If You Follow the Instructions, What the Hell Difference Does it Make?

I just saw a post that the state of Colorado passed legislation to ban trans fats in school lunches and people were getting upset about this.  Maybe it’s because I’m not a parent and don’t have to deal with it or maybe it’s because the school I went to provided us with relatively healthy lunches but I don’t get the chaos.  About this or about some of the other issues that have come up recently.

One comment I saw repeated on this post about the new Colorado legislation is that if they take the trans fats out of school lunches the kids won’t eat them… because apparently trans fat is the only thing that gives food flavor.  But in reality, after some douche bag ate a package of Oreos a day for like his whole life and then sued Kraft for putting trans fat in them, pretty much every processed food manufacturer has taken them out of a lot of things anyway.  Trans fat does not equal flavor.  And contrary to popular belief, healthy foods do have flavor.  Go ahead, crunch into an apple, I’ll wait.

The other school food related issue that has been floating around that has people’s feathers in a flurry is elementary schools and day cares taking away children’s sack lunches because they are deemed “unacceptable.”  Okay…maybe I see some of the arguments here.  I mean one girl, like 6 years old or so, had her turkey and cheese sandwich, juice box and cookie taken away from her.  Ummmm why?  Sack lunches are now (in some places) required to have one meat, one dairy, two fruits and/or vegetables and one “grain”.  Let’s see… turkey, cheese, juice, bread… sounds like it meets the criteria to me so what was the problem?  No, really, I never did find out what the problem was so if someone could tell me…  If that were my 6 year old and my turkey sandwich, they’d have my very unhappy self in their offices the next day.

But on the other hand, I do think there are cases where some parents send completely inappropriate and inadequate lunches with their children to school and that needs to be taken care of.  I don’t necessarily think you should take things away from the kid but let’s say for example, Mom thinks a Lunchable is adequate, hands it to Little Johnny and sends him on his merry way.  At that point, the school or day care should let Johnny keep his Lunchable because it’s decently healthy for what it is but give him an apple or banana and a juice box to go with it.  However, if Mom thinks three cookies and a Snickers bar is a decent lunch… then…sign Johnny up for school lunch and don’t trouble yourself… I guess.

From the first through the third grade, at my school, we had a teacher who stood by the trash cans and checked your tray before you were allowed to leave the cafeteria.  If you still had milk in your carton or didn’t eat your vegetable it was back to the drawing board for you until you either ate it or found someone else to pawn it off on.  I guess when we got to the fourth grade they thought we’d learned something from all of that policing but no, not really.

No, I take that back.  We learned that Jason would drink anyone and everyone’s milk and Katrina would eat everyone’s spinach.  Katrina got a lot more spinach than Jason got milk because what 8 year old is going to get within ten feet of green slime that looks more like regurgitated grass clippings than food?  Forget that, I still won’t touch it.  Raw, fine. Cooked, funk dat noise.

Again… I’m not a parent, probably won’t ever be one, so maybe I don’t get the full scope of what’s going on here.  And again, I get that taking away what appeared to have been a perfectly healthy lunch for a 6 year old kid doesn’t make any sense at all and clearly the system has some wrinkles that need ironed but… what’s all the hubbub, bub?


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