Get Your Nose Outta My Packed Lunch!!!
Earlier this week I heard about an incident in Raeford, North Carolina. Apparently a state worker was checking lunches of elementary school students to make sure they met the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines for nutrition. This unidentified state worker conveyed to a student her lunch, packed by her mother was, according to the story, “not nutritious and did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines…Instead, the child’s lunch of a turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice was allegedly replaced with school cafeteria chicken nuggets. The student also brought home a bill for the cost of the school lunch she had to eat instead.”
Let me tell you. I wasn’t born with enough middle fingers to express how I feel about this story. This is wrong on SOOOOOO many levels.
Now, to be fair, this is the other side of the story: “Assistant Superintendent Bob Barnes said the official didn’t tell the child she had to replace her lunch with chicken nuggets. Instead, they told her she had to go through the line and get some milk – per federal guidelines – and she misunderstood and replaced her entire lunch.
“I think that the child became confused about what she had to do. I think the child, instead of going over and picking up the milk, I think the child, for whatever reason, thought she had to go through the line and get a school meal which, that’s not our policy,” said Barnes.
I wasn’t there, but I have are REAAAAAALY hard time believing a kid would get, “go get some milk”, confused with, “Don’t eat that, take it home, and go eat some of those crappy chicken nuggets.” But that’s just me.
I’ll concede the child may have been confused. That still doesn’t excuse any representative from the government looking into a child’s lunch box. What I, as a parent, choose to feed my family is MY business. No one else’s. The only concern a school should have regarding food guidelines should be on the meals provided to the students from them. Period. What if the child has a food allergy? What if they required a Kosher meal? Apparently it doesn’t matter. There are federal guidelines.
Congress members Larry Kissell and Renee Elmers penned a letter to Tom Vilsack, the U.S. Agriculture Department Secretary. (Read the letter here.) In the letter they state, “This unfortunate and absolutely unnecessary event exemplifies the very definition of ‘government over reach’ and further perpetuates a growing reason of why the American people continue to hold less and less faith in our government.” They went on to say it was a waste of money and an embarrassment to North Carolina schools.
A few years ago I was reading “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand (a ridiculously long book, but one of the most thought provoking books I have ever read.) She said, “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. When there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.”
I can’t think of anyone more innocent than children.