First Lady Michelle Obama may have succeeded in creating a new black market product. (Is it okay to say “black” market? Or is that racist?)
We’re not talking about drugs, cigarettes, booze, or narcotics. No, it’s far worse. It’s SALT AND PEPPER.
School lunches are apparently so tasteless and awful that students have been caught smuggling salt and pepper into the school cafeterias. And it’s not just for personal use. In some cases they’ve been caught DEALING!
This “contraband economy” is a result of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act Of 2010, said John Payne, a school board president in Indiana, as reported by the Washington Examiner.
The 2010 bill directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture to create national standards for food served and sold in schools, which included limits on what could be served and how much, as well as a maximum amount of calories that can be included in school meals.
Payne, president of the Blackford County School Board in Hartford City, Ind., told House lawmakers that students in his school district have been “caught bringing in — and even selling — salt, pepper and sugar in school to add taste to perceived bland and tasteless cafeteria food.”
Payne said the USDA standards are strangling school districts by making them provide food students won’t eat in addition to increasing the cost of lunch for school districts.
Wow. Imagine that. A federal government program that doesn’t work and costs more.
“The clear solution to these problems is local leadership and flexibility,” he said in his prepared remarks before the House Subcommittee on Early Education, Elementary, and Secondary Education.”
No, the clear solution is to get the federal government out of the school cafeteria.
He said flexibility would allow school districts to make adjustments while still providing healthy meals for children, but without such strict standards. Payne said participation in school meal programs has fallen by a few percentage points since 2012.
A USDA report said it expects 1.4 million fewer students to be served daily nationwide in a five-year span, which coincides with the implementation of the 2010 legislation.
Lynn Harvey, of North Carolina’s school nutrition services, testified that participation in school meals has dropped 5 percent in North Carolina under the new restrictions even as enrollment has increased.
Ninety percent of North Carolina school nutrition directors said a requirement that all grains must be whole grain is the main culprit, Harvey said.
For example, Harvey said that since breakfast biscuits were switched to whole grain, participation in breakfast has dropped in 60 percent of her state’s school districts.
“No amount of training or technical assistance for schools will change students’ distaste for foods that look and taste unappealing to them,” she said.
A crap sandwich is still a crap sandwich whether or not it has arugula from the White House garden.
[Note: This article was written by Ashley Edwardson]