Most kids growing up in the 1950s and 1960s either took a “brown bag” lunch to school or brought one in a metallic square box. Those lunch boxes have become collector’s items. Some sell for more than a $1000. If there’s a working thermos, it’s even more. I saw kids bring a thermos to school and pull out steaming hot dogs from the airtight cylinder. When Salvatore LaMarca brought a McDonald’s hamburger to school in 1961, we all gathered around and oohed and awed over it like it had dropped to Earth from Sputnik.
Nobody told us what to eat or what not to eat. Our mothers wrapped our sandwiches in wax paper. Peanut and jelly was the most popular. Bologna, because it was cheap, was next. If you grew up in Pittsburgh, “chipped ham” was a perennial favorite. Outside of the Pittsburgh area, nobody knows how to “chip” ham. It’s so thin you can see through it. The best chipped ham was sold at Islay’s.
Now the food police are out in force. Kind’s lunches are being scrutinized like they are contraband. Schools have become prisons. It’s all about regulations . . . Lots and lots of regulations. Here’s how the story of the purloined lunch was reported by the Carolina Journal Online:
A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because a state employee told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious.
The girl’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the agent who was inspecting all lunch boxes in her More at Four classroom that day.
The Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs — including in-home day care centers — to meet USDA guidelines. That means lunches must consist of one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables, even if the lunches are brought from home.
Who do these people think they are? Is the day coming when food inspectors will be knocking on the doors to our homes demanding that we let them in to inspect our pantry and refrigerator? And then like in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, will the food police will gather up all the forbidden foods and burn them in our front lawn?
The schools have already banned certain reading materials for kids, censored critiques of favorite state-sanctioned belief systems, and filled textbooks with claims that homosexuality is perfectly acceptable as a sexual lifestyle choice. Is our food next?
If some bureaucrat digs deep into the Obamacare legislation, I’m sure he or she will be able to find something that will link the new regulations with what we eat.
Here’s the kicker. “The girl’s mother — who said she wishes to remain anonymous to protect her daughter from retaliation — said she received a note from the school stating that students who did not bring a ‘healthy lunch’ would be offered the missing portions, which could result in a fee from the cafeteria, in her case $1.25.”