FDR gave a speech in Marietta, Georgia on July 8, 1938 in which he cited Abraham Lincoln who said: "The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do at all, or cannot do so well, for themselves, in their separate and individual capacities."
Why, then, are our schools now dictating what school children eat at schools? Do we not have the individual capacity to determine what foods we put into our mouths? Or does government think families too stupid to make our own choices for us? Of course, that's exactly what they think.
Why does the Turlock School District, for example, think they have a right to ban sugary treats in schools? The Turlock Journal writes that: "The days of parents swinging by their child's classroom with a large pink box of cupcakes on their little one's birthday are gone as the Turlock Unified School District recently updated its Wellness Policy to prohibit sugary treats in the classroom."
It turns out that TUSD formed a Wellness Committee in 2004 to develop a "wellness policy," a requirement of the National School Lunch Program. The wellness policy includes goals for nutrition and education, physical activity and guidelines to promote student health and reduce childhood obesity. TUSD blazed a trail for the county with their new sweeping rules against those tasty treats that all of us love and enjoy from time to time.
The Turlock School Board now:
• Bans food fundraisers from being distributed during school hours;
• Limits celebrations, such as birthdays, to one party per class per month after the lunch period and with food that meets nutritional standards.
• If a party is held in class the only "approved foods" include those with 35 percent calories from fat or less, no more than 10 percent calories from saturated fat, 35 percent sugar by weight or less, less than .5 grams of trans fat per serving, 230 or less milligrams of sodium and no more than 175 calories. This includes fruit, non-fried vegetables, dairy foods, nuts, seeds, legumes, eggs, cheese and whole grain items.
Whew, you need to be a nutrition experts to figure that one. Almost takes the fun right out of planning a party, thank you very much government bureaucrats.
So now in Turlock cupcakes and cookies are out, as are doughnuts, candy, chocolate and soda. So now the children in Turlock schools are instead treated to yogurt (presumably even the sugar-loaded variety), cheese, nuts, seeds, whole grain items and canned fruit in 100 percent juice only.
Imagine, kids being served blocks of cheese as the whole class sings "Happy Birthday." Big whoopie.
Cheese? What a grand way to plug up a celebration, if you catch my drift. And what a great way to kick the fun out of life.
Don't get me wrong. I am not the world's biggest junk food consumer. I try to eat healthier when I can. I have a problem with high triglycerides which calls for me to cut out sweets as much as possible. But I also do not see anything wrong in the occasional indulgence of cake or pie or ice cream.
The truth is, kids in Turlock will not be suddenly thin now.
What I have a problem with is government dictating what we can and cannot eat. Whether it is New York Mayor Bloomberg trying to limit servings of soda or San Francisco's Board of Supervisors dictating the content of McDonald's Happy Meals, we have a power-drunk government that thinks one of its jobs is telling us what we cannot consume. Well it isn't their job and any freedom-loving citizen should be vigilant about keeping them in check.
A cupcake is not going to kill any child. And preventing them from enjoying an occasional chocolate chip cookie and a cup of punch at school is not going to make them healthy and slender either. What it amounts to is punishing all - even the slender kids - because some kids basically are not limited in what they eat and are overweight.
The refined sugars present in junk food make it a less healthy option than vegetables, fruit, or natural foods. However, the effects of junk food are minimal to a person's health, if eaten in moderation. I think it is the responsibility of parents to monitor their child's health. Encouraging children to eat responsibly is better than leading them to believe junk food should be banned.
I find it sad that others think treat the masses like stupid sheep that have no common sense or right of self-determination. What I find sadder is a public that sits by idly and lets it happen.
How do you feel? Let Jeff know at firstname.lastname@example.org.