She touted it as a victory for American children. By taking a firm stance on the issue, Michelle Obama was going to rid our nation of the scourge of obesity once and for all. We were going to get those unhealthy snacks out of the schools, damn it, and if schools didn’t participate? Well, they weren’t going to get their hands on any of that fluffy, green federal cash, were they?
Well, it turns out a lot of that federal cash is being thrown right in the garbage. That’s a euphemism that gets used a lot when it comes to the government, but this time it’s literally true. Cincinnati TV station WCPO launched an investigation into the school lunch requirements and found that its resulted in $4 million a day in discarded, uneaten food. This is the party that claims to have it all figured out when it comes to feeding the poor, mind you. This is Obama, who stood there at a microphone and told us that we couldn’t let children go hungry.
$4 million in wasted food. Every day.
WCPO quoted a brand new Harvard research study of the school lunch program, finding that “60 percent of fresh vegetables and 40 percent of fresh fruit are being thrown away.” This waste hasn’t gone unnoticed by the schools. Nearly 600 school districts around the country have already dropped out of the program. That’s pretty remarkable, considering how early we are in its implementation. These schools already see that the government subsidies they’re getting aren’t going to make up for all the wasted food.
Part of the new school lunch requirements involve additional work on the part of the lunch staff. Because these new lunches must be made from fresh ingredients, morale is understandably low when the cooks see that all their hard work is simply being thrown in the nearest garbage can.
$4 million a day in wasted food translates to roughly $720 million over the course of the school year. Is there anything better we could be doing with $720 million dollars besides just throwing it away? Hell, we would be better off just letting American parents keep that money. Maybe they could afford to feed their kids a nutritious meal or two at home if the government wasn’t always reaching deeper into their pockets.
Even beyond the obvious problems with the federal government trying to force kids to eat healthy, this is an outrage on a moral level. Granted, Americans waste an amazing amount of food, but we can at least take steps to prevent this kind of waste in our schools. Was a slice of pizza at lunch really the problem with the nation’s obesity? Could it be that school nutrition plays virtually no role in whether or not a kid gets fat? (Yes, by the way, studies have shown exactly that.)
There’s nothing really wrong with Michelle Obama taking up American fitness as her cause, but the way she’s gone about it has been wrongheaded, expensive, and controlling. In other words, just like a Democrat.