Today’s post will be on the politics of health. Specifically, school lunch politics.
One of the toughest times to form an opinion is when your beliefs in different areas of life cross paths. For instance, I believe health is one of our greatest assets, and I think that improving your health is one of the fastest ways to improve every other area of life.
I also believe that people should make the decision to become healthy for themselves. I don’t believe in forced health. It’s part of my political beliefs that people should be able to do as they choose as long as they don’t infringe on other’s rights.
Recent news that a Chicago school-Little Village Academy-banned homemade lunches had me putting my political beliefs over my health beliefs.
This Chicago school and its principal decided that because kids were bringing such unhealthy foods to lunch, the proper solution was to ban all homemade lunches. The school makes exceptions for allergies (how nice).
Let’s just point out a few problems:
Public Vs. Private School:
This ban might be acceptable in a private school where the school reserves the right to do something like this, and where attendance is voluntary and at will of the parents of the children. Little Village Academy is public, meaning all students within its jurisdiction are supposed to go there, regardless of the rules they impose. This is just problem #1 (in my opinion).
After all my searching and searching, I couldn’t find the exact location in the Constitution that rules against forced purchase of goods and services. But, under the tenth amendment, any powers not granted to the Federal Government by the Constitution are reserved by those who are governed, meaning the people.
Thus, the people are free from forced purchase of goods and services. What this Chicago School is doing is forcing these kids to either buy their food, or go hungry. And according to the Chicago Tribune article, kids are going hungry out of protest, and out of disgust for the food selection.
School Lunches are Healthy? Uhh…
Little Village Academy’s principal declared that because the foods kids were bringing to school were so unhealthy, they outlawed them. I’m no expert; I’ve only gone to public school for 12 years and I’m still in University. But in all those years, I did see the foods sold in cafeterias. They include a wide variety of:
- French fries
- Baked goods
That’s what we call healthy nowadays? No wonder we’re making such irrational decisions. If I added the ingredient list of each of those foods served in school cafeterias, you would get a very good idea of how “healthy” school food is. Especially in comparison to homemade food.
I want to make a couple points before moving on. Who’s to decide what foods are healthy or not healthy? From my own research, we have no idea what’s healthy. The only point we’ve proved with all our money and research into health is that everyone is different, and what works for one person might not work for another.
Next, what happened to freedom of choice? Aren’t we supposed to be highlighting the importance of freedom in our schools? This Nation was founded on freedom, and it’s taught in schools, but when it comes to taking action, we flee to forcing?
The Solution isn’t A Solution:
You would think a school would find a solution that made use of the point of schools. Let me clear that up a bit more. The point of schools is to educate those who attend them. So instead of forcing students to eat certain foods, why not send home educational flyers on what healthy homemade lunches look like. Or, set aside a few minutes in homeroom to show students what eating healthier can lead to: more energy, more muscle for sports, ect… show them things that are appealing to that age group.
By bypassing the educational route, the school is effectively saying that they have given up on education.
The Smart Solution :
Lift the ban. Offer optional education to parents and kids on why eating healthier is important. Make steps to actually offer healthy foods in schools, specifcally real food, without ingredient lists longer than a school textbook.
If students and parents continue down the route of unhealthier foods, it’s their right. If they choose the healthier route, great!
Now, if the school doesn’t lift the ban, I’d personally go straight to the doctor for an allergy excuse for my child. And I’d let any parents who had a similar problem with this rule know about the allergy excuse.
The key here is finding a REAL solution and eating REAL food.
Let me know what you think below.