Monday, September 27, 2010

All Hail the New Feeding Overlords

Heroditus Huxley blogged about this last week. There's a school district considering a ban on chocolate milk. Others are telling students not to bring in cupcakes or cookies on their birthdays.

(Actually, the New York Times wrote about the chocolate milk a while back. Predictably, most of the commenters were aghast that chocolate milk was still even an option. "Give the kids water!" one of them screamed. "We need to prevent childhood obesity AT ALL COSTS!" Apparently, later-in-life osteoporosis is a small price to pay for not having chubby kids. (and yeah, yeah, I know: broccoli and sardines also have calcium. When was the last time you saw a kid voluntarily eat either of those?))

And now, there's the article circulating that Americans Don't Eat Enough Veggies.

The CDC even says:

These findings underscore the need for interventions at national, state, and community levels, across multiple settings (e.g., worksites, community venues, and restaurants) to improve fruit and vegetable access, availability, and affordability, as a means of increasing individual consumption.

That word, "intervention," scares me. Are the Veggie Police going to show up on my campus (it's a workplace) and force-feed me V-8 juice (which I should not drink anyway, as it contains carrots, to which I am allergic) until I've met my minimum daily servings? Are they going to harass people until they capitulate and eat their damn veggies?

I mean - if a guy asks a woman on a date one too many times after she's turned him down, he can be fired for sexual harassment. But it's OK for the gov'ment to come to our workplaces or restaurants and tell us to eat veggies?

Look: what the hell gives anyone in government the right to mandate veggie servings. Or chocolate milk in the schools. Or anything like that.

Yes, granted: apparently poor diet is a problem for some children. But denying all kids a little carton of chocolate milk at the cafeteria is not going to solve the problem of parents who use McDonald's as a pacifier....nor should the government be trying to solve it. People need to take responsibility for themselves.

I remember being in grade school. The "white milk" (as we called it) frequently tasted bad. I don't know if it was the cartons or if it was close to expiring or what. The chocolate milk tasted better. And it was one small, tiny comfort, to have a little carton of chocolate milk in the middle of a day full of math timed-tests and vocabulary drills and being tormented by peers. It would have made life a little smaller and sadder if that had been taken away.

Already kids in school have so much heaped on them: high-stakes testing. Peers who disrupt class, harass them, bully them, and who don't get the butt-smacking they richly deserve. Having to carry clear backpacks. Getting a "referral" if you draw a WWII era scene and just happen to put a gun and a bomb in it.

It must suck to be a kid these days.

1 comment:

Kate P said...

If they were fully aware that random backpack searches and no choices at lunchtime weren't normal, routine things, then yeah, it would suck to be a kid. But they think this is the way it always was. (And your chocolate milk at lunch memories are like my iced tea--iced tea in a little carton--memories. It's probably impossible to find iced tea at the grade school level.)