterias with making vegetables and fruits appetizing or more than barely edible. It’s no wonder a kid would rather eat a sodium and fat-drenched piece of fried mystery meat than a salad tossed in a public school dining hall. Many of these public school facilities embody the word “unappetizing,” and often the fresher a food pretends to be, the less safe it is coming from a government kitchen.

For years, the USDA has favored a distorted food pyramid and horrible school lunch programs that seemed more geared toward enriching government contractors and subsidizing the big agricultural lobbies than feeding students affordable, tasty, and healthful meals. What a surprise that the major food groups were so well represented by the corn lobby, the meat lobby, and the dairy lobby. And anyone who actually ate any of this food in the last twenty years knows that it was only one step above the gruel fed in America’s prisons. I’ll never forget the nightmarish “turkey cubes,” floating in gelatinous “gravy,” that were inflicted upon the student body every Thanksgiving week. On a good day, students were treated with chicken nuggets or a quadrilateral of pizza-like substance. On most days, the schools served up something more resembling Soylent Green.

It was in this context that students, starting in middle school and more so in high school, have taken refuge in the fast-food options sometimes provided—pizza delivered from nearby establishments—or simply got their sustenance out of vending machines. It was indeed a dismal situation that warranted the concern that has animated many activists. I have a considerable degree of sympathy for the work of chef Jamie Oliver, whose attempts to reform school lunches seem genuine, well-intentioned, and largely on the right track. And if she demonstrated purely a desire to lead by example, I’d have sympathies for the First Lady’s whole-food crusade as well.

But the federal government shouldn’t have anything to do with school lunches. A national war on obesity is a bad idea for many reasons, and America’s students shouldn’t be the guinea pigs. Instead, if the federal government wants to have a positive influence on the American diet, especially for the youth, it should simply stop making matters so much worse, namely through the absurd amounts of corn subsidies that have flooded the country with high-fructose corn syrup. The Department of Agriculture is what made candy bars cheaper than fruit, and, pushing the low-fat zeitgeist of the last few decades, has overseen a vast increase in sugar consumption, particularly in soda. Before the feds started telling us how to lose weight, we were doing fine.

Good food and education are two crucial pillars of civilization. The national government has wrecked both. Even to the extent that the new school lunch guidelines point to a slightly healthier diet, they cause great harm in the long run, by displacing community, family, and individual choices, and perhaps worst of all, by discrediting the cause of eating well. Nothing has more discouraged millions of students from reading the classics than the school system’s attempt to force kids to read. Nothing destroys the natural desire of children to learn more than the government’s cookie-cutter curriculum. Nothing will deprive kids of the chance to learn the basics more than the federal government’s standardized testing and other nationally imposed programs. And so I expect nothing will ruin the prospects of the next generation eating healthier than the last more than the school system making kids eat tasteless food and telling them it’s good for them.

http://blog.independ...f-school-lunch/

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Obesity costs about $200 billion dollars a year in direct medical costs right now. That number climbs to over $500 billion by 2030.

I agree with a lot of his points (esp about the corn lobby, biggest bunch of horse***t ever) but I don't see how the government doesn't have a responsibility to do whatever it can to prevent the oncoming wave of fatasses.

I would love an Ag bill that removes corn and soy riders so that people will actually spend time growing more lettuce and broccoli so that eating healthy is actually cheaper than eating fast. I think McDonalds has done a lot of great work over the last few years in moving towards a healthier menu but it still starts in childhood and schools have long been over run with soda machines and endless candy drives.

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Obesity costs about $200 billion dollars a year in direct medical costs right now. That number climbs to over $500 billion by 2030.

I agree with a lot of his points (esp about the corn lobby, biggest bunch of horse***t ever) but I don't see how the government doesn't have a responsibility to do whatever it can to prevent the oncoming wave of fatasses.

I would love an Ag bill that removes corn and soy riders so that people will actually spend time growing more lettuce and broccoli so that eating healthy is actually cheaper than eating fast. I think McDonalds has done a lot of great work over the last few years in moving towards a healthier menu but it still starts in childhood and schools have long been over run with soda machines and endless candy drives.

and the cost of obesity has risen exponentially since government began a War on Obesity, and going much further back, took on a more active role on health care. People are fat largely (pardon the pun) because they no longer bear the higher costs of living associated with being fat. What is the natural incentive for a person on Medicare/caid to live a healthy life? There aren't many outside of their own self-respect. Insurance providers are starting to get better with higher premiums for those who are obese, but by its very nature it still hides some of the associated costs, and always will. Obesity is expensive. We all know that. The answer to the problem is to stop insulating people from the costs of an unhealthy lifestyle.

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but I don't see how the government doesn't have a responsibility to do whatever it can to prevent the oncoming wave of fatasses.

Because its not the government's job maybe? If I want to be a fatass, the government's job isn't to protect me from myself. They can promote education on the topic of fatassery, they can subsidize healthier options. But my level of obesity is my business. Not the government's.

Full disclosure, I'm 6'4" 215 and workout like a mad man. But if I ever decide I want to be fat, the government wont stop me.

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Obesity costs about $200 billion dollars a year in direct medical costs right now. That number climbs to over $500 billion by 2030.

I agree with a lot of his points (esp about the corn lobby, biggest bunch of horse***t ever) but I don't see how the government doesn't have a responsibility to do whatever it can to prevent the oncoming wave of fatasses.

I would love an Ag bill that removes corn and soy riders so that people will actually spend time growing more lettuce and broccoli so that eating healthy is actually cheaper than eating fast. I think McDonalds has done a lot of great work over the last few years in moving towards a healthier menu but it still starts in childhood and schools have long been over run with soda machines and endless candy drives.

You have GOT to be kidding me?!?!?!

THIS is why we are headed towards another revolution. Liberty will never be silenced in this country, and as soon as the government crosses that "red" line, the people will finally say we have had enough. No need for it, but this mindset is proof that we are headed towards a showdown.

Sad... :dunno:

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Before you agree that the government has a responsibility to "prevent" obesity because of the cost to all of us, you might want to tackle SMOKING. Doesn't everyone see that banning smoking, and probably drinking, has to be the end game of Obamacare? It is all about the cost isn't it. There is no way the government will provide your insurance AND let you smoke. That makes no sense.

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Before you agree that the government has a responsibility to "prevent" obesity because of the cost to all of us, you might want to tackle SMOKING. Doesn't everyone see that banning smoking, and probably drinking, has to be the end game of Obamacare? It is all about the cost isn't it. There is no way the government will provide your insurance AND let you smoke. That makes no sense.

Medicare/Medicaid have existed for decades and those programs are true, government-run health care (which the ACA is NOT) and there has never been a push for outlawing smoking and/or drinking for the people that use those programs.

However, I am fully in favor of people paying a hell of a lot more for health insurance if they are fat, smoke, drink excessively, etc because it puts them at a higher risk and they should shoulder that burden as individuals who have made a conscious decision to live unhealthily. In fact, the individual mandate is an extraordinarily libertarian mechanism because it requires that people are responsible for themselves.

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Before you agree that the government has a responsibility to "prevent" obesity because of the cost to all of us, you might want to tackle SMOKING. Doesn't everyone see that banning smoking, and probably drinking, has to be the end game of Obamacare? It is all about the cost isn't it. There is no way the government will provide your insurance AND let you smoke. That makes no sense.

Medicare/Medicaid have existed for decades and those programs are true, government-run health care (which the ACA is NOT) and there has never been a push for outlawing smoking and/or drinking for the people that use those programs.

However, I am fully in favor of people paying a hell of a lot more for health insurance if they are fat, smoke, drink excessively, etc because it puts them at a higher risk and they should shoulder that burden as individuals who have made a conscious decision to live unhealthily. In fact, the individual mandate is an extraordinarily libertarian mechanism because it requires that people are responsible for themselves.

The reason government has not banned drinking and smoking for people on govt Heath insurance is that

1. The govt gets lots of sin taxes from sales of tobacco and alcohol. 2. These people vote and they do not want to make them mad. 3. Many of them can't manage their personal lives and fail staying off drugs and alcohol anyway.

The govt could just ban the sale tobacco, but they tried that with alcohol and it didn't work out well.

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Before you agree that the government has a responsibility to "prevent" obesity because of the cost to all of us, you might want to tackle SMOKING. Doesn't everyone see that banning smoking, and probably drinking, has to be the end game of Obamacare? It is all about the cost isn't it. There is no way the government will provide your insurance AND let you smoke. That makes no sense.

Medicare/Medicaid have existed for decades and those programs are true, government-run health care (which the ACA is NOT) and there has never been a push for outlawing smoking and/or drinking for the people that use those programs.

However, I am fully in favor of people paying a hell of a lot more for health insurance if they are fat, smoke, drink excessively, etc because it puts them at a higher risk and they should shoulder that burden as individuals who have made a conscious decision to live unhealthily. In fact, the individual mandate is an extraordinarily libertarian mechanism because it requires that people are responsible for themselves.

The reason government has not banned drinking and smoking for people on govt Heath insurance is that

1. The govt gets lots of sin taxes from sales of tobacco and alcohol. 2. These people vote and they do not want to make them mad. 3. Many of them can't manage their personal lives and fail staying off drugs and alcohol anyway.

The govt could just ban the sale tobacco, but they tried that with alcohol and it didn't work out well.

Number one is my primary reason for supporting the legalization of most drugs... it would be a) safer and B) would provide positive revenue as opposed to negative revenue.

Number 2 is ridiculous. They haven't outlawed it because people have the freedom to make their own s***ty decisions, provided they are of legal age to do so.

Number 3 is also ridiculous because you imply that most people on medicare/medicaid are on drugs/alcohol which isn't true and you further imply that they are somehow weaker than people not on those programs to the draw of drugs and alcohol.

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Before you agree that the government has a responsibility to "prevent" obesity because of the cost to all of us, you might want to tackle SMOKING. Doesn't everyone see that banning smoking, and probably drinking, has to be the end game of Obamacare? It is all about the cost isn't it. There is no way the government will provide your insurance AND let you smoke. That makes no sense.

Medicare/Medicaid have existed for decades and those programs are true, government-run health care (which the ACA is NOT) and there has never been a push for outlawing smoking and/or drinking for the people that use those programs.

However, I am fully in favor of people paying a hell of a lot more for health insurance if they are fat, smoke, drink excessively, etc because it puts them at a higher risk and they should shoulder that burden as individuals who have made a conscious decision to live unhealthily. In fact, the individual mandate is an extraordinarily libertarian mechanism because it requires that people are responsible for themselves.

The word "mandate" is wholly incompatible with libertarian principles. The individual mandate is a corporatist concession on a massive scale to insurance providers. Requiring people to take responsibility for themselves means allowing them to make their own decisions as to what they put into their own bodies and the decisions they make as they relate to their health needs- and reaping the benefits or consequences of those decisions. It does not mean forcing them by the barrel of a gun to purchase a product-or in the case of the poor- forcing someone else by the barrel of a gun to purchase or heavily subsidize the purchase of a product for them. The individual mandate may be a Republican idea- or what passes as Republicanism today. It may even be a conservative idea- or what passes for conservatism today. But I assure you, it is not and never will be a libertarian idea.

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The individual mandate doesn't really require people to be responsible for themselves. After Fatty McSmokesalot, age 38, pushes his fat ass away from the soft-serve machine at the buffet and puts out his 23rd marlboro for the day, he will get the same age banded rate I would and I'm 6' 2", 180lbs. and in fairly good shape.

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The Wretched Nationalization of School Lunch

By Anthony Gregory | Monday October 1, 2012 at 12:58 PM PDT

210 5

Don’t you love how all political debates seem to center around two false alternatives? The Obama administration’s school lunch guidelines, codified in a 2010 law and spearheaded by the First Lady, have prompted many students, teachers, parents, and conservative opponents of the regime to protest the smaller portions. Kids complain that they are hungry after eating the low-calorie meals. In response, liberals point to high levels of American obesity and say that under the status quo ante children consumed excessive gobs of fat and sugar. And so these are the two options: unhealthy and not very appetizing Republican school lunches, or even less appetizing and marginally more healthful Democratic school lunches. Or to put it in the Manichean terms of the pundit class—mass obesity and diabetes vs. mass starvation.

Lost in the talking points is the most pressing question: why do the USDA and White House have anything to do with what tens of millions of young Americans eat every day in the first place?

If I could add some more nuance to the topic, I might note where I agree with Mrs. Obama as well as where I agree with her conservative detractors. It is true that school lunches have been terrible for years and that the school system has encouraged horribly unhealthy habits. The rightwing defense of the high-carb, high-fat, processed American diet has become a perverse thing to behold, given that conservatives tout prudence, personal restraint, and moderation as important cultural values.

On the other hand, it is indeed paternalistic in the extreme for the First Lady or the presidency to tell kids what to eat, to limit their choices, to deprive growing youth of the calories they need to get through the day, to impose a one-size-fits-all regimen upon American schools. And this progressive attitude that if kids are complaining they should just clean off their plates and suck it up is not helping at all. Nor do I really trust government cafeterias with making vegetables and fruits appetizing or more than barely edible. It’s no wonder a kid would rather eat a sodium and fat-drenched piece of fried mystery meat than a salad tossed in a public school dining hall. Many of these public school facilities embody the word “unappetizing,” and often the fresher a food pretends to be, the less safe it is coming from a government kitchen.

For years, the USDA has favored a distorted food pyramid and horrible school lunch programs that seemed more geared toward enriching government contractors and subsidizing the big agricultural lobbies than feeding students affordable, tasty, and healthful meals. What a surprise that the major food groups were so well represented by the corn lobby, the meat lobby, and the dairy lobby. And anyone who actually ate any of this food in the last twenty years knows that it was only one step above the gruel fed in America’s prisons. I’ll never forget the nightmarish “turkey cubes,” floating in gelatinous “gravy,” that were inflicted upon the student body every Thanksgiving week. On a good day, students were treated with chicken nuggets or a quadrilateral of pizza-like substance. On most days, the schools served up something more resembling Soylent Green.

It was in this context that students, starting in middle school and more so in high school, have taken refuge in the fast-food options sometimes provided—pizza delivered from nearby establishments—or simply got their sustenance out of vending machines. It was indeed a dismal situation that warranted the concern that has animated many activists. I have a considerable degree of sympathy for the work of chef Jamie Oliver, whose attempts to reform school lunches seem genuine, well-intentioned, and largely on the right track. And if she demonstrated purely a desire to lead by example, I’d have sympathies for the First Lady’s whole-food crusade as well.

But the federal government shouldn’t have anything to do with school lunches. A national war on obesity is a bad idea for many reasons, and America’s students shouldn’t be the guinea pigs. Instead, if the federal government wants to have a positive influence on the American diet, especially for the youth, it should simply stop making matters so much worse, namely through the absurd amounts of corn subsidies that have flooded the country with high-fructose corn syrup. The Department of Agriculture is what made candy bars cheaper than fruit, and, pushing the low-fat zeitgeist of the last few decades, has overseen a vast increase in sugar consumption, particularly in soda. Before the feds started telling us how to lose weight, we were doing fine.

Good food and education are two crucial pillars of civilization. The national government has wrecked both. Even to the extent that the new school lunch guidelines point to a slightly healthier diet, they cause great harm in the long run, by displacing community, family, and individual choices, and perhaps worst of all, by discrediting the cause of eating well. Nothing has more discouraged millions of students from reading the classics than the school system’s attempt to force kids to read. Nothing destroys the natural desire of children to learn more than the government’s cookie-cutter curriculum. Nothing will deprive kids of the chance to learn the basics more than the federal government’s standardized testing and other nationally imposed programs. And so I expect nothing will ruin the prospects of the next generation eating healthier than the last more than the school system making kids eat tasteless food and telling them it’s good for them.

http://blog.independ...f-school-lunch/

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but I don't see how the government doesn't have a responsibility to do whatever it can to prevent the oncoming wave of fatasses.

Because its not the government's job maybe? If I want to be a fatass, the government's job isn't to protect me from myself. They can promote education on the topic of fatassery, they can subsidize healthier options. But my level of obesity is my business. Not the government's.

Full disclosure, I'm 6'4" 215 and workout like a mad man. But if I ever decide I want to be fat, the government wont stop me.

BG, I agree with you 100%. Until the Federal Government starts making ME pay for YOUR health care through Obamacare taxes. If your indulgence at McDonald's is going to drive up my health care costs, I say the Federal Government has the right and even the obligation to close down all McDonald's and all other 'unhealthy' fast food restaurants.

So, that's one more argument to get the Federal Government out of that part of our lives...

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but I don't see how the government doesn't have a responsibility to do whatever it can to prevent the oncoming wave of fatasses.

Because its not the government's job maybe? If I want to be a fatass, the government's job isn't to protect me from myself. They can promote education on the topic of fatassery, they can subsidize healthier options. But my level of obesity is my business. Not the government's.

Full disclosure, I'm 6'4" 215 and workout like a mad man. But if I ever decide I want to be fat, the government wont stop me.

BG, I agree with you 100%. Until the Federal Government starts making ME pay for YOUR health care through Obamacare taxes. If your indulgence at McDonald's is going to drive up my health care costs, I say the Federal Government has the right and even the obligation to close down all McDonald's and all other 'unhealthy' fast food restaurants.

So, that's one more argument to get the Federal Government out of that part of our lives...

Just another example of how this bill was never about cutting costs, it was about control. Making us all liable for the life decisions others make pits us against one another and nudges us into an attitude that welcomes the intrusion of the state into every aspect of our lives.

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Lost in the talking points is the most pressing question: why do the USDA and White House have anything to do with what tens of millions of young Americans eat every day in the first place?

Is this a joke? Because those meals are subsidized. The schools choose to get subsidies for serving meals, and in return they meet certain standards. This is not a new policy, just an increase in standards.

So it seems many agree that the feds shouldn't set standards on subsidized meal programs.

For those that agree, do you feel the same way about food stamps?

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I'm surprised I could shut down the idiotic talking points on a forum consisting of nothing but talking points.

You did nothing of the sort. The feds shouldn't set standards on subsidized meal programs because the feds shouldn't be subsidizing meal programs. Of course, he who pays the bills says what goes, but the federal government has no constitutionally delegated authority to be involved in any way with school lunches. This is not an idea that has just been introduced to the discussion, it is the central point of the author and many of those who responded. Your inability or refusal to understand that, and the desire to portray our argument in a less than honest manner is rather telling.

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Lost in the talking points is the most pressing question: why do the USDA and White House have anything to do with what tens of millions of young Americans eat every day in the first place?

Is this a joke? Because those meals are subsidized. The schools choose to get subsidies for serving meals, and in return they meet certain standards. This is not a new policy, just an increase in standards.

So it seems many agree that the feds shouldn't set standards on subsidized meal programs.

For those that agree, do you feel the same way about food stamps?

Which is why private schools where Obama's and many other DC politicians send their kids do not take the free and subsidized govt food. The private school decides what its wants to feed the students. You take govt funds, you take govt control. If private schools serve food the kids don't like or not enough of it, they catch an earful from the parents paying the high tuition fees.

The only food choice kids and parents have in public schools is to eat what is served or bring your lunch, if they still allow that. Many kids in public school can afford to pay more food, but they are locked into what the govt allows.

So it is not like the EBT food programs. If EBT were like the school lunch programs, someone paying with cash could only buy the items that the EBT purchaser was allowed to purchase. No more no less.

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Before you agree that the government has a responsibility to "prevent" obesity because of the cost to all of us, you might want to tackle SMOKING. Doesn't everyone see that banning smoking, and probably drinking, has to be the end game of Obamacare? It is all about the cost isn't it. There is no way the government will provide your insurance AND let you smoke. That makes no sense.

Medicare/Medicaid have existed for decades and those programs are true, government-run health care (which the ACA is NOT) and there has never been a push for outlawing smoking and/or drinking for the people that use those programs.

However, I am fully in favor of people paying a hell of a lot more for health insurance if they are fat, smoke, drink excessively, etc because it puts them at a higher risk and they should shoulder that burden as individuals who have made a conscious decision to live unhealthily. In fact, the individual mandate is an extraordinarily libertarian mechanism because it requires that people are responsible for themselves.

The reason government has not banned drinking and smoking for people on govt Heath insurance is that

1. The govt gets lots of sin taxes from sales of tobacco and alcohol. 2. These people vote and they do not want to make them mad. 3. Many of them can't manage their personal lives and fail staying off drugs and alcohol anyway.

The govt could just ban the sale tobacco, but they tried that with alcohol and it didn't work out well.

Number one is my primary reason for supporting the legalization of most drugs... it would be a) safer and B) would provide positive revenue as opposed to negative revenue.

Number 2 is ridiculous. They haven't outlawed it because people have the freedom to make their own s***ty decisions, provided they are of legal age to do so.

Number 3 is also ridiculous because you imply that most people on medicare/medicaid are on drugs/alcohol which isn't true and you further imply that they are somehow weaker than people not on those programs to the draw of drugs and alcohol.

legalization of some drugs might work, but many people can't control themselves and put the rest of us in danger. One effect is that it would destroy some illegal drug business, but really dangerous illegal drugs would still be there with the criminals selling the stuff.

You can easily grow your own tobacco to smoke. Farmers in the South have been doing it do it for 400 years and Indians longer than that. So the supply would only be hampered for the more industrious users.

Some people want to smoke and drink and they do not want politicians telling them what to do.

Manage their lives is the key point for the medicaid side. Many made just made bad life choices. Smoking and drinking is a waste of what little money they have, but many still do it. I grew up watching people do it and destroy their health and lives.

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You did nothing of the sort. The feds shouldn't set standards on subsidized meal programs because the feds shouldn't be subsidizing meal programs. Of course, he who pays the bills says what goes, but the federal government has no constitutionally delegated authority to be involved in any way with school lunches. This is not an idea that has just been introduced to the discussion, it is the central point of the author and many of those who responded. Your inability or refusal to understand that, and the desire to portray our argument in a less than honest manner is rather telling.

The article asks the question I quoted, yet made no reference to the fact that these standards are for federally subsidized meals. Either he is ignorant or didn't tell the entire story. You at least understand that the feds are setting standards because they are providing funding.

If the states and cities want to take back control, they easily can, just turn down the subsidy. Problem is that many schools don't have enough funding and they need the federal assistance, and many children really would go hungry.

The feds have set standards school lunches they subsidize for years, yet everyone is acting like this is a new federal program where the administration is expanding the federal grip.

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And in socialist Sweden, they dumb down one school cook's cooking too so all get the same food.............

http://www.thelocal.se/43656/20121006/

Lunch lady slammed for food that is 'too good'

Published: 6 Oct 12 15:04 CET

Online: http://www.thelocal.se/43656/20121006/

A talented head cook at a school in central Sweden has been told to stop baking fresh bread and to cut back on her wide-ranging veggie buffets because it was unfair that students at other schools didn't have access to the unusually tasty offerings.

nnica Eriksson, a lunch lady at school in Falun, was told that her cooking is just too good.

Pupils at the school have become accustomed to feasting on newly baked bread and an assortment of 15 vegetables at lunchtime, but now the good times are over.

The municipality has ordered Eriksson to bring it down a notch since other schools do not receive the same calibre of food - and that is "unfair".

Moreover, the food on offer at the school doesn't comply with the directives of a local healthy diet scheme which was initiated in 2011, according to the municipality.

"A menu has been developed... It is about making a collective effort on quality, to improve school meals overall and to try and ensure everyone does the same," Katarina Lindberg, head of the unit responsible for the school diet scheme, told the local Falukuriren newspaper.

However, Lindberg was not aware of Eriksson's extraordinary culinary efforts and how the decision to force her to cut back had prompted outrage among students and parents.

"It has been claimed that we have been spoiled and that it's about time we do as everyone else," Eriksson said.

She insisted, however, that her creative cooking has not added to the municipality's expenses.

"I have not had any complaints," she told the paper.

Eriksson added that she sees it as her job to ensure that the pupils are offered several alternatives at meal times.

The food on offer does not always suit all pupils, she explained, and therefore she makes sure there are plenty of vegetables to choose from as well as proteins in the form of chicken, shrimp, or beef patties.

From now on, the school's vegetable buffet will be halved in size and Eriksson's handmade loafs will be replaced with store-bought bread.

Her traditional Easter and Christmas smörgåsbords may also be under threat.

Parents and pupils alike find the municipality's orders distasteful.

Fourth-graders at the school have even launched a petition in protest against the decision to put a lid on Eriksson's passion for cooking.

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