Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Attack of the Food Nazis: Chicago school bans lunch from home

Oh-oh, the Food Nazis strike again!

Chicago Tribune: At his public school, Little Village Academy on Chicago's West Side, students are not allowed to pack lunches from home. Unless they have a medical excuse, they must eat the food served in the cafeteria.
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."

Carmona said she created the policy six years ago after watching students bring "bottles of soda and flaming hot chips" on field trips for their lunch. Although she would not name any other schools that employ such practices, she said it was fairly common.

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.
Wow, so schools now know better than parents what constitutes healthy eating and they can fill their coffers at the same time. 

Back in the day, my parents would never ever let us eat a school lunch, because my parents did not trust the schools nutritional choices. My mother thought her choices were far superior. Had such a policy ever been instituted when I was in school, my parents would have taken the next day off from work to go down to the school to tell them they were taking me out of that school. Today's parents allow themselves to be bullied and steam rolled by control freakish principles and teachers.

The other funny fact about this insane policy is that it is having the opposite effect of better nutritional choices.
At Little Village, most students must take the meals served in the cafeteria or go hungry or both. During a recent visit to the school, dozens of students took the lunch but threw most of it in the garbage uneaten. Though CPS has improved the nutritional quality of its meals this year, it also has seen a drop-off in meal participation among students, many of whom say the food tastes bad.

"Some of the kids don't like the food they give at our school for lunch or breakfast," said Little Village parent Erica Martinez. "So it would be a good idea if they could bring their lunch so they could at least eat something."

"(My grandson) is really picky about what he eats," said Anna Torrez, who was picking up the boy from school. "I think they should be able to bring their lunch. Other schools let them. But at this school, they don't."
That would have been me for sure. As a kid, I was picky as hell when it came to eating. Only my parents could firm hands could make me eat icky things like eggs, vegetables (save peas and corn), hot cereal, milk, etc. No school worker could ever get me to eat anything I did not want. Realizing this, my parents were smart enough to send me to school with lunches that were nutritious and that they knew I would eat on my own.

This policy is most likely all about raising more money. Unfortunately, it may also be the way of the future. For too long the public has stood silent against Food Nazis who insist upon telling us what is best for us. The Food Nazis new poster child Michelle Obama has been quite successful in selling the control message under the ruse of "it's for the children".

Via: Memeorandum
Via: The Chicago Tribune


FIREBIRD said...

This policy is DEFINITELY about raising money - in NC, even Cary - where the median family income is nearly $100,000, when you register a child in school you are given a free/reduced lunch form to fill out - ALL MONIES COMING TO A SCHOOL DISTRICT ARE BASED ON THE NUMBER OF FREE/REDUCED LUNCHES - that's why they push it.


Divine Theatre said...

These schools apparently forget who these children actually belong to!
I home school but if I were to send my child to one of these wretched schools, I most certainly would not allow an affirmative action ass with a third rate education to dictate terms as to what to feed my child!
Not allowed? In a public school? Balderdash!

MommyLisa said...

How far are we going to allow them to push us before we push back? I've drawn a line in my personal sand of how far the public schools can push before I fight back and this is definitely crossing that line. If the parents would band together and stand up to the school board they could stop this. Quit looking at my children as dollar signs and recognize them for what they are-FUTURE AMERICAN LEADERS!

MommyLisa said...

How far are we going to allow them to push us before we push back? I've drawn a line in my personal sand of how far the public schools can push before I fight back and this is definitely crossing that line. If the parents would band together and stand up to the school board they could stop this. Quit looking at my children as dollar signs and recognize them for what they are-FUTURE AMERICAN LEADERS!

trinity said...

Enough with the food police! It is up to parents what their children eat. When I was a kid I preferred to take my lunch. I've seen the stuff they serve kids these days in school cafeterias and it's hardly nutritious. I hope parents revolt.

yukio ngaby said...

Yeah, this policy is way, way, way over the line. Nanny government at some of its most blatant. I would pull my kids out of that school in a second.

Just Me said...

But, but... if we send our kids to school with lunches, they won't get all those additives and preservatives that will eventually make them dependent on medication!

MommyLisa said...

Also know as dependent on the government, mindless drones, or democrats.

Bz said...

You have GOT(!) to be kidding?!?!?!?

Anonymous said...

When I used to live in communist China, one of the constantly recited phrases from the big brother was, loosely translated,

"No matter how close your parents are, the communist party is closer."

That was during the 80s.

It's funny how when you explain to folks that these liberal progressives are pushing us toward communism, people think you are nuts.

But take it from someone who lived through it, it's not even funny.

Just more reason to have my kids home-schooled.

the second anonymous

Adam said...

Dear God, what country did I wake up in this morning?! I always heard the jokes about the government indoctrinating children but this is just too damn scary.

NE said...

Let me just say that, as a teacher, school administrators can make really stupid decisions. However, some can be quite reasonable. A few months ago we made the wise decision to ban super-caffeinated energy drinks from school (a middle school) because students were going nuts after lunch and it was negatively affecting the learning process. The only opposition to this new rule was a parent who thought we would soon be banning bag lunches altogether. We thought she was crazy. Thanks for making us all look bad, Principal Carmona.

Also, there is no way in hell Michelle Obama would support this in public schools.

Anonymous said...

"The only opposition to this new rule was a parent who thought we would soon be banning bag lunches altogether"

What if you do ban bag lunches?

It's call a slippery slope. This is a perfect example.

I am sure school admins make reasonable decisions, that's what they were HIRED to do, kinda like a DMV guy didn't make a mistake on the form, great.

In the city where I grew up, there was one lower performance school with 50% fail rate close to my school, and my school was among the top 2 public school.

The city school board closed the low performance school and MOVED ALL THE students from my school in to the bad school.

In our old school building, they create another school right on top of it.

And we all know, the locals will populate that new school, and it will be a high performing high school.

And in place of the low performance school, they replaced all the students with US, which were of higher performance from a totally different neighborhood.

So for the next 2 years, the students forced into this new neighborhood will continue to perform well, and they can claim they had created TWO higher performance high schools and closed one bad one, until, of course, we all graduate and the bad high school gets re-populated by the students locally.

So, they spent millions on basically doing NOTHING other then wasting tax payer money, and claim they had done well in creating 2 good schools out of thin air.

So, sorry if I don't have any warm and fuzzy feeling for public school.

For every "reasonable" decision, they probably had made a 1,000 worse ones that forced us into, and we still have to thank them in the forms of taxation.

The Second Anonymous

NE said...

"What if you do ban bag lunches?"

The same reason we don't ban shoes at school - because that would be stupid. The principle in the article did something extraordinary *stupid*, that doesn't mean that it is common, or will be duplicated, or anything of the sort. Watch how fast the ban on home lunches disappears now that it has been made public. This is not something quiver in fear about. It is an example of uncommon stupidity.

Your story illustrates one of the major problems with public education. Administrators are so disconnected from the actual education process that they do not make decisions that benefit students. Imagine how we feel?

Anonymous said...

"Imagine how we feel?"

We don't know, because for the most part, public school teachers and unions are steadfast at beating away all criticism and label opponents with things a mother won't say to their kids.

Look at the hostility toward any governor who even dared to negotiate a contract that's not more generous then the last, I can see how they feel, and that completely rid any sympathy I had.

Imagine a group of PRIVATE company employees dared to do what the NEA had done, people would be screaming for bloody murder. Show up at private citizens homes and threatened their family, public prayers asking for the death of an elected official.

"that doesn't mean that it is common, or will be duplicated, or anything of the sort."

The thing is, it is being duplicated and repeated. Suspending kids from bringing their bible to school, suspending kids who wear a t shirt that has an image of gun competition on it, suspending a kid who has some plastic GI figures on his hat, suspending student for accidentally bringing her father's lunch box that has, gasp, a knife, in the lunch box.

Sure, EACH and individual school can say "that was stupid, and won't be repeated in all schools."

But it is, and stupidity is being repeated in different forms. I had witnessed such extraordinary stupidity in my years in public schooling, and I am sure many had, in one form or the other, but only now we are able to communicate it, thanks to the internet.

Sure no system is perfect, I am not saying all teachers or schools are bad, I see them as just the same as a DMV or postal office, but teachers like to believe their job is above others. I don't. The fact that the public who pays for all this have no control over what they do, that's very very unsettling.

If teachers who really care about teaching and our next generation do not speak out against such stupidity, or stand apart from the thug and bully that is the NEA, and speak out against the radical and endless property and income tax hike on tax payers to fund more unsustainable salary and benefits, we, the paying public, WILL see it all the same and treat it as such.

And, can anyone blame us?

Second Anonymous

NE said...

A lot of teachers, myself included have disagreements with the union, but when it comes down to it they are the only people with any sort of power sticking up for teachers in public education. Without them education would be gutted like a fish. Everyone knows it. The smart teachers know that internal reform needs to happen but in a way that doesn't educationally cripple a generation or two of students.

Just a conservative girl said...

Sorry to tell it is common. I talked to some people about this yesterday. Three people told me the same thing happens at their schools. I live in Virginia. I asked them if they like this and they said no. I asked them why they have not done anything about it. They are afraid to cause problems. It is a form of intimidation. They know that parents are generally willing to trust them. It is time to stop. No school system will be allowed to tell me what to feed my child.

FLOTUS wouldn't support this? BWAAHAAA - You keep telling yourself that. The public school system's black eye just gets more pronouced in the eyes of conservatives when they do things like this.

My local school systems took away choc. milk and the parents revolted. My kid, my choice.

Anonymous said...

Two words. Home school.....ok, two more words: Private School.

spc said...

Dietary control may be one of the issues driving this (more of a cover issue)- but I think the issue is about adding to the role of the educational system/government.

Lets say that a State or city is growing broke, and now they also have to have money to provide the food for the students---after all, we don't want them to starve.

What happens next? Taxes go up under the very useful illusion that they're for our schools; AND, since it falls inline with a WH initiative, they can seek to score some federal funds for Chicago.

Of course, it's hard to connect those things. I mean, Rahm being mayor, and Obama being a former Senator in the State and for the State.....na, really grasping at straws here.

Liberty's Rest Blog said...

I don't even understand how the parents just let this happen. I mean, I blame the school for being stupid, but I blame all of the parents letting it happen. My kid would walk into school with a packed lunch every day, even if he used to buy school lunches!

As for the union being the only thing that keeps the education system from being gutted, I am not sure what to say about that. If the union keeps it artificially propped up instead, then the changes that need to happen will not, or will lag, or will be slower. I think we are passed the days of NEEDING a union in order to protect teachers from dangerous collapsing coal mines. Or something like that.

I just found this blog through another, and I like what I have read so far! Thanks for the perspective. I linked to it on mine so that folks can see some other opinions, too. http://libertysrest.blogspot.com/

Thomas Martin said...

I'm new to your blog. I'm intrigued by conservative ideology and realize like most things in our wonderful country is diverse. This particular post was interesting as well the comments. I agree and disagree. While it is overstepping to ban bag lunches with exceptions the intent is good. Most people make poor dietary choices. Children with obese parents usually become obese if they eat like their parents. In short, it is written that my people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge. Like it or not most of America is fat. I myself have ongoing weight issues but it is my responsibility to handle them and teach and show my children how to make good choices. If the school wants to take it out of the parents hands instead of protesting. Educate your children to eat better. Don't feed your kids crap food and rationalize it by saying that they are your children and you'll feed them what you will. Use the exception and make it so your child's diet is so specialized (i.e.vegan, high protein, etc.) that the school cannot possibly meet those needs. With Ingenuity and a little effort the whole family will benefit, people will be educated, you may actually save money and the school district will be forced to do what it supposed to do.

objectivist said...

This is a sickening mix of nanny-state policies and crony capitalism. If a city can agree to something like this, I guess we should be very worried about the future...


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