Trump gives the hook to 'nasty, rotty' school cafeteria food
The left is going to scream, and former first lady Michelle Obama is going to complain about her 'legacy' being dismantled, but President Trump has ended the era of 'nasty, rotty' food, as it has been served up under the best of intentions with federal rules for all school food.
The Associated Press has harrumphed into the kickoff:
The U.S. school lunch program is making room on menus again for noodles, biscuits, tortillas and other foods made mostly of refined grains.
The Trump administration is scaling back contested school lunch standards implemented under the Obama administration including one that required only whole grains be served. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday only half the grains served will need to be whole grains, a change it said will do away with the current bureaucracy of requiring schools to obtain special waivers to serve select refined grains foods.
Low-fat chocolate milk will also be allowed again. Previously, only fat-free milk could be flavored, although that rule had also been temporarily waived. A final goal for limiting sodium will be scrapped as well, but schools will still be required to meet reduced sodium targets.
Horrors! Bad food. That kids like. Including all that highly recommended carby stuff still sitting there at the bottom of the government's food pyramid.
The press is yelling 'fat people' and all that, imagining that lefty-union-controlled school authorities around the country are just itching to put refined flour and white sugar in front of the young 'uns, alongside chocolate milk. Tortillas, maybe, given the high numbers of Mexican kids (but don't dare serve them to a Honduran!), yet the reality is, the Trump administration is giving school districts some school choice in how to handle the food situation for the kids, not insisting they serve junk food for free.
The sad reality is, the Michelle Obama program did result in 'nasty, rotty' food for the kids and they threw the stuff out and imported 'flaming hot' cheeto fries instead, even setting up black markets for them. The kids didn't like the supposedly 'better for them' food, courtesy of the central planners back in Washington, and bitterly complained that it didn't serve the enhanced nutritional needs of student athletes, for one thing. It also wasn't appetizing, and the kids tweeted pictures of the slop to send that message. Then they threw the slop away. Fact: It's not nutrition if the kids are not going to eat it. The food went to waste and the kids went Galt.
Now, Michelle Obama's new food menu might have tasted good when cooked in a refined test kitchen, but the assemblage of it, by low-information unionized cafeteria workers, tended to make the result less than optimal. But it wasn't just the hash-slingers in hairnets who were to blame. Megan McArdle, who knows a thing or two about industrial processes, has written extensively on the scope of the problem and how chi-chi fresh-casual food is not easily translated to a school cafeteria setting with union workers. Here's a worth-reading passage from her excellent book, 'The Up Side Of Down, about how failures can lead to successes, writes about the logistical problems of cafeteria food and explains why the federal government needs to get out of the way. Here are a couple of well-worth-reading passages from Google Books:
She points out in a subsequent article (glad she is sticking to the topic) that the feds need to get out of the school lunch nutritional content business altogether and let local officials take care of it. If parents want kids to have nutritional meals, they have the wherewithal to make sure that happens. And as for kids, well, she has a gritty realism about what kids truly want - they're going to 'eat crap anyway' (tell me that's not true!) so the schools should focus on how to best deliver what they can most practically deliver in the most productive way for themselves as possible.
Kudos to President Trump for putting all this nonsense and letting the locals decide.