Michelle Obama is being stubborn in her defense of school lunch alterations that children hate
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Good government requires those in power to recognize and acknowledge their mistakes and take action to correct any damage they’ve done.
But First Lady Michelle Obama – who is not part of our federal government in any official capacity – just can’t accept defeat. She’s insisting on fighting a Republican effort in Congress to roll back her “healthy” school lunch initiative, despite the huge problems the program has caused.
The fact is that there’s nothing healthy about the new school lunch standards, which were partially designed by Mrs. Obama and implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
They are not doing much for kids, because millions of students are throwing their lunches in the garbage, or not purchasing the meals at all.
And they are certainly not helping school districts, which are now losing money due to the extreme drop in lunch sales. Hundreds of districts around the nation have dropped out of the federal lunch program, saying it’s better to go their own way, without government assistance, than continue to lose money on food that kids won’t eat.
But none of those facts are bothering Mrs. Obama.
From The Daily Republic:
“Sounding a new aggressive tone, first lady Michelle Obama vowed in a private conference call on Monday to fight industry efforts at rolling back healthy school lunch standards, an issue that could come up for a vote later this week.”
Obama’s allies on the left are coming to her defense.
“This week, some members of Congress will consider reversing recently won school nutrition regulations that provide more whole-grain foods and fresh fruits and vegetables in school lunches,” said a release from the American Federation of Teachers, the nation’s second largest teachers union. “Such a move would slam schools right back to the pizza-as-a-vegetable mentality that’s contributed to an epidemic of childhood obesity in this nation.”
First of all, several large metropolitan school districts we’ve talked to say they still serve a lot of pizza – mostly purchased in bulk from outside vendors – but the recipe has been adjusted to honor Obama’s ingredient standards.
Our guess is it probably tastes pretty bad, just like many of the offerings in the Obama lunch program.
We can question the government for having the nerve to try to dictate what Americans choose to eat. Is it really any of Mrs. Obama’s business?
We can also question whether the school lunch program, which delivers one meal per day to children, significantly contributes to childhood obesity. Most of the food the kids eat comes from home, and the government is not trying to dictate family grocery lists – at least not yet.
If the kids eat healthy at home, a fatty lunch wouldn’t be that big of a deal. If their school lunch is the only food they get every day, they won’t get fat, regardless of the type of food served.
The main goal should be to get kids outside and moving again. Exercise is the natural enemy of childhood obesity. Video games are a natural ally.
But beyond all of that, the simple fact is that kids don’t like the new lunch food and they aren’t eating it.
There have been numerous reports of huge amounts of waste in school lunchrooms. Fruit and vegetables fill up entire trash cans at some schools.
“In our lunch period observations in 7 of 17 schools, we saw many students throw away some or all of their fruits and vegetables,” a report from the Government Accounting Office said.
More than 1 million children stopped buying school lunches in 2012-13, after nearly a decade of steady increases in participation, according to the Washington Times.
Wisconsin’s Waterford school district is one of more than 300 districts across the nation to drop out of the federal school lunch program due to lagging sales.
And the lagging sales are the result of skimpy portions that taste awful, according to D.J. McGilvary, a high school student in the Waterford district.
“The taste has gotten a lot worse and the portions have gotten a lot smaller,” he was quoted as saying. “The pizza my freshman year tasted good, and now it tastes like cardboard. And nachos – there’s a lot less chips than there used to be.”
We’re supposed to live in a republic where the government serves the needs and desires of citizens, not the other way around.
Well, the citizens have clearly spoken about the new school lunch program. Shouldn’t that be enough to convince Mrs. Obama that her program is a failure? Is she really going to try to keep force-feeding America something it clearly does not want?