Healthy School Lunches – Eat What WE Provide

April 12th, 2011

By Dan Miller

Taking the lead as Chicago often does, the principal of Little Village Academy on Chicago’s West Side, a public school, now bans lunches from home and insists that only nutritious and tasty food prepared by culinary professionals be eaten there.

Principal Elsa Carmona said her intention is to protect students from their own unhealthful food choices.

“Nutrition wise, it is better for the children to eat at the school,” Carmona said. “It’s about the nutrition and the excellent quality food that they are able to serve (in the lunchroom). It’s milk versus a Coke. But with allergies and any medical issue, of course, we would make an exception.” …

A Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman said she could not say how many schools prohibit packed lunches and that decision is left to the judgment of the principals.

“While there is no formal policy, principals use common sense judgment based on their individual school environments,” Monique Bond wrote in an email. “In this case, this principal is encouraging the healthier choices and attempting to make an impact that extends beyond the classroom.”

Any school that bans homemade lunches also puts more money in the pockets of the district’s food provider, Chartwells-Thompson. The federal government pays the district for each free or reduced-price lunch taken, and the caterer receives a set fee from the district per lunch.

This initiative to help the stupid children of stupid parents applies even to the smart children of smart parents because otherwise they would feel discriminated against; besides, judgments as to that sort of thing are difficult to make, even for trained educators.

The lunch bag initiative has great potential. Just as lunches from home have been banned, so too can ideas from home be banned on the same principle.  Ideas served up in our public schools are, of course, much more nutritious than any brought from home — even (and perhaps more so than) those brought from homes with intelligent parents. Students don’t like some of them? Their parents don’t either? Just shut up and accept them. Most parents are not trained educators and couldn’t possibly know what’s best. As highly competent and well trained professionals, school administrators know what’s best and these ideas are for your own good. Eat them along with your yummy tofu. The impact of this initiative will “extend beyond the classroom,” obviously a good thing.

(This article was also posted at The PJ Tatler.)


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Categories: Education, Humor, News, Politics | Comments (5) | Home

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5 Responses to “Healthy School Lunches – Eat What WE Provide”



  1. Brian |

    Being Cook County and all, I’m betting that someone with the stroke to make that decision has a “friend” that’s supplying the school with food.

    I watched “Schindler’s List” last night for the very first time. Being reminded of what the NAZIs did kind of makes me think about what we’re doing, or allowing to be done, with the government telling us what we must do.

    The only difference between NAZI Germany, Fascist Italy, or the USSR and us is degree. But if force is the standard, the murderer will always triumph over the pickpocket.


  2. Tom Carter |

    That’s a real stretch. The logic works just as well if you say that the only difference between a guy with a common cold and a guy dying of pneumonia is degree of respiratory distress.


  3. Brian |

    Is it? Polish Jews were forced from the countryside into the Ghetto in Krakow “for their own good.” Who knows, some of them and some of the NAZIs might have actually believed that. Obviously, this principal believes that this move is “for their own good,” too. Like I said – only a difference in degree.

    When it comes to the use of force, there is no “reasonable” to it – there may be more- or less-agreeable amounts of force employed, but that accepts the fact that force is to be used and that it is good that it be used.

    If you do not see that it is the same Platonic/Kantian ethos underlying the actions of the NAZIs/Communists/Fascists as well as far too much of what our government (at every level) is doing “for the greater good,” it is because you choose not to see it, it isn’t because it isn’t there.

    The NAZIs argued that The Enabling Act was reasonable. Nearly everyone (except probably most of the Jews and a few others) agreed that it was reasonable. It must have been reasonable if everyone supported it. Right?

    Your analogy regarding respiratory illness fails – unless the state used force to give some people colds and some people pneumonia.

    If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny. — Thomas Jefferson


  4. Tom Carter |

    You don’t seem to see the fundamental and defining differences between Nazi ideology and its results (including the Holocaust) and U.S. economic policy.

    Also, there is a virtually unlimited number of examples of the reasonable use of force, ranging from nations using force to protect themselves from aggression to citizens using force to protect themselves from attack to parents using force to keep children from engaging in dangerous or destructive behavior. The “difference in degree” lies in the amount and nature of the force used under the circumstances.

    The Jefferson quote you used is paraphrased and misquoted from Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia. That misquote has often been used in the health care debate, even though Jefferson was referring to religion and the power of the state:

    The error seems not sufficiently eradicated, that the operations of the mind, as well as the acts of the body, are subject to the coercion of the laws. But our rulers can have authority over such natural rights only as we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God. The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. If it be said, his testimony in a court of justice cannot be relied on, reject it then, and be the stigma on him. Constraint may make him worse by making him a hypocrite, but it will never make him a truer man. It may fix him obstinately in his errors, but will not cure them. Reason and free enquiry are the only effectual agents against error. Give a loose to them, they will support the true religion, by bringing every false one to their tribunal, to the test of their investigation. They are the natural enemies of error, and of error only. Had not the Roman government permitted free enquiry, Christianity could never have been introduced. Had not free enquiry been indulged, at the aera of the reformation, the corruptions of Christianity could not have been purged away. If it be restrained now, the present corruptions will be protected, and new ones encouraged. Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now. Thus in France the emetic was once forbidden as a medicine, and the potatoe as an article of food.

    Check, for example, here and here.


  5. Brian |

    I never said there was no justification for the use of force. What I’ve been saying all along is that there is no justification for using force, for any reason or in any circumstance, against people who are living peaceful lives.

    What’s missing is the understanding that once you walk down the path of legitimizing the use of force on people “for their own good,” the apex of that line of thinking ends with a NAZI Germany or a U.S.S.R, with millions dead and millions more in prison “for their own good.” It is a foolish and unnecessarily dangerous path to walk.

    It is axiomatic to say that powerful positions attract power-seeking, ambitious, and avaricious people to the halls of power. Right now, our “leaders” are largely interested in thievery and lining their own pockets, but the precedent of using force “for the common good” is now long-established here. The right circumstance or, to use The Dead Fish’s word, the right “crisis” will produce the cabal of murderers whose first job will be to destroy the thieves and so-called do-gooders. It will be for their own good, after all.

    But, as I said, this being Cook County, it’s probably more about some union contract pay-off, or to a “friend” that runs a food service operation which supplies Chicago area schools. For now, that only makes this about avarice.


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