The School-Lunch Nazis Strike Again

      76 Comments on The School-Lunch Nazis Strike Again

I received this email today from a Fat Head fan I happen to have met in person recently:


I just got some news from my folks that made me think of you. I’ve heard how schools and governments are stepping in to enforce school lunch guidelines on parents (who are presumably too stupid to raise their own children), but this is the first time it’s hit close to home for me.

Short background: My six-year-old niece Megan started school yesterday, her first day of school. She was already scared and upset and crying. After lunch, she went into orbit, threw up everywhere because she was so upset, and ultimately had to leave school. My brother, who has been looking desperately for work, had to cancel a “sure thing” job interview to go get her because the school was sending her home. Here’s the word from my dad on what happened:

What prompted the whole issue yesterday was Meagan’s teacher taking her lunch, which she had brought from home, away from her.  David [my brother] had packed yogurt and fresh fruit, which Meagan likes.  Her teacher told her mother that the school has to ensure that the children have a nutritious lunch, so they took Meagan’s yogurt and fruit and insisted she eat a corn dog.  What a brilliant plan from a so-called “educator”.

I’m sure you see these every day, but it’s the first time it’s hit me. As the father of a two-year-old who just started preschool last week, this KILLS me.

I don’t know for sure this story is true, but like I said, I’ve met the guy who sent me the email, and he seems like an on-the-level type.  I certainly have no reason to doubt him.  And as we saw recently in Chicago, some schools have already taken it upon themselves to prohibit parents from sending kids to school with lunches the school administrators don’t approve of.

If the yogurt was the sugar-sweetened variety, it’s certainly not something I would pack for my daughters’ lunches — but that’s not the point.  The point is that what I choose to feed my kids is none of the school’s @#$%ing business. Their job is educate my children, not to dictate what meals they consume.

As for ensuring the kids are eating a nutritious lunch …a corn dog, really?!  That’s the nutritious alternative to yogurt and fruit?  A piece of processed meat, battered in wheat and corn starch, and fried in some horrid processed vegetable oil?

Just think, you probably grew up being told you lived in a free country.  Perhaps that was true at one time.

Do still believe it’s true today?


76 thoughts on “The School-Lunch Nazis Strike Again

  1. JC

    Carbsanity you are also making the usual “down with low carb eating” mistake of making the assumption that all processed meat = good meat. Many people who follow a low carb, Paleo/Primal lifestyle avoid processed meats like they do glutens and sugars. A dangerous assumption to make if you are trying to prove a point. Carbsanity, you are trying to lump everyone into a single group or category to make the point easier for you to prove. Wait a second, you don’t work for the government, do you?

  2. Robert G

    I don’t know what surprises me more. A teacher so clearly overstepping their boundries, or the fact that some school district in Oregon (where I live) hasn’t tried this yet. At least to my knowledge. This state is one of the biggest nanny states ever. (My dad doesn’t half-sarcasticly call it the “People’s Republic of Oregon” for nothing)

    Hell, Portland just approved a law that mandates trash pickup must only happen every two weeks yesterday. But hey, at least that made sure to note that we’ll get to pay even more for half the service.

  3. timmah

    Might not be nutrition, most likely the room temperature dairy product.

    I read an alarmist article via Fark about how lunches from home reach room temperature before kids eat them and are deemed “unsafe” by some. (Fark is great: they don’t make news, they mock it.)

    Well yeah, the ice pack melts and the lunch reaches room temp. It takes 3 hours to get to that point. The lunches are at room temperature for maybe 90 minutes.

    Many “farkers” pointed out that the bacteria in food don’t reach dangerous levels until the food has been at room temperature for FOUR HOURS.

    Sounds like the whole situation at the schools is farked up.

  4. James Birdsall

    As a recent convert to low carb due to some surgeries related to arterial plaque, and my subsequent research into why this happened, I have had numerous encounters with the medical/dietary community. I am furious. Everywhere I turn, from the hospital ‘food’, to the dieticians, to the doctors, the ‘McGovern Diet’ is recited with a religious ferver, or maybe like the brainwashed. As a result, I have been using every oportunity to plant the seeds of discontent. I have challenged their ideology with a force that surprises them, mouths actually on some occasions, have dropped open. I not only tell them that they are wrong, but I tell them that they are harming their patients and that they should try to educate themselves since health is supposed to be their business. I don’t know if I am able to change any minds, but at least I might get them to think about it.

    It’s worth the effort.

  5. Jesrad

    “Her teacher told her mother that the school has to ensure that the children have a nutritious lunch, so they took Meagan’s yogurt and fruit and insisted she eat a corn dog.”
    Child abuse.

  6. Lynnanne

    According to the School Nutrition Association (per today’s USA Today), it’s not the school lunches’ (or the SNA’s) fault that children are obese, it’s the fault of the schools not allocating adequate time for lunch. See, if there isn’t enough time to eat everything on their plates, kids will just eat the things they like and throw away the vegetables. That’s why they’re fat. Since it’s just calories in vs calories out, when they don’t eat their vegetables, they’re getting less calories…doh! Um, I mean, they’re eating the wrong things even though only calories matter…and…um…drink skim milk! Anyway, claims the SNA, eating too fast makes you hungry an hour later, and that’s why kids are fat.

    It made my brain hurt just to read the article.

    Wow. Talk about your twisted logic …

  7. Auntie M

    I teach in a middle school, and we don’t monitor what the students eat. We do pay attention if a student doesn’t eat lunch on a regular basis, as that can be a red flag for an eating disorder or a lack of money for food. Any school that tries to force a child to eat something is violating that child’s rights. The parent NEEDS to make a stink about this. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, as they say.

    My sister had her two girls in a Montessori public charter school, and got a letter home regarding the food she was sending in with them. Granted, my sister feeds her children absolute carbage and sugar crap, and I don’t approve of it. She sent them a response saying, “You cannot legally tell me how to feed my children or how to spend my grocery money.” That was the end of it; the school backed off. As it should.

    I hope all schools would react that way to someone taking a stand like your sister did, but I’m not sure that’s the case.

  8. Barbara

    Sadly government schools are raising our children 7 or so hours a day and control their thoughts even more than their food consumption. In fact, they even teach them in class about what foods to eat. When my child came home last year with colored in pictures of healthy foods (grains, lowfat dairy, etc) and “bad” foods including bacon, I was appalled.

    My kids know bacon is a good food. It was just a good reminder to me to pay attention to what my children learn in school. It’s not always going to be in agreement with our values.

    My daughter came home with a nutrition handout from school, waved it in my face and said, “Look, Daddy! This is just SO WRONG!” The sooner she learns not everything she’s taught in school is necessarily true, the better.

  9. C

    Yeah, right. At my school we have half an hour for lunch. Most kids eat for a total of about 5 minutes during that and spend the rest chatting, listening to iPods, ect. My friends spend it chasing me around the yard because i insulted baseball or star wars or whatever. At my old school, we had 45 minutes for lunch. Most kids stayed in the cafeteria for about ten minutes chatting and eating, then went outside to play. The only reason kids would need more lunch is to get more exercise. So maybe they should cut back on lunch and add onto P.E. as long as they’re busy replacing fruit and yogurt with corn dogs

    We certainly didn’t have leisurely lunches when I was in grade school. Eat in five minutes, then run out the playground.

  10. Katy

    Off topic, but in reference to corn dogs, my mother was recently informed by my brother that his extremely picky children liked them, so bought some to have when they came to visit. She prepared them and placed them in front of them, only to watch them pick every single bit of the cornbread batter off and eat the hot dogs plain. She asked them what was up, and they said they only liked them because they were on sticks.

    Ha! Smart kids.

  11. Katy

    “Secondly, they couldn’t have gotten to the Holocaust Nazi stage if people had decided enough was enough when they where just “beer-hall Nazis” or “putsch Nazis.” The Holocaust Nazis didn’t suddenly pop up one day and replace the beer hall Nazis, they “evolved” there on a continuum.”

    Yes. There are those, too, who would like to believe that the average citizen wasn’t aware of what was happening, but please consider who benefited from the confiscation of property and businesses. By portraying Hitler as “evil,” they isolate the blame. So, the whole of Europe was suddenly taken hold of by some evil cloud? No one questioned where their neighbors went in the middle of the night? Did they believe that aliens kidnapped them? Who was running the railroads that ran to Auschwitz and the numerous other concentration camps? No one saw the trains enroute? Who occupied the homes that were left vacant when the Jews were deported? Whose air was reeking from the stench of the crematoriums? Hitler’s rise to power didn’t happen in a vacuum. Laws were passed, one by one, and complacent citizens didn’t care because the laws didn’t affect them.

  12. Jake

    Can someone fill me in on what the issue with “processed meat” is? To me that means things like “ground up” and “salted”. Why is it bad?

    The italian sausage I get from my local butcher is made by grinding up a pork shoulder with spices and curing agents. How is it any different from just eating the pork shoulder?

    Is it the nitrates? I know there’s some bogeyman scare stuff about nitrates and cancer, but if I don’t care about that, am I really going to lose less weight in my no-carb diet if I eat it instead of steak? Is it going to wreck my cholesterol numbers?

    If by “processed,” you mean meat-like substances that are full of artificial ingredients, then I’d avoid them. If we’re talking about sausage made from natural ingredients, I don’t see the problem.

  13. Brandon

    Our country started the long slog towards tyranny with the Lincoln admin, and really went in to overdrive starting with Wilson. God help us as we shift into hyperdrive.

    You mean this isn’t hyperdrive?! Oh, lordy …

  14. Steve Picray

    Re: Bill Clinton going vegan.

    So he doesn’t do this anymore?

    We homeschool all three of our kids, so we don’t have to worry about the teacher’s taking away our kids’ lunches. Last year, though, our oldest was in 8th grade at a private Christian school, and he had to learn “Nutrition” in health class. He tried to tell his teacher about Fat Head, but was told that it wasn’t in the textbook, so they wouldn’t be teaching it. Oh well.

    Apparently textbooks include everything there is to know on a subject.

  15. BW

    Why isn’t anyone calling this what it is? This is a deliberate attempt by the USDA to keep people sick and/or sell more products for their friends (likely the latter primarily, however the former also enriches many people in the health ‘care’ industry).

    If it’s true that post meal blood glucose levels of 160 cause permanent damage… I know at least for me (and probably a lot of people) if I were to follow their food recommendations I’d be at 160+ for sure (had a biscuit and a couple of hashbrowns and McD’s to see what that’d do… 165 one hour after…. that’s kinda scary).

    The USDA needs to be taught a lesson.

    Follow the money. The USDA’s job is to sell grains.

  16. Bevie

    I will try not to rant, but this is a touchy subject for me. Last year I took in a couple kids for a few months, the youngest of which has some pretty dramatic learning and behavior problems. I noticed in the two weeks that he was here before school started back in January that he improved a lot when he did not have processed/premade/dyed foods. So, when school was back in, everybody got the sort of lunch I send with my own daughter, Hard boiled egg, sliced veggies, home baked bread (we were not as low-carb then as we chose to be later in the summer, but I still feel that home baked sourdough beats anything packaged without question). So I was confused when he started to behave poorly after school and have trouble concentrating on his reading. With a bit of careful questioning, I established that the teachers were giving him cookies and candy as “rewards” when he did well at school. So, exercising a great deal of restraint, I wrote a note asking them to not give him anything I did not send so that I could figure out what he was reacting to, and that I thought it was dye. The school nurse sent a not home saying that chocolate has no dye in it so he should be allowed to have that. I said no, I need to know everything that he is eating so that I can find out what the source of the problem is. Then I started getting messages that his lunches were too small, when I added more food that was not o.k. because they did not recognize the foods (Really? If you teach school you should recognize slices of chicken and beef). One day he forgot the ice-pack for his lunch box and they sent a testy “food safety guidelines” letter. Several times they pressured him into eating school lunch, and always school breakfast since I did not send a breakfast food (I feed them bacon, eggs and sausage at home before they catch the bus, not sure why they need to eat again, especially that crap. Apparently funnel cake is a breakfast food according to the school)At this point I started sending peanut butter sandwich and carrot sticks as a last resort, because it is better that the stuff I was looking at on the menus they sent home. At some point the Child Services worker who was helping with the case (very helpful and supportive of what I was trying to do) told me that the school had called her office because they though I was using food to punish him. Maybe they thought that since child services was already involved that they were within their rights? I dunno for sure, but Ms Nice DCS lady said that that was not unheard of. For the last month of school I gave up and just let him eat school lunch. The teachers never really stopped giving him trashy treats anyway. Amazing, though, how once he was out for a week or two he started to speak clearly again and was able to focus well enough to read a few pages of his books.

    And my mother wonders why my daughter has gone back to homeschool this year.

    Holy moly. When, for Pete’s sake, did school officials decide it’s their job to tell parents what to feed their kids?

  17. Eliza


    I’m really, really sorry to have to be the one giving you this news…but bacon is often processed with sugar. I know, I cried too. If you specifically buy bacon without sugar could you please please please tell me where you get it???

  18. Zachary

    Reminds me when they forced you to pack unhealthy garbage for your daughter for a few days to please the government recommendations for your childs school lunch. Boy that would bother me quit a bit. About a week ago my 9 year old nephew came over today bragging about how they were taught that popcorn was “nutrient dense” unless you smother it with butter and salt and that only then it becomes a special health hazard. He wanted me to make him some popcorn without the butter, thinking he was being a healthy little boy. Man did that bother me. Teaching that of all things popcorn is a health food? Really?

    I calmly explained to him that the butter was actually good for his little growing brain and that popcorn should be eaten in moderation and then treated him to some popcorn popped in coconut oil and smothered in pasture butter. He questioned me (and hey I encourage critical thinking) so I showed him Fat Head and he absolutely loved it. He came over today and asked for a hamburger without the bun. Boy was I proud!

    I’m proud too.

  19. Vanessa

    I don’t care how flippin healthy those school lunches are, I don’t care if they’re serving freshly ground beef fried in butter and served on top of organic green vegetables, I do not tolerate the school forcing me to eat what I have chosen not to eat. Ok, maybe it would be different if they were serving fresh ground beef on organic salad but if I want to eat that it’s my business. I would refuse to eat it because I was forced into it, and I would especially refuse to eat unhealthy choices. A corn dog? Here’s a sample of how that would go:

    Teacher: So it’s the first day of school and we’ve established a new rule. We are banning lunch from home so you have to eat our cafeteria food

    Me: *raises hand* My lunch is perfectly healthy, thank you very much

    Teacher: What have you packed?

    Me: A homemade hamburger made with plain ground beef and wrapped in iceburg lettuce

    Teacher: That’s not healthy

    Me: Yes it is! The whole thing has like one carb in it!

    Teacher: I’m sorry, but all lunch will be confiscated and you may choose to eat a hamburger or corn dog in the cafeteria

    Me: I just said I packed a hamburger and you told me it was unhealthy. So now I’m being forced to throw out my homemade hamburger and instead eat something cheap and processed the school made?

    Teacher: Well the hamburger buns are made with whole wheat. You need-


    Teacher: Um…meat is murder

    Me: No, wheat is murder. It murders the people who eat it. I absolutely refuse to eat anything from that cafeteria

    Teacher: The school requires it

    Me: What are you going to do? Force it down my mouth?

    Teacher: Um…well, no, of course not

    me: Then i’m not gonna eat it. Instead I will dump it in the trash can where it belongs. How is this healthier than anything anyone here has packed? If fat is your issue, a corn dog has more fat than a pb&j sandwich. If carbs are your issue then it’s difficult to go worse than a corn-syrup-filled hot dog fried in wheat batter. If protein is your issue i don’t doubt every lunch here has plenty of protein in it. I know this isn’t your fault, so will you please tell me who I complain to?

    Teacher: I don’t know…this is just what they told me to say…

    Me: -_-

    Bingo. It’s not just about them telling kids to eat foods that aren’t actually good for us; it’s about them minding their own business.

  20. 1st Grade Dad

    Today my daughter began first grade. During orientation yesterday I met her coach, who seems like a nice lady. Alarm bells went off in my head, however, when the coach started telling our group that the athletic program would include studies in health and nutrition. It wasn’t the time to question her about about it, but my immediate reaction is that they’ll probably be telling my six year old that grains are healthy and fat is bad.

    It’s a delicate balance: my daughter has learned enough at home that she knows such things are untrue but she’s also an impressionable six year old in the face of a teacher authority figure, whom she is supposed to obey. While I certainly don’t want her to buy into such crap I also don’t want to put her in the position of defending our family’s dietary choices to a school coach. That’s my fight, if it comes to be. Besides, my daughter is so strong-willed that she’ll probably tell the coach where to stick her healthy grains, thus resulting in a call about a disruptive child. (Those who disagree with authority are quite easily labeled disorderly or disruptive, no matter their age.)

    The solution I chose was to be preemptive and tell my daughter last night that if the coach’s opinions on what is healthy are different than our family’s, she should just listen quietly and not be disrespectful. If the coach singles her out or makes her uncomfortable about it, though, she should tell me and I’ll have a talk with the coach.

    I’m sure this is just the beginning of the onslaught.

    That’s what we face with our daughters, too. I won’t make them fight my battles for me, but if it comes down the school trying to tell them what to eat every day for lunch, there will be a fight.

  21. Jenna L

    Wow. I just can’t express my disgust for this school.

    My high school lunches were horrid, and we finally boycotted the hot lunches for a week. Stuff changed a bit for the better, and more healthy options became available.That was 20 years ago. I imagine the situation hasjust gotten worse. I did not eat the trash myself, but my family was poor. I got free lunch, so every day I stood in the lunch line for poor choices, and just drank the milk. The rest ended up in the trash. I would hate that these students have no recourse for group civil disobedience without also going on a hunger strike. And these are kids!

    I would not allow my son to eat school trash food, period. I think that changes like these in school systems are what’s driving so many parents to homeschool their children. If you don’t allow your kids to go to a place where they are subject to having their liberties stolen, then you get to make healthier choices for them. Granted, homeschool is not for every family situation, but nearly 2 million kids are being home schooled these days. That’s rapidly approaching 1% of Americans being home schooled. Not 1% of kids, but 1% of *Americans*. the numbers are climbing. In about 6 years, my little guy will be one of those, no matter what I have to sacrifice. No way I’m sending him to a place where they poison him, mind and body.

    Thanks for writing these blog posts and sharing your emails. They are enlightening, to say the least.

    If our school system ever forces our kids to eat garbage, I’ll be homeschooling as well.

  22. Just Watched Fathead

    Off subject, but I just started to watch fathead and had to stop mid way because of all the lies and unbelieveable corporate promoting propaganda by this obivious corporate flunky. Either Tom works for the fast food industry or is just trying to gain fame by playing devils advocate. Remember, you are what you eat and say.

    Here’s another possibility: I delved into the actual science of nutrition and realized most of what we’ve been told for the past 35 years is b.s.


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