To The Daily Sun,
Michelle Obama's 21st Century lunch lady land has hit the schools with a bland and wasteful thud. The idea that schools should provide healthier choices for students makes good sense for our increasingly obese school-age population. Unfortunately, it is yet another well-intentioned liberal program being cooked to death by unreasonable restrictions on protein, sodium and fat.
Hummus is too high in fat. Pretzels have too much sodium. Pasta primavera with roasted vegetables and olive oil didn't make the cut because it's just too low in protein. Hard boiled eggs? With all that fat and cholesterol, forget it.
According to Leah Barkoukis, an Illinois school district has had enough and has decided they are better off without the federal funds that come with the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. When it comes to the Illinois "Fighting Illini," seems like the yokes on the feds.
Jennifer C. Braceras reminds us that "the cost of social programs administered by Washington bureaucrats, and the accompanying loss of personal liberty, free choice and local control, too often outweigh any benefits of these 'feel good' ideas." If the food doesn't taste good, the kids are not going to eat it. Especially low fat mac-n-cheese with broccoli or pizza with whole wheat crust and organic veggie toppings.
Jennifer encapsulates it ever so succinctly — "vomitrocious." She tells us that more than 500 school districts have dropped out of the federal school lunch program due to the lack of flexibility in the federal mandates. This has lead to mountains of wasted food and increased costs to school districts already under financial hardship.
To end an ill-conceived and enormously wasteful program or continue to force it down the throats of our children? Is that the question the progressive-liberal elites are contemplating? Don't be silly, Sherlock. According to Jennifer, the Obama administration has decreed that wasted food is a good thing. You know, the "job-lock is a good thing" thought process. It allows schools to create "food recovery" programs in order to pass this food onto the hungry among us. A glorious, teachable moment with which to turn our students into "civic minded, community-conscious adults."
Central planners micro-managing local communities is always a bad idea. Taking parents out of the equation is a growing "Common Core" phenomenon. Kids may be temporarily stuck with the new math of multiple correct answers, but you can't force them to eat food that doesn't taste very good. And just why are they using outdated guidelines for goodness sake? Eggs, especially free range eggs, are a wonderfully healthful food.
I suppose if this failed liberal program gets parents to send their kids to school with a nutritious brown bag lunch, that is a good thing. However, I'm sure there must be a more cost effective way to achieve that end, don't you?
You know, this program could have worked if the feds had enough sense to ease into these changes rather than blindly mandating drastic changes. Of course that would imply the central planners would use common sense and spend our money in a judicious and tasteful manner. I know, silly me for even thinking such nonsense. That would imply they understand that the ninth-grade football player should not be on the same restrictive caloric intake as the "Slim Jim" sedentary student. Unfortunately, it's yet another "one size fits all" catastrophe.
Please, give my grandchildren "hoagies and grinders, navy beans, meatloaf sandwiches and sloppy joes." Bring Adam Sandler's "Lunch Lady Land" back to life. Even if occasionally, "chop suey kicks em in the head." And bring back the hard boiled eggs for goodness sake. Go ahead and make some subtle and tasty changes and include more fresh veggies and fruit and let the "lunch lady" rather than the "First Lady" decide on the menu choices.
Whew, this letter has made me so hungry. I'm longing for a "Cheeseburger in Paradise"(Jimmy Buffet), but another liberal-progressive program gone expensively, tastelessly and wastefully awry has given me the "Dead Shrimp Blues" (Robert Johnson). Oh well, just another day on the eight year cruise of Obama's "Good Ship Lollipop."
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