Keep spuds in our schoolsPosted Wednesday, September 28, 2011, at 8:53 AM
We have often railed against the dictatorship of the do-gooders, those people who are convinced all the rest of us must adopt their supposedly healthy and safe lifestyles whether we want to or not.
For example, we like eating beef and potatoes, two products under heavy fire these days. Even if they weren't healthy, a good steak barbecued over an open fire and a baked potato smothered in sour cream and butter just sounds tasty. But there are people who would try and stop you from enjoying it if they could.
Now comes the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which wants to ban potatoes in school lunches. They're afraid the product is contributing to the childhood obesity epidemic. Apparently, the schools are supposed to solve this problem, too. The only other option, apparently, would be to require parents to make their children put down their video games, get off the couch, and go outside and play.
The Idaho Potato Commission is appropriately furious at this proposal. While conceding that french fries might be a problem, they point out that potatoes in almost any other form are highly nutritious.
The USDA plan would seriously impact Idaho, where nearly 600 million pounds of potatoes are sold to school lunch programs around the country. Perhaps the Department of Agriculture should consider the impact of their plan on agriculture.
Every school district has a nutritionist that monitors their school lunches. They don't need the federal government trying to create social policy by looking over their shoulders.
Cutting potatoes from lunch won't eliminate couch potatoes.
This is a bad proposal, and the people who thought it up should be given a potato wedgie.
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