Friday, May 12, 2017

I find myself torn...

....regarding President Trump's rollback of Obama-era regulations requiring less salt, less fat, and more fruit, vegetables, and fiber in school lunches, and Mrs. Obama's rather angered response to the same.  On one side, I agree wholeheartedly that we should not be happy with kids eating garbage, as Mrs. Obama notes, but on the flip side, I can't ignore the fact that if kids won't eat the Obama meals, then no good is being done--the kids are either sneaking in Snickers bars and French fries, or they're going hungry.  Plus, doing things by administrative edict is appalling, Constitutionally speaking.

Really, as much of a fan of the Mayo Clinic Diet as I am, getting people to follow it is not as simple as passing new regulations.  You've got to create real incentives to try it and stay on it, and Mrs. Obama's program simply did not do that in the same way that my first experiences with broiled chicken breast concluded with me thinking it'd been made by Goodyear.  

Writing as the son of a woman who worked nearly 50 years in food service, there are simply some foods that don't work well on a steam table, and added sugar, fat, and salt are not there by accident.  They do indeed enhance palatability, and hence if you're going to do healthy school lunches, the entire model--and capital spending--for the school lunch needs to change.  It will quite frankly take a lot of new equipment, spices, training, and money.

Parents also need a different model for diet, starting with an end to subsidies for grains and dairy, and continuing to a better model than the Obama model for healthcare, starting with limited coverage for avoidable heart disease and diabetes.  As I noted in my bit about the carbon fiber bicycle, delaying or avoiding that triple bypass (and the bill)  could be just the thing for persuading a guy to try that salad.


Hearth said...

I was happy when the local schools stopped considering uncrustables a lunch main dish for our grade-schoolers. The kids will nom down a bean burrito, no problem. And the salad bars are popular, as long as there is plenty of ranch dressing available. (This is better than my childhood hot-lunch with canned green beans and jello as side dishes, y'know?)

I think the trick is to let the kids pick from a selection of (relatively) healthy choices rather than insisting that every child have the same appetite and cravings.

Bike Bubba said...

Well said--and it strikes me that if any state was going to have "fewer problems" implementing Mrs. Obama's ideas, it would be California, with tremendous ethnic minorities, huge growing of produce, and quite frankly a younger infrastructure that would adapt more readily to new foods.

But as you note, even there, top down ain't gonna work.