Friday, February 17, 2012

Beware the Nutritional Food Police: Is your lunch safe?


Better be careful what lunch items you send with your child to school. The food police are watching.

An absolutely astounding article from Fox News reports that a “state agent” whose job, apparently, includes inspecting preschooler’s lunch boxes, confiscated one child’s turkey sandwich because it did not have “enough nutritional value.” It was replaced with the cafeteria’s meal – chicken nuggets.

I’m not making this up.

Really.

I’m not going to discuss “nutritional value.” This post will not analyze the fat grams, carbohydrates, and calories of the foods in question. I would love to be in the Garden of Eden, where the only choices were God-given healthy ones and there was no question of whether to get regular, diet, fat free, low-carb, low-cal, free range, or organic.

It does not matter which was healthier for the child, the turkey sandwich or the chicken nuggets, because this invasion of a child’s lunch box, and the correlating invasion of the decision-making process of the mother or father who packed it, goes much deeper than that. Here are some random thoughts.
  • So, it seems that half the known world is bent on our destruction, but we’re scaling back our military. We have police departments in major metropolitan areas with such low funding that their officers have to provide their own toilet paper. Schools are cutting teachers and community college instructors are going without cost-of-living increases because of lack of funding. But we’re paying a “state agent” to “inspect” preschooler’s lunches. Seriously?? This is beginning to sound like a young adult dystopian novel.
  • I hope he washed his hands before poking around in the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
  • Is it possible the school cafeteria is trying to sell more lunches?
  • What if the child was allergic to gluten? What if his turkey sandwich was on gluten-free bread and then he had a reaction to the gluten in the breading of the chicken nuggets? Can anyone say lawsuit? (Hopefully, the school is astute enough to be vigilant for these issues.)
  • The article suggests that there could be “punitive damages” for “negligent” parents who pack lunches for their children that consist of chips, a twinkie, and a soda. Get out the handcuffs and haul me to jail. I plan on making home-made chocolate chip cookies for my children this weekend. In fact, my daughters will probably do most of it; don’t look now, but I’m preparing them for adulthood. Next week I’ll teach them how to sew a cute DIY ruffle for the orange jumpsuits they’ll be sporting in the future.
  • While we’re on the subject of negligence, what about parents who smoke, exposing their children to harmful second-hand smoke? What about parents who drink to the point of inebriation and become unable to care adequately for their children? What about parents who stick their children in front of violent and vulgar television, movies, and video games, refusing to discipline, creating little monsters? Oh, now I see, we’re only negligent if our child is eating a Ho-Ho or drinking a Coke while playing video games that simulate violent murder.
  • Better clear your boards on Pinterest, ladies. They could be used as evidence against you.



Thanks for reading. This sort of emotional turmoil wears me out. I think I’ll go read a book to my children while I can still choose which one, hug them all before that becomes defined as abuse, and then get started on those cookies. . . .

~Meghan




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4 comments:

  1. Oh, wow. I had not read about this yet. Absolutely insane. Believable? Yes, unfortunately, very believable.

    Yet another reason why I want to homeschool my children.

    Thank you so much for this post.

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    1. We do homeschool, and this is one of the many reasons why. I'm so glad you have that same desire to protect the wee ones. Thanks for your comment!

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  2. I don't think we have met, but I have enjoyed reading through some of your posts this evening!
    This story floored me when I read it last week. I don't think that most people understand the seriousness of this type of interference. Parental rights are being violated in our country, and the governmental arm is growing longer every day. It's not only a shocking story, it's also a scary commentary on where we are and where we are headed.

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    1. Stephanie -- Your blog is so cute in the black and pink! I completely agree with you on the governmental arm growing longer. I know there are a lot of people who don't eat healthy and don't feed their children properly, but is it really the place of the government to decide, especially when the child in question had something the nutritionists would say is healthier than the chicken nuggets? Thanks for commenting!

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I so much appreciate your time and effort in leaving a comment, and I try to respond to as many as time permits. :-)