The tasty little lunch pictured above conforms to newly proposed federal regulations aimed at foods and drinks served in the nations’s public schools. Among other mandates, these regulations would cap serving sizes and calorie counts. Ironically, these proposals are part of the second round of regulations deriving from the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, a laughable bureaucratic misnomer if ever there were one. (It makes one long for the bygone days of the 1960s-era welfare state when liberals actually thought that children performed better when they were well fed rather than starved.)
The proposed regulations will also place a hefty fiscal burden on school districts and their long-suffering taxpayers. It is estimated that they will cost $127 million and require 926 thousand hours of paperwork to comply with, thus leaving tax-burdened parents with even less money in this stagnant economy to buy the foods that they choose to serve their children as meals and snacks at home.
And, of course, the regulations will not work. For example, schools are already struggling to comply with the existing mandate that every student take a serving of a fruit or vegetable for his lunch. But even when the students take the healthy fare, there is no guarantee at all that they will eat it, which after all is the whole point of the regulations. In one West Philadelphia high school the food is disposed of creatively as part of the new sport of “food basketball.” As one student explained the game:
Like, if you have an orange or an apple, you take it, and you have a trash can, shoot it in the trash can and see if you can make it.
As the great rock band The Who sang in the 1960s, “The kids are alright.”