"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Monday, June 18, 2012

The Regulation (not Education) of Food "Choices"

A Scottish student gives this public school meal a low rating.  It meets nutritional standards...but will students eat it?

The political elites in Scotland and the United States have a common goal.  It's the quest for and maintaining governmental control.  Governmental authorities publish talking points of healthy eating and the problems of obesity, but when it comes down to it, the underlying belief from these elites (and bureaucrats) is a centralized governmental authority should handle all decisions about food consumption and production for its citizens.

The first story from BBC News details findings on food nutrition on outside of school food purchases:

School pupils in Glasgow who buy lunch outside school are likely to be consuming too much energy, fat and salt, a survey has found.

The Glasgow Centre for Population Health study bought 45 lunch items around five secondary school areas.

It found 37 samples did not comply with one or more of the nutrient standards for fat, saturated fat and salt.

The study concluded that more needed to be done to encourage healthier "stay-on-site" lunchtime eating among pupils. 

What "encouragement" (or "nudge") does a government provide to encourage healthier "stay-on-site" lunchtime eating?

This study concluded that several factors needed to be addressed if healthy eating was to be increased amongst secondary school pupils.

These included the use of licensing and planning powers to control the number and concentration of take-away food outlets near schools and the possible introduction of taxes on unhealthy foods and subsidisation of healthy foods. 

Glasgow City Council, which commissioned the research, said it was further evidence that its stay-on-site healthy eating initiative - The Big Eat In - was a better option for pupils.

One option entertained is to penalize the take away food outlets by restricting what they can cook and/or institute a tax on "unhealthy foods" near the school because these private businesses don't support the governmental nutritional standards.  A private business can be told what/how to cook food and/or suffer financial penalties if these standards aren't followed. 

What do these Scottish "food fixes" have to do with America?  A governmental board can't penalize a private business for food choices and service in America....right?  It seems as New York City is toying with the same mandate ideas as Scotland:...except this mandate would include adults.  From Hot Air:

Like I said a few weeks ago, this was always the goal of the otherwise dumb soda regs. A restriction on portion sizes makes no sense when it’s limited to one kind of beverage and a select few types of vendors except as a way to inure the public to more draconian regulations down the line. Ban big sodas now, let people get used to it, and then if/when the city’s obesity rate dips — for whatever reason(s) — flog the hell out of those statistics as proof that dietary nannyism works and should be pursued more aggressively. No surprise, then, that the city health board might be thinking about bold new frontiers in keeping you from stuffing your face.

What is surprising is that they’re doing it so soon. This strategy depends on going very slowly at first so that initial worries about a slippery slope will ease. Instead, sounds like they’re ready to turn this into a slippery water slide. Bad move:
“The popcorn isn’t a whole lot better than the soda,” said Bruce Vladeck, a senior adviser at Nexera Consulting and one of the mayor’s appointees to the 11-member board.
The board yesterday agreed to put Bloomberg’s big-soda ban up for a public hearing July 24, but also talked about the merits of limiting other high-calorie treats.
A large tub of movie-theater popcorn has up to 1,650 calories.
“There are certainly milkshakes and milk-coffee beverages that have monstrous amounts of calories . . . and I’m not so sure what the rationale is not to include those,” said member Dr. Joel Forman, a pediatrics professor at Mount Sinai.
The rationale for skipping milkshakes — for now — is, I guess, that there’s some nutritional benefit to milk-based drinks whereas soda is pure crapola. But of course, it’s not the milk that’s doing the heavy caloric lifting in the average latte syrup bomb, it’s the sugar. Why not drop a portion-size restriction on Starbucks too and let customers supplement their lost milk with a cup out of the carton at home? (Why not just ban the sugar and syrup altogether?) Answer: Because the well-educated diet-minded liberals who sneer at soda consumption kind of enjoy their morning mochaccinos, and if the state starts coming after that now, then Bloomberg might have a real backlash on his hands. Paternalism’s for the rubes, not for the overclass

 Paternalism’s for the rubes, not for the overclassThere you have it in a nutshell.  The mandates coming from Scotland to control children's consumption of food outside of school or NYC controlling sodas, milkshakes and popcorn for adults as well as children has more to do with governmental control than teaching and allowing personal responsibility and freedom for individuals.   Regardless of what the authorities claim about food choices, the fact is, the choice is taken away and we are mandated to certain items.  It's not OUR choice, it is what we are being "allowed".  (That's the same premise school "choice" operates under as well).

What happened to a Scottish girl who blogged about cafeteria food at a public school paid for by taxpayers, while the Scottish government explores mandates to penalize private restaurants?  Her blogs (started by her and her dad as a writing exercise) were eventually banned by the local council but then overturned after public outcry:

Martha began publishing photographs of her Lochgilphead Primary School lunches on 30 April.

She gives each meal a 'food-o-meter' and health rating, and counts the number of mouthfuls it takes her to eat it.

An Argyll and Bute Council spokesperson said: "Our school meal provision is fully compliant with nationally agreed nutritional standards.

"Young people make a choice from at least two meals and salad, vegetable, yoghurt and cheese options are available each day."

A culture that redefines food choices as moral issues will demonize the people who don’t share the tastes of the priest class. A culture that elevates eating to some holistic act of ethical self-definition - localvore, low-carbon-impact food, fair trade, artisanal cheese - will find the casual carefree choices of the less-enlightened as an affront to their belief system. Leave it to Americans to invent a Puritan strain of Epicurianism.

It will tell you what and how much to eat and it is following legal standards.  It's not concerned if you are still hungry or what you are hungry for that day and individuals shouldn't be concerned about making personal choices.  It is controlling your choices and telling you its choices are good for you.  



1 comment:

  1. When are they going to start serving real food at schools? I refuse to eat the school's food I work at. The kids hate the food and those that do eat it, eat mostly pizza and tater tots. Yuck!
    I remember eating "home cooked" food daily in school. It was good food and healthy. Soup, chili, chicken, meatloaf (made with real beef), salad, jello, yeast rolls, butter, vegetables and fruit daily and milk. Daily, not water bottles, no juice. Makes me crazy to see how awful the food is these kids eat now days in order to save a buck. Get parents to come in and cook, so more money come be spent on healthy food. If schools didn't have so many choices, then food wouldn't cost so much.


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