And you wonder why us conservative oppose big government programs,
The funniest part of your argument is that it's been a program since the 40s, and this change isn't eliminating it or giving it more funds or anything.
The proposed USDA criteria would have changed what foods would qualify under the existing program. Specifically, those changes specify that the tomato paste used on pizza can't be counted towards the vegetable requirements. Did you not bother to read the article in the OP?
Government was already telling children what they can, and cannot eat.
The program set minimum requirements and very very broad standards in terms of which foods could be served and would qualify for the funding. Again, did you read the article:
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.
This was a change pushed into the program by Obama, almost certainly as part of his wifes whole "get kids eating healthy" thing. To argue that this isn't anything new is dishonest.
So the "Big Bad Government" argument is worthless.
No, it's not. This is government changing the criteria for a long existing program in order to manipulate what kids eat at school. It is exactly "Big Bad Government". Doubly so when you realize how little school lunches affect the problem they're trying to solve.
Then there's your children's liberty argument, which is also worthless since children don't have liberties.
Are you kidding me? The parents then. Or the schools. Or the local community. WTF?
Then you try to weasel in childhood obesity, when the only other person that argued it was Elinda but you seem so sure everyone else is making as well.
You didn't read the article, did you? Hell, this is the section I quoted which started this particular argument:
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.
Dude. Do you even try to inform yourself before posting? Um... And the "future health care costs" are those associated with too many fat kids driving up health care costs when they become adult diabetics (among other things). Just in case you're still confused as to how this all relates to child obesity.
The final straw is the "Well, what they REALLY meant in the 1940s when they talked about nutritional food for children was just enough so they don't pass out from starving."
They certainly were not designed to prevent kids from becoming too fat. Seriously? This is the "final straw" for you? The meals have to meet minimum requirements, but those requirements were based on making sure they got enough of the various types of food groups to be healthy. Not that they avoided eating too much of anything. And certainly not "we want kids to eat fresh vegetables instead of pizza, so lets say that tomtato paste doesn't count!". Or "we think that potatoes are too fattening, so lets disqualify them as well".
Those recommendations were not made based out of a concern that kids weren't getting sufficient amounts of the needed food types, which is what the program is designed to do. This is about taking an existing program and twisting it around to do something different. Edited, Nov 18th 2011 6:40pm by gbaji