February 1, 2013

Government Food Police Strike Again

The Agriculture Department of the Federal government is now interfering more in the freedoms of individuals by introducing new rules that would allegedly make foods that are sold in the public school system more "healthful" than they are now. This coming from the same Federal department that promoted the infamous food pyramid.

Supposedly this is an effort to combat childhood obesity. The government now feels it has a mandate to battle childhood obesity? Why not start with cutting back on the junk food all the people using food stamps can buy then. That's a far bigger problem than the food children are eating in schools.

"Parents and teachers work hard to instill healthy eating habits in our kids, and these efforts should
be supported when kids walk through the schoolhouse door," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Really, he actually said that.

There is no obese child that has a parent "instill healthy eating habits" that is then undermined by them endlessly gorging at a school. Those obese children are obviously allowed to eat anything they want at home, only complementing it with the food they eat at school.

Either way doesn't really matter though. The government is again attempting to show itself as all powerful and big brother by sticking its nose in far beyond the mandate it exists for.

Be that as it may, what will be changed is snacks now sold in school systems will not be allowed to have over 200 calories in them. The new standards will include snack bars, vending machines, and a la carte lunch lines.

There will also be different guidelines based upon the particular school levels. For elementary and middle schools, beverages that can be offered include only water, 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice, and low-fat milk.

High schools will be able to offer diet sodas, iced teas and sports drinks, although that wouldn't include all that are available, but only those approved to be offered. Calories in high school drinks would be limited to 60 to 75 calories per 12-ounce container.

As for portion sizes, in elementary schools the largest would be 8-ounce portions, while in middle schools that would increase to 12-ounces.

Other food issues such as school bake sales and food offered for fundraisers won't be regulated at the federal level, although states are empowered to do so if they choose to.

Some conservatives have rightly resisted the rules, saying government has no place in telling children what they are allowed to eat.

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