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So what you all think about pizza being a vegetable?Follow

#1 Nov 18 2011 at 3:50 PM Rating: Good
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Congress Pushes Back On Healthier School Lunches, Fights To Keep Pizza And Fries
School Lunch

By MARY CLARE JALONICK 11/15/11 02:51 PM ET AP


WASHINGTON -- Who needs leafy greens and carrots when pizza and french fries will do?

In an effort many 9-year-olds will cheer, Congress wants pizza and french fries to stay on school lunch lines and is fighting the Obama administration's efforts to take unhealthy foods out of schools.

The final version of a spending bill released late Monday would unravel school lunch standards the Agriculture Department proposed earlier this year. These include limiting the use of potatoes on the lunch line, putting new restrictions on sodium and boosting the use of whole grains. The legislation would block or delay all of those efforts.

The bill also would allow tomato paste on pizzas to be counted as a vegetable, as it is now. USDA had wanted to only count a half-cup of tomato paste or more as a vegetable, and a serving of pizza has less than that.

Nutritionists say the whole effort is reminiscent of the Reagan administration's much-ridiculed attempt 30 years ago to classify ketchup as a vegetable to cut costs. This time around, food companies that produce frozen pizzas for schools, the salt industry and potato growers requested the changes and lobbied Congress.

School meals that are subsidized by the federal government must include a certain amount of vegetables, and USDA's proposal could have pushed pizza-makers and potato growers out of the school lunch business.

Piling on to the companies' opposition, some conservatives argue that the federal government shouldn't tell children what to eat. In a summary of the bill, Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee said the changes would "prevent overly burdensome and costly regulations and ...provide greater flexibility for local school districts to improve the nutritional quality of meals."

School districts have said some of the USDA proposals go too far and cost too much when budgets are extremely tight. Schools have long taken broad instructions from the government on what they can serve in the federally subsidized meals that are given free or at reduced price to low-income children. But some schools have balked at government attempts to tell them exactly what foods they can't serve.

Reacting to that criticism, House Republicans had urged USDA to rewrite the standards in a bill passed in June. The Senate last month voted to block the potato limits in its version, with opposition to the restrictions led by potato-growing states. Neither version of the bill included the latest provisions on tomato paste, sodium or whole grains; House and Senate negotiators added those in the last two weeks as they put finishing touches on the legislation.

The school lunch proposal is based on 2009 recommendations by the Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said they are necessary to reduce childhood obesity and future health care costs.

USDA spokeswoman Courtney Rowe said Tuesday that the department will continue its efforts to make lunches healthier.

"While it's unfortunate that some members of Congress continue to put special interests ahead of the health of America's children, USDA remains committed to practical, science-based standards for school meals," she said in a statement.

Nutrition advocate Margo Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest said Congress's proposed changes will keep schools from serving a wider array of vegetables. Children already get enough pizza and potatoes, she says. It also would slow efforts to make pizzas – a longtime standby on school lunch lines – healthier, with whole grain crusts and lower sodium levels.

"They are making sure that two of the biggest problems in the school lunch program, pizza and french fries, are untouched," she said.

A group of retired generals advocating for healthier school lunches also criticized the spending bill. The group, called Mission: Readiness, has called poor nutrition in school lunches a national security issue because obesity is the leading medical disqualifier for military service.

"We are outraged that Congress is seriously considering language that would effectively categorize pizza as a vegetable in the school lunch program," Amy Dawson Taggart, the director of the group, said in a letter to lawmakers before the final bill was released. "It doesn't take an advanced degree in nutrition to call this a national disgrace."

Specifically, the bill would:

_ Block the Agriculture Department from limiting starchy vegetables, including corn and peas, to two servings a week. The rule was intended to cut down on french fries, which many schools serve daily.

_ Allow USDA to count two tablespoons of tomato paste as a vegetable, as it does now. The department had attempted to require that only a half-cup of tomato paste could be considered a vegetable. Federally subsidized lunches must have a certain number of vegetables to be served.

_ Require further study on long-term sodium reduction requirements set forth by the USDA guidelines.

_ Require USDA to define "whole grains" before they regulate them. The USDA rules require schools to use more whole grains.

Food companies who have fought the USDA standards say they were too strict and neglected the nutrients that potatoes, other starchy vegetables and tomato paste do offer.

"This agreement ensures that nutrient-rich vegetables such as potatoes, corn and peas will remain part of a balanced, healthy diet in federally funded school meals and recognizes the significant amounts of potassium, fiber and vitamins A and C provided by tomato paste, ensuring that students may continue to enjoy healthy meals such as pizza and pasta," said Kraig Naasz, president of the American Frozen Food Institute.

The school lunch provisions are part of a final House-Senate compromise on a $182 billion measure that would fund the day-to-day operations of the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. Both the House and the Senate are expected to vote on the bill this week and send it to President Barack Obama.


Seriously? What kind of slimy heartless ******* is willing to sell out children's health because it offends frozen food manufacturers?


Edited, Nov 18th 2011 1:50pm by Olorinus
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#2 Nov 18 2011 at 3:55 PM Rating: Excellent
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Maybe if it were healthier pizza. I don't know if it changed since I was a kid, but the stuff they served us was basically ketchup grated cheese and bread and nothing resembling healthy.
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#3 Nov 18 2011 at 3:56 PM Rating: Good
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I support reduced sodium and the use of whole grains, but the rest is stupid. Schools need to reinforce healthy eating, not provide products that are so bad the kids won't eat them anyway.
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#4 Nov 18 2011 at 4:00 PM Rating: Excellent
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I think they need to make appetizing healthy food. I make healthy food all the time that is delicious (cripes I eat braised greens for breakfast most days)

I think it is a little silly to conflate healthy with "so bad the kids won't eat them anyway" - healthy food tastes good. I make a mean veggie chili that is low in fat/salt - high in fibre/protein/vitamins - and cheap as heck - there is no reason that school lunch programs can't do the same. There are tons of healthy foods that can be made in bulk and are delicious. Anyone who says differently sucks at cooking.

We have a (pitifully small) program here that brings fruits and veggies into classrooms - what they have found is - while they expected a lot of kids would be resistant to eating raw fruit and veggies - that actually the kids LOVE it. So, yeah. I think that the media-inspired image of kids-that-only-want-to-eat-junkfood is only as accurate as it is self-enforced.

Edited, Nov 18th 2011 2:03pm by Olorinus
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#5 Nov 18 2011 at 4:03 PM Rating: Default
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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said they are necessary to reduce childhood obesity and future health care costs.


Good thing socialized medicine has no effect on liberty.
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#6 Nov 18 2011 at 4:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said they are necessary to reduce childhood obesity and future health care costs.


Good thing socialized medicine has no effect on liberty.


So forcing kids to eat crappy pizza and never giving them veggies is the same as giving them liberty?
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#7 Nov 18 2011 at 4:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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The problem is that fresh, healthy, tasty food is expensive.

Cheap, delicious, healthy. Pick two.
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#8 Nov 18 2011 at 4:07 PM Rating: Excellent
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Might as well be. Assuming nothing has changed in the intervening years most just won't eat anything they don't like, and wait until they get home.
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#9 Nov 18 2011 at 4:09 PM Rating: Excellent
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Pizza done right can be fairly healthy. Low sodium sauce, non-fat cheese, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, onions and maybe a few pepperoni for toppings and thin wheat crust. But I know most schools won't do it that way.
#10 Nov 18 2011 at 4:12 PM Rating: Good
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catwho wrote:
The problem is that fresh, healthy, tasty food is expensive.

Cheap, delicious, healthy. Pick two.


No... it isn't. Processed foods are infinitely more expensive than raw veggies, at least here anyway. When I was in college I only bought raw veggies, grains, and very few basic canned goods like canned tomatoes for all my cooking. Not cause I wanted to be healthy but because I could buy two processed meals or two bags full of real food.

At first, cause I sucked at cooking, it wasn't very tasty (no, radishes don't belong in soup and if you try to "mash" potatoes in a blender it makes glue, not food) - but as I learned I made AMAZING and delicious cheap healthy food.

Anyway, even if by some backwards insanity veggies are more expensive than pizza in the US - it is still cheaper from the perspective of health costs.

And the bill wasn't banning pizza and french fries altogether - it was limiting how often they could be served and mandating healthier options be also put on the menu.

Edited, Nov 18th 2011 2:15pm by Olorinus
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#11 Nov 18 2011 at 4:19 PM Rating: Default
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Olorinus wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Quote:
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said they are necessary to reduce childhood obesity and future health care costs.


Good thing socialized medicine has no effect on liberty.


So forcing kids to eat crappy pizza and never giving them veggies is the same as giving them liberty?


No. But the government taking food choices away is a reduction of liberty, and doing so because of an analysis of future health care costs proves the argument I've made many times: When government takes responsibility for paying for something, it will soon take more control over the choices regarding that something. This is just an example of it in action.


It's not about the food. It's about the stated reason for making the change. They're doing it to save health care costs.
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#12 Nov 18 2011 at 4:22 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
the government taking food choices away is a reduction of liberty


Children aren't being given a choice at the moment. They are being served pizza and french fries. Their only choice is not to eat anything.

So how does a bill mandating that healthier foods also be put on the menu (menus kids already have no choice over) limit liberty.

Also, how is it bad for the government to bring in measures to increase the health of the population, especially of poor children who don't have any choice but to eat whatever cheap slop is put in front of them?

You can't take away a choice that doesn't exist. If currently they had pizza and french fries OR Veggie Chili and Salad on the menu and kids were able to choose and then the government said "no more pizza and french fries" it might be arguable, but you're currently just being ridiculous.

Edited, Nov 18th 2011 2:23pm by Olorinus
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#13 Nov 18 2011 at 4:24 PM Rating: Excellent
Students can still bring their own lunches. The goal here is that if a student chooses to eat school food, the food given to them should not be unhealthy.

On topic, I'm doubtful that they'll make healthy pizzas.

Edited, Nov 18th 2011 4:25pm by Xsarus
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#14 Nov 18 2011 at 4:26 PM Rating: Good
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Olorinus wrote:
catwho wrote:
The problem is that fresh, healthy, tasty food is expensive.

Cheap, delicious, healthy. Pick two.


No... it isn't.


It is in a school cafeteria. Remember, "cheap" includes cost/time to prepare. What works in your home kitchen doesn't necessarily work on a larger scale. Although, to be fair, you're usually lucky to get one of those three in that sort of environment.
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#15 Nov 18 2011 at 4:28 PM Rating: Decent
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Sir Xsarus wrote:
Students can still bring their own lunches. The goal here is that if a student chooses to eat school food, the food given to them should not be unhealthy.


We're not talking about healthy versus unhealthy. But about degrees. It's not like they're serving up ******* or something here.

And the choice ought to be the students, or the school, or the district, or maybe even the state, but *not* the freaking federal government. Give kids a choice between a slice of pizza and a cup of carrots, and which do you think most will choose? Let's not pretend that this is about giving them choices to eat healthier. It's about eliminated their ability to make choices that are less healthy.
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#16 Nov 18 2011 at 4:29 PM Rating: Excellent
They still can bring whatever they want from home to eat. They could get food brought to school for lunch if they wanted to. This is in no way removing choices, it's that a public institution shouldn't be given students food that is bad for them.

Ignore the fact that it's the feds as opposed to local, are you opposed to this on a theoretical basis?

Edited, Nov 18th 2011 4:30pm by Xsarus
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#17 Nov 18 2011 at 4:41 PM Rating: Decent
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Olorinus wrote:
gbaji wrote:
the government taking food choices away is a reduction of liberty


Children aren't being given a choice at the moment. They are being served pizza and french fries. Their only choice is not to eat anything.


The specifics of how a school lunch program might work can vary wildly from state to state and district to district. But most schools offer a choice of foods for lunch, snacks, etc. At least around here, parents pay into a credit card like thing that kids spend for their lunches. Kids who are on assistance (ie: receiving the very federal funds we're talking about here), just receive a monthly allowance on the card. That way you can't tell at a glance who the poor kids are by who's getting into the free lunch line.

The problem is that this effectively means that if any school receiving that federal money must adjust its menu in the ways that are proposed here, it doesn't just affect the kids who are on the program, but it affects every single kid in public school. Unless you have one set of lunches for the kids on the program and a completely different set for everyone else, this is going to be true.

The effect is that you are eliminating choices for kids to make. And even if we might all agree that those other choices are better, it's not our right to force them to make the choice we'd make. It's them (and their parents) who have that right. Also, those parents in the district should have the most control over what's served in their schools cafeterias, not some bureaucrats in Washington.

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So how does a bill mandating that healthier foods also be put on the menu (menus kids already have no choice over) limit liberty.


You have to ask? The word "mandate" is your first clue.

Quote:
Also, how is it bad for the government to bring in measures to increase the health of the population, especially of poor children who don't have any choice but to eat whatever cheap slop is put in front of them?


It's not the government's choice to make IMO. It's certainly not the federal government's choice to make. Let the school district decide what food to provide. Let the parents of that school district become active in affecting that choice. There's no sense at all for getting the federal government that involved in micromanaging what's served at schools.

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You can't take away a choice that doesn't exist. If currently they had pizza and french fries OR Veggie Chili and Salad on the menu and kids were able to choose and then the government said "no more pizza and french fries" it might be arguable, but you're currently just being ridiculous.


Um... The government was trying to say "no more pizza and french fries". Well, more correctly that they had to have it far less often. Which means that most days, the kids choice will be "vegetable bowl, or vegetarian burger, or salad". And if the folks who's advice is being drawn upon here had their way, that would be the choice you'd get every single day.


I guess for me, it's kind of the same issue I always have with government trying to get too involved with people's choices. While it's good for people to make good choices, it only counts if they actually make the choice. Preventing people from being able to choose to eat unhealthy foods isn't really helping them and isn't good for society as a whole in the long run. Let people make their choices. Let them suffer or benefit as a result of those choices. Let others see which choices are good and which choices are bad. Then let them continue to learn and make choices. That's how you grow a healthy society. Using the government to force people to do things "for their own good", because you know that if given the choice they'd do the wrong thing is just stupid. It doesn't work.
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#18 Nov 18 2011 at 4:52 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:

Preventing people from being able to choose to eat unhealthy foods isn't really helping them and isn't good for society as a whole in the long run. Let people make their choices. Let them suffer or benefit as a result of those choices. Let others see which choices are good and which choices are bad. Then let them continue to learn and make choices. That's how you grow a healthy society. Using the government to force people to do things "for their own good", because you know that if given the choice they'd do the wrong thing is just stupid. It doesn't work.


I guess for me the difference is these are children. If you had kids (or if you do have kids) do you let them eat ice cream for breakfast if they want to in order not to impugn their liberty?

Or do you/would you actually insist they eat healthy foods?

A lot of the kids that depend on these programs probably don't have very excellent parents in the home - I don't see how the state (which is already getting into social engineering by providing these food programs) mandating the equivalent of "thou shall not have ice cream for breakfast" is a problem. If parents really want their children to eat pizza for lunch they can buy it for them themselves.

Again - aside from the fact that I am doubtful that kids have any choice at all in the matter - are you really arguing that kids should eat whatever they want, despite the fact that they simply aren't equipped with the life experience or knowledge to make intelligent decisions about these things (not to mention bombarded with commercials promoting unhealthy food)?

Sir Xsarus wrote:
This is in no way removing choices, it's that a public institution shouldn't be given students food that is bad for them.



This. Virtual rate up.



Edited, Nov 18th 2011 2:54pm by Olorinus
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#19 Nov 18 2011 at 5:06 PM Rating: Excellent
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Children don't get a choice over what they eat. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. As parents WE decide what they eat and when they eat it. If I give my son chicken and mashed potatoes for dinner and he doesn't want it, then he doesn't eat. It's that simple. This should extend to schools also.

If kids had a choice, they'd never go to school, eat candy all day while watching Spongebob and playing Xbox.
#20 Nov 18 2011 at 5:17 PM Rating: Default
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Olorinus wrote:
I guess for me the difference is these are children. If you had kids (or if you do have kids) do you let them eat ice cream for breakfast if they want to in order not to impugn their liberty?


No. But that's a choice for the parents to make. And while the school can certainly offer healthy foods, it should be the choice of the school what to offer, and the parents who send their kids to that school can then influence what that school offers. I just see the federal government being the least factor here.

Quote:
Or do you/would you actually insist they eat healthy foods?


Again, it's a matter of where the choices are made, not *what* choices are made.

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A lot of the kids that depend on these programs probably don't have very excellent parents in the home - I don't see how the state (which is already getting into social engineering by providing these food programs) mandating the equivalent of "thou shall not have ice cream for breakfast" is a problem. If parents really want their children to eat pizza for lunch they can buy it for them themselves.


Sure. But do you see how this is an example of the government taking control of those things it pays for? Liberty doesn't have anything to do with outcomes. You're just as free to make a bad choice as a good one. But if we start taking away choices because we don't want people to make bad ones, we are absolutely infringing their liberty. Doing so via a justification that the government is paying for it in some way (a couple ways in this case), doesn't validate the action at all.


And let's not forget that some of us conservatives believe that the money taxed by government to pay for these programs takes away from money which might have employed those people in the first place. The argument is that the number of people needing those assistance programs increases because of the existence of the assistance programs themselves. Thus, if we use that funding as a means to control people's choices, there's an aspect to this that suggests that government is taking away people's opportunities to get jobs, but in return providing them with things that job would have allowed them to obtain, but then in the process limiting our choices about what we get.


It's like if I take $10 from you, but then promise to use that money to buy you lunch, but *I* get to decide what you eat. Mathematically, I gave you as much as I took, right? But the net effect is that I've just taken your choice away from you. You could have chosen what to buy with that $10 and now you can't.

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Again - aside from the fact that I am doubtful that kids have any choice at all in the matter - are you really arguing that kids should eat whatever they want, despite the fact that they simply aren't equipped with the life experience or knowledge to make intelligent decisions about these things (not to mention bombarded with commercials promoting unhealthy food)?


Sigh... That's not what I'm saying at all.


But on the broader issue, does anyone actually think that the rise in obesity rates among children over the last 30 years or so has anything at all to do with what is served for lunch in public schools? I'm quite certain that the stuff served today is no worse (and probably a lot better) than what they served back in the 70s when I was in grade school. It's not the schools, it's choice by parents. What we're seeing with these healthy foods moves in schools is an attempt by the government to force good choices. They can't just pass laws mandating what parents feed their children (although I'm sure some of them would if they could), so they work in whatever manner they can to affect what kids eat.

It's also why we see laws mandating that fast food places provide nutrition information, and yet more regulations regarding the stuff that can be put in those foods, and attacks on fast food chains who use toys in meals to entice kids to eat less healthy foods, and a host of other things. At the end of the day though, it's not for the government to tell us what to eat. And as I pointed out earlier, it doesn't really help people if you act to limit their choices. Good choices only really matter if you make them yourself.

Edited, Nov 18th 2011 3:23pm by gbaji
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#21 Nov 18 2011 at 5:17 PM Rating: Excellent
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The school district is the government. You want "liberty", pack your own lunch and bring nothing but Pixie Stix and Pop Rocks and get your liberty on.
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#22 Nov 18 2011 at 5:19 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
The school district is the government. You want "liberty", pack your own lunch and bring nothing but Pixie Stix and Pop Rocks and get your liberty on.


Local government, and much more subject to parental influence than the federal government. Or did you somehow miss that part of my argument? The problem here is that those school districts will be forced by the federal government to change their menus to meet those federal government standards. Let the local guys figure out what to feed the local kids. Why should the federal government be involved?
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#23 Nov 18 2011 at 5:21 PM Rating: Default
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Nadenu wrote:
Children don't get a choice over what they eat. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. As parents WE decide what they eat and when they eat it. If I give my son chicken and mashed potatoes for dinner and he doesn't want it, then he doesn't eat. It's that simple. This should extend to schools also.


The excluded middle here is absolutely massive. There are a whole list of people in between the kids and the federal government. The parents. The school. The district. The city. The state. But let's just skip right over all of those and go right to DC to determine what our kids should be eating in school!

Sorry, that's dumb.
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#24 Nov 18 2011 at 5:27 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:


Sorry, that's dumb.


It's federal government money - I don't see how mandating how it can be spent is dumb. Are you one of those people who hates building codes too?

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And let's not forget that some of us conservatives believe that the money taxed by government to pay for these programs takes away from money which might have employed those people in the first place. The argument is that the number of people needing those assistance programs increases because of the existence of the assistance programs themselves.


so poor kids should starve while we wait for trickle down economics to work? How many more decades of that fever-dream do we have to endure before dimwads like you can accept it doesn't work and move on?

Edited, Nov 18th 2011 3:29pm by Olorinus
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#25 Nov 18 2011 at 5:29 PM Rating: Excellent
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Actually, I changed my mind. I agree with Gbaji. Just like he agrees it's a terrible breach of liberty to disallow use of food stamps for liquor, candy and cigarettes, I'll agree it makes Jefferson cry when kids are deprived of starchy and salty pizza. Welfare recipients and National School Lunch beneficiaries deserve to get whatever they wants!
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#26 Nov 18 2011 at 5:31 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
Actually, I changed my mind. I agree with Gbaji. Just like he agrees it's a terrible breach of liberty to disallow use of food stamps for liquor, candy and cigarettes, I'll agree it makes Jefferson cry when kids are deprived of starchy and salty pizza. Welfare recipients and National School Lunch beneficiaries deserve to get whatever they wants!


Oh yeah in that case I agree too. The US should increase federal taxes to pay for expanded lunch programs that offer more choices to kids. They should have at least 10 things on the menu to choose from and be able to eat as much as they want.

How about it Gbaji? Or is ten menu items too few?
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#27 Nov 18 2011 at 5:31 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
You're just as free to make a bad choice as a good one. But if we start taking away choices because we don't want people to make bad ones, we are absolutely infringing their liberty.
I don't have any problem whatsoever infringing on the liberties that children don't have to begin with.
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#28 Nov 18 2011 at 5:38 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
You're just as free to make a bad choice as a good one. But if we start taking away choices because we don't want people to make bad ones, we are absolutely infringing their liberty.
I don't have any problem whatsoever infringing on the liberties that children don't have to begin with.

No, Gbaji feels that people receiving federally subsidized foods have the RIGHT DAMNIT to make poor choices in their selection if they so desire. If they want to feed their kids school pizza and get their grains via 40oz'ers of food stamp malt liquor, it's what liberty is ALL ABOUT!

Edited, Nov 18th 2011 5:38pm by Jophiel
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#29 Nov 18 2011 at 5:50 PM Rating: Excellent
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Did anyone else watch the show where the British chef came to the "unhealthiest town in America" and served real food at the high school? It was a good show.
#30 Nov 18 2011 at 5:56 PM Rating: Excellent
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lolgaxe wrote:
gbaji wrote:
You're just as free to make a bad choice as a good one. But if we start taking away choices because we don't want people to make bad ones, we are absolutely infringing their liberty.
I don't have any problem whatsoever infringing on the liberties that children don't have to begin with.

Yeah, this is what gbaji is missing (shocking!) Kids don't get a choice!
#31 Nov 18 2011 at 5:58 PM Rating: Good
gbaji wrote:
Olorinus wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Quote:
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said they are necessary to reduce childhood obesity and future health care costs.


Good thing socialized medicine has no effect on liberty.


So forcing kids to eat crappy pizza and never giving them veggies is the same as giving them liberty?


No. But the government taking food choices away is a reduction of liberty, and doing so because of an analysis of future health care costs proves the argument I've made many times: When government takes responsibility for paying for something, it will soon take more control over the choices regarding that something. This is just an example of it in action.


It's not about the food. It's about the stated reason for making the change. They're doing it to save health care costs.


What about the choice to have the parents send a lunch?
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#32 Nov 18 2011 at 6:04 PM Rating: Default
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Olorinus wrote:
gbaji wrote:


Sorry, that's dumb.


It's federal government money - I don't see how mandating how it can be spent is dumb.


Mandating that it be spent providing food to children who would otherwise go hungry is one thing. Micromanaging exactly what foods the school must provide is completely different. The assumed objective here is to prevent kids from going hungry because their parents can't afford to provide them with lunches. It is *not* to force the decision about what exact foods the children eat. At long as it's "food" and prevents them from going hungry, the requirement from the federal government's perspective is met.

Quote:
Are you one of those people who hates building codes too?


If building codes start including what artwork I can hang on the walls of my home, yeah. The issue is one of the government using funding generated for one reason, to effect control over something completely different. That funding exists to ensure that kids don't go hungry, not to control what they eat. But liberals just can't help but use government programs to further control people's lives, can they?

Edited, Nov 18th 2011 4:07pm by gbaji
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#33 Nov 18 2011 at 6:06 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
Actually, I changed my mind. I agree with Gbaji. Just like he agrees it's a terrible breach of liberty to disallow use of food stamps for liquor, candy and cigarettes, I'll agree it makes Jefferson cry when kids are deprived of starchy and salty pizza. Welfare recipients and National School Lunch beneficiaries deserve to get whatever they wants!


You'd have a point if I was ok with the schools using that money to provide liquor and cigarettes to the kids (and no, I'm not going to fall for your candy bait!).

Edited, Nov 18th 2011 4:07pm by gbaji
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#34 Nov 18 2011 at 6:09 PM Rating: Excellent
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Surely you admit that limiting what types of foodstuffs adults can purchase with food stamps is a terrible, indefensible breach of their precious liberties, right?
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Belkira wrote:
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#35 Nov 18 2011 at 6:09 PM Rating: Decent
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Nadenu wrote:
lolgaxe wrote:
gbaji wrote:
You're just as free to make a bad choice as a good one. But if we start taking away choices because we don't want people to make bad ones, we are absolutely infringing their liberty.
I don't have any problem whatsoever infringing on the liberties that children don't have to begin with.

Yeah, this is what gbaji is missing (shocking!) Kids don't get a choice!


I'm not "missing" this. I've directly addressed this at least 4 times now.
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#36 Nov 18 2011 at 6:11 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
Surely you admit that limiting what types of foodstuffs adults can purchase with food stamps is a terrible, indefensible breach of their precious liberties, right?


When the purpose of the program is to ensure people have food to eat so they don't starve, I don't have a problem with limiting it to actual food which helps prevent them from starving. Pizza, even the pizza served at school cafeterias, does that. Cigarettes and liquor do not.
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#37 Nov 18 2011 at 6:12 PM Rating: Good
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Well dang, I should have better utilized my overabundance of parsley and basil to make school size batches of pesto. It makes a mean pizza sauce.

I know one of my Senators lobbied hard for the revision of this bill in support of our potato-growers.

I know some nutritional guidelines are necessary, but honestly I don't think childhood obesity is going to be fixed by dabbling around with the quantities of tomato sauce and potatoes schools can serve kids.

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#38 Nov 18 2011 at 6:14 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:


Mandating that it be spent providing food to children who would otherwise go hungry is one thing. Micromanaging exactly what foods the school must provide is completely different. The assumed objective here is to prevent kids from going hungry because their parents can't afford to provide them with lunches. It is *not* to force the decision about what exact foods the children eat. At long as it's "food" and prevents them from going hungry, the requirement from the federal government's perspective is met.



Mandating that the food needs to have actual nutritional value is not the same thing as "micromanaging exactly what foods the school must provide." The proposed legislation didn't even say schools could never serve pizza and fries - it simply mandated more variety.

Also I think it is well within the scope of the program to specify that the goal is to provide healthy food which will give kids the start they need in life.
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When it comes to sitting around not doing anything for long periods of time, only being active for short windows, and marginal changes and sidegrades I'd say FFXI players were the perfect choice for politicians.

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#39 Nov 18 2011 at 6:17 PM Rating: Excellent
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So you want to steal their precious, precious liberty? Why do you hate freedom, Gbaji?

Who is to say liquor isn't a food? The same jerks who tried to say pizza isn't a vegetable -- the government?? You consume it, yes? It provides calories? You can even cook with it! Just like sugar! Are we saying that sugar isn't a foodstuff now as well? That's insane!

And why can't I use food stamps for hot food or small food items immediately consumable? Hamburgers aren't food now? Where's the outrage? God **** it, when the government subsidizes food, ANY limit to what that food is is practically communism! How DARE the government give you subsidized food and then place limits on it -- am I right?

Edited, Nov 18th 2011 6:18pm by Jophiel
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#40 Nov 18 2011 at 6:18 PM Rating: Excellent
Olorinus wrote:
Seriously? What kind of slimy heartless ******* is willing to sell out children's health because it offends frozen food manufacturers?


gbaji.

Man, that was an easy one.
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#41 Nov 18 2011 at 6:19 PM Rating: Excellent
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Elinda wrote:

I know some nutritional guidelines are necessary, but honestly I don't think childhood obesity is going to be fixed by dabbling around with the quantities of tomato sauce and potatoes schools can serve kids.


I don't think it will "solve" obesity either - but for a lot of kids these meals are their MAIN meal of the day - they aren't getting good food at home - at the very least schools should be aiming to provide them the healthiest meal possible from the program.

It isn't just about the nutritional value of the food that is being served to these kids but about exposing them to vegetables and how tasty healthy food is. If the message that lawmakers and schools are sending to them is "pizza and french fries are everyday foods" and "you wouldn't like vegetables anyway" - how will they ever develop healthy diets?
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lolgaxe wrote:
When it comes to sitting around not doing anything for long periods of time, only being active for short windows, and marginal changes and sidegrades I'd say FFXI players were the perfect choice for politicians.

clicky
#42 Nov 18 2011 at 6:19 PM Rating: Excellent
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Elinda wrote:
honestly I don't think childhood obesity is going to be fixed by dabbling around with the quantities of tomato sauce and potatoes schools can serve kids.

Neither does anyone else. Good thing no one is claiming this would single-handedly fix childhood obesity.
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#43 Nov 18 2011 at 6:21 PM Rating: Excellent
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I love how the ads on the side of the board are now showing me coucous salad and healthy recipe websites. Go Go Google spying.
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lolgaxe wrote:
When it comes to sitting around not doing anything for long periods of time, only being active for short windows, and marginal changes and sidegrades I'd say FFXI players were the perfect choice for politicians.

clicky
#44 Nov 18 2011 at 6:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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Haha... you have ads on.
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#45 Nov 18 2011 at 6:27 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
Elinda wrote:
honestly I don't think childhood obesity is going to be fixed by dabbling around with the quantities of tomato sauce and potatoes schools can serve kids.

Neither does anyone else. Good thing no one is claiming this would single-handedly fix childhood obesity.

Of course not. Like I said nutritional guidelines are necessary. My most recent regulatory pessimism however just leaves me wondering what food-like item they might replace those fries with.

(hazard of the job)
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#46 Nov 18 2011 at 6:31 PM Rating: Excellent
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#47 Nov 18 2011 at 6:37 PM Rating: Decent
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Olorinus wrote:
gbaji wrote:


Mandating that it be spent providing food to children who would otherwise go hungry is one thing. Micromanaging exactly what foods the school must provide is completely different. The assumed objective here is to prevent kids from going hungry because their parents can't afford to provide them with lunches. It is *not* to force the decision about what exact foods the children eat. At long as it's "food" and prevents them from going hungry, the requirement from the federal government's perspective is met.



Mandating that the food needs to have actual nutritional value is not the same thing as "micromanaging exactly what foods the school must provide."


The only nutritional value which needs to be mandated is that it prevent starvation. You know, be actual "food". That's it. If the purpose of that funding is to prevent kids from going hungry, it only needs to be limited to things that prevent kids from going hungry.

Quote:
The proposed legislation didn't even say schools could never serve pizza and fries - it simply mandated more variety.


No. It mandated more of certain types of foods and less of other types. More specifically, it attempted to disqualify certain foods from meeting requirements for funding. I'm not even 100% opposed to the concept itself. I just think that choices like that should be made at the district/school level. As long as the food is "food", that should qualify for the program's needs. If the school wants to make their menu more healthy, nothing is preventing them from doing so.

Quote:
Also I think it is well within the scope of the program to specify that the goal is to provide healthy food which will give kids the start they need in life.


No, it's really not. Those programs exist to provide food for kids who would otherwise have no lunch at all. The only criteria should be that it eliminates that problem.
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#48 Nov 18 2011 at 6:42 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Olorinus wrote:
gbaji wrote:


Mandating that it be spent providing food to children who would otherwise go hungry is one thing. Micromanaging exactly what foods the school must provide is completely different. The assumed objective here is to prevent kids from going hungry because their parents can't afford to provide them with lunches. It is *not* to force the decision about what exact foods the children eat. At long as it's "food" and prevents them from going hungry, the requirement from the federal government's perspective is met.



Mandating that the food needs to have actual nutritional value is not the same thing as "micromanaging exactly what foods the school must provide."


The only nutritional value which needs to be mandated is that it prevent starvation. You know, be actual "food". That's it. If the purpose of that funding is to prevent kids from going hungry, it only needs to be limited to things that prevent kids from going hungry.

Quote:
The proposed legislation didn't even say schools could never serve pizza and fries - it simply mandated more variety.


No. It mandated more of certain types of foods and less of other types. More specifically, it attempted to disqualify certain foods from meeting requirements for funding. I'm not even 100% opposed to the concept itself. I just think that choices like that should be made at the district/school level. As long as the food is "food", that should qualify for the program's needs. If the school wants to make their menu more healthy, nothing is preventing them from doing so.

Quote:
Also I think it is well within the scope of the program to specify that the goal is to provide healthy food which will give kids the start they need in life.


No, it's really not. Those programs exist to provide food for kids who would otherwise have no lunch at all. The only criteria should be that it eliminates that problem.
Considering that these little bio-bags are our future its in our best societal interest to make them healthy. Of course there seems to be this problem, this trade-off we have to make between healthy food and cheap food. This is the problem. Healthy food doesn't really cost anymore than other food. This is more of the problem.

That we have to have regulations to limit the amount of dirt-cheap frozen tidbits that the schools can feed kids is a sad place to be.
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#49 Nov 18 2011 at 7:10 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Those programs exist to provide food for kids who would otherwise have no lunch at all. The only criteria should be that it eliminates that problem.

Legislative text of the National School Lunch Act (1946) wrote:
It is hereby declared the policy of Congress, as a measure of national security, to safeguard the health and well-being of the Nation's children and to encourage the consumption of nutritious agricultural commodities and other food, by assisting the states, through grants-in-aid and other means, in providing an adequate supply of foods and other facilities for the establishment, maintenance, operation, and expansion of nonprofit school lunch programs.

Nope, they don't exist solely to shovel warm cardboard or whatever will sustain life into the kids. So aside from being completely wrong, good job! Smiley: laugh
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#50 Nov 18 2011 at 7:12 PM Rating: Decent
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Olorinus wrote:
Elinda wrote:

I know some nutritional guidelines are necessary, but honestly I don't think childhood obesity is going to be fixed by dabbling around with the quantities of tomato sauce and potatoes schools can serve kids.


I don't think it will "solve" obesity either - but for a lot of kids these meals are their MAIN meal of the day - they aren't getting good food at home - at the very least schools should be aiming to provide them the healthiest meal possible from the program.


Why? If our assumption for funding this program in the first place is that this is the main meal of the day, shouldn't we be making sure it's the highest calorie, most fat laden, save-you-from-starvation meal possible? I somehow doubt that kids who are actually not eating food except what's served at school are the ones who are also becoming obese.


This is the government using a program intended for one purpose for another one. It's the other kids. The ones who can afford food just fine, but who are being fed high fat, high calorie meals, junk food, soda, and all sorts of other crap at home who are the target for this. As I mentioned earlier, given that schools can't afford to have one set of meals for the kids on government assistance and another set for those who are buying their lunch themselves, the government can manipulate what is available for the rest of the kids to eat by manipulating the nutritional requirements of the food paid for via the program.


And that's well beyond the mandate of the funded school lunch program.

Quote:
It isn't just about the nutritional value of the food that is being served to these kids but about exposing them to vegetables and how tasty healthy food is.


It's not the government's job to do that though.

Quote:
If the message that lawmakers and schools are sending to them is "pizza and french fries are everyday foods" and "you wouldn't like vegetables anyway" - how will they ever develop healthy diets?


And if the parents who are sending their kids to school are upset at the choices, they can complain and try to get the meals changed. But what's going on is a bunch of busybodies in DC realizing that many schools don't offer a lot of healthy foods, and most kids don't choose to eat them anyway, and the parents aren't complaining, so they feel like they have to step in and force people to eat healthier foods.


It's not the government's job to do this. It's especially not the federal government's job.
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#51 Nov 18 2011 at 7:20 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Those programs exist to provide food for kids who would otherwise have no lunch at all. The only criteria should be that it eliminates that problem.

Legislative text of the National School Lunch Act (1946) wrote:
It is hereby declared the policy of Congress, as a measure of national security, to safeguard the health and well-being of the Nation's children and to encourage the consumption of nutritious agricultural commodities and other food, by assisting the states, through grants-in-aid and other means, in providing an adequate supply of foods and other facilities for the establishment, maintenance, operation, and expansion of nonprofit school lunch programs.

Nope, they don't exist solely to shovel warm cardboard or whatever will sustain life into the kids. So aside from being completely wrong, good job! Smiley: laugh


I'm fairly sure (positive in fact) that pizza fits well within the minimum nutritional requirements outlined by that Act Joph. Good try though!
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