Marijo: The Politics of Chocolate Syrup
The unintended consequences of the nanny state are teaching kids to be enterprising, free-thinkers (gasp!). I’m guessing that’s not what the First Lady Michelle Obama had in mind when she championed the new Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act as part of her “Let’s Move” campaign.
In January, new nutrition regulations went into effect that are NOT popular with school-aged students. Kids are throwing away their “healthy” school lunches at a record pace (another unintended consequence). I spoke to my kids (who make their own lunches) and they said the lunches at school are gross and that a ton of food gets thrown out.
I find it ironic that the name of the program is “Hunger-Free” and now kids are leaving school starving and that hungry kids in other parts of the planet would give anything for some of that “gross” food our kids think nothing of tossing.
One enterprising group at Connecticut’s Greater New Bedford Vocational-Technical High School started charging 50 cents per squirt of chocolate syrup to flavor the plain milk. I applaud their enterprising nature and transforming a challenge into an opportunity. A free-market idea for those future techies! Way to go! Townhall’s Kyle Olsen called them “kiddie capitalists.”
As of August 1st, no flavored milk is allowed at the school. Paige Lame, a student at the high school, was quoted in South Coast Today saying, “Of course they got rid of dessert, (but) flavored milk … I don’t understand why we can’t have that,”
The principal at the school, Michael Gagliardi is quoted as saying he thinks kids will adjust and believes he’s seeing more kids eat fruit. “Kids are always going to complain about school lunch,” he said. My elementary-school response to that is “duh.”
Last week at Wisconsin’s Mukwonago High School, 70 percent of the students boycotted the school lunch, according to EAGNews.org. Besides specific nutritional parameters, there are also caloric maximums that are leaving many kids really hungry.
A 100-pound female and a senior football linebacker have much different caloric needs. A school lunch that fills up the girl doesn’t come close to satisfying the active athlete. The unintended consequence that their football coach Clay Iverson worries about is that kids go home and binge on empty calories simply because they didn’t get enough to eat at lunch.
Steve Gunn, author of the EAGNews article writes this, “You can’t starve kids into fitness, Mrs. Obama. If you persist in that approach, they are simply going to bring super fat lunches from home and ignore your healthy choices menu in the school lunchroom.
Three cheers for the kids of Mukwonago for standing up for their stomachs.”
And three cheers to the kids who are figuring out how to make the best of this nanny state invasion of their lunchrooms.