Sunday, March 21, 2010

School Food and Taxes....

Watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution* today (Before I was interrupted by a news update telling me that the medical insurance industry is now facing increased government involvement) I couldn't help but think back to the Cy-Fair school district property tax exemption roll-back that was in the news last year. These two ideas came up because I couldn't help but thinking that a much larger group of people would support rolling back the exemption were it tied to better food quality and preparation in our schools.

Say whatever you want about the American healthcare system, but it'd sure be a lot less stress on the system if we stopped using tax money to pay for processed shit that we then feed to our children. Paying a little bit more in taxes so that kids don't have to eat food that's provided by the lowest bidder.




*Speaking of the show. Watching this show I'm very depressed about the future of America observing the attitude of parents who could give a shit about the lack of quality their children are shoving down their gullets.

6 comments:

  1. That whole "lowest bidder" thing is, IIRC, the result of years of law-making which has enshrined the concept of "select the lowest bid which meets the minimum acceptable requirements for the contract" (unless, of course, overridden by the need to provide payback for political support, or lack thereof.)

    I caught one of the teasers of this show, and the cafeteria workers were definitely not happy with Mr. Oliver. Can't say I blame them. After all, that "processed sh*t" is probably about the only chance they have of preparing sufficient food in the minimal amount of time they have, so the kids can inhale it before returning to their TAKS/TEKS/standard test du jour preparation activities.

    There is, of course, another alternative: get the government out of the business of providing lunches to school children (and turn the job back over to the parent[s]), or at least decouple the free/reduced-price lunch program from the formulas used to fund the schools, so as to reduce the foist this crap off on as many of our young skulls full o' much as possible.

    Which might just free up enough resources to provide something a bit more nutritious than, say, McCardboard with a side of paper shavings.

    ~EdT.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "or at least decouple the free/reduced-price lunch program from the formulas used to fund the schools, so as to reduce the foist this crap off on as many of our young skulls full o' much as possible.

    Which might just free up enough resources to provide something a bit more nutritious than, say, McCardboard with a side of paper shavings."


    I 100% agree with you there. I've said before that, parents who are concerned about their kid's nutrition, would be best served packing their lunches for Junior and the little darling instead of signing them up and forgetting about it. Unfortunately, most Americans don't want to take responsibility, they want a handout solution that involves little personal sacrifice. (i.e. "free" lunches). My suggestion is for the Gov't to say "OK, we'll UP the quality of food, but it's gonna cost you."

    Maybe then more parents will take option one: Packing a lunch for their little angels.

    At least those children who's parents are dolts won't have to eat crap however. That's the goal.

    ReplyDelete
  3. BTW, "...so as to reduce the foist this crap..." should read "...so as to reduce the incentive to foist this crap...".

    Also, two things to keep in mind when bemoaning the attitude of the parents: we have been thoroughly sold a bill of goods by the processed food industry, and part of that bill of goods is the fact that we can, for once, "enjoy" foodstuffs year round, and even when Mother Nature hates the farmers. Second, many of us were raised by our parents to highly value the "consistency" of processed/fast food (I think my dad was more scared of us kids getting the projectile diarrheas then he was of a thermo-nuclear exchange witht he Russkies.)

    It takes time, and sometimes honey, to re-educate an entire generation. And sometimes, Jamie Oliver is known for not being exactly diplomatic (a trait shared by many advocates.)

    ~EdT.

    ReplyDelete
  4. "My suggestion is for the Gov't to say "OK, we'll UP the quality of food, but it's gonna cost you."

    Maybe then more parents will take option one: Packing a lunch for their little angels."


    Except that it will cost ALL OF US. Which makes the cost an externality to the parents involved (or at least a partial externality), so they have little to no incentive to take the responsibility themselves. And, the parents who *do* take responsibilities for their kids' nutritional well-being probably get to pay for it twice (or at least more than once.)

    ~EdT.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Adding on to your second reply let me say this:

    I DO believe that a lot of the problem is fuled by ignorance. Not stupidity, but ignorance. There's a difference there that's very important. I think that a LOT of parents really think they are doing the right thing for their kids, and therein lies the problem.

    How do you inform people that what they've heard all their lives to be right is actually wrong?


    People like Jaime use a Bullhorn. It worked over in England, but America is an entirely different animal.

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  6. "we have been thoroughly sold a bill of goods by the processed food industry"

    Boy that statement opens up a can o' worms....Worthy of an entire series of blog posts.

    ReplyDelete

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