Here’s some good news … sort of. The USDA has backed off its strict limits on school lunches:
The Agriculture Department is responding to criticism over new school lunch rules by allowing more grains and meat in kids’ meals.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told members of Congress in a letter Friday that the department will do away with daily and weekly limits of meats and grains. Several lawmakers wrote the department after the new rules went into effect in September saying kids aren’t getting enough to eat.
School administrators also complained, saying set maximums on grains and meats are too limiting as they try to plan daily meals.
Why is this only “sort of” good news? Because when our overlords listen to our complaints, it’s an improvement … but they’re still our overlords and shouldn’t be. Keep reading:
“This flexibility is being provided to allow more time for the development of products that fit within the new standards while granting schools additional weekly menu planning options to help ensure that children receive a wholesome, nutritious meal every day of the week,” Vilsack said in a letter to Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.
Well, gee, that’s just awesomely wonderful of USDA officials sitting in Washington to provide some flexibility while telling school officials in my little town in Tennessee what they may and may not serve to kids in our local schools. All hail Big Brother! He listened to his subjects!
The new guidelines were intended to address increasing childhood obesity levels.
Yeah, and the taxpayer loan to Solyndra was intended to produce a successful solar company. I don’t give a rat’s @$$ how good our overlords’ intentions are.
They set limits on calories and salt, and phase in more whole grains. Schools must offer at least one vegetable or fruit per meal. The department also dictated how much of certain food groups could be served.
What do we call people who dictate what their subjects can and can’t do? I know there’s a noun …
While nutritionists and some parents have praised the new school lunch standards, others, including many conservative lawmakers, refer to them as government overreach. Yet many of those same lawmakers also have complained about hearing from constituents who say their kids are hungry at school.
I’ve read that paragraph several times and still can’t figure out what the writer intended to convey with the word “yet,” which suggests a “on the hand, but on the other hand” type of inconsistency. You know, something like “He doesn’t trust doctors, yet he takes his Lipitor religiously.” So we have legislators getting upset about government overreach and yet they complain about hearing from angry constituents? Are those two behaviors somehow inconsistent?
The new tweak doesn’t upset nutritionists who fought for the school lunch overhaul.
Margo Wootan, a nutrition lobbyist for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, says the change is minor and the new guidance shows that USDA will work with school nutrition officials and others who have concerns.
“It takes time to work out the kinks,” Wootan said. “This should show Congress that they don’t need to interfere legislatively.”
Translation: we don’t want representatives of the people getting involved in our plans to tell the people what they can and cannot serve to children in school.
How’s how we could work out the kinks without it taking a lot of time, Margo: We announce that bureaucrats in Washington are no more qualified than local officials or — egads! — parents to decide what kids should eat. (I know trying to wrap your brain around the idea that sitting at a desk in the nation’s capital doesn’t confer special wisdom on a person could cause your head to explode, but go with me on this.) Then we tell the USDA to stick to what it’s actually competent to do: suck up billions of taxpayer dollars to subsidize large agribusiness corporations like ADM and “farmers” like Scottie Pippen and Ted Turner.
Sen. Hoeven, who had written Vilsack to express concern about the rules, said he will be supportive of the meals overhaul if the USDA continues to be flexible when problems arise.
And there’s the problem, Senator: you don’t mind the USDA dictating to local schools as long as the dictators are flexible.