Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Get your hands off my bagged lunch

You know all that rantin' and raving I've been doing lately about the food police, and raw milk and how your government shouldn't tell you what you can and can't eat?  Chances are you're sitting there thinking, "Who cares? That doesn't apply to me, I don't have a cow.  What do I care about raw milk.. that OFG... always the alarmist."

Got a kid?

Got a kid in public school?

Firmly under the heading of "Reasons why home schooling may not be such a bad idea" - have you seen this story?  Mom sends her preschool kid with a sack lunch and the lunch inspector decides her turkey sandwich and stuff wasn't good enough - so they take it away and makes the kid eat chicken nuts?

What about that story horrifies you the most - that there is a "lunch inspector," that they took away the food the mom sent, or that the better option was chicken parts mashed together, reglued into an unidentifiable chicken part, breaded, deep fried....then reheated?

I have to say the more I thought about this the madder I got. I don't have kids but I tell you the truth. If a "lunch inspector" took away what I sent for my kid to eat and gave them the crap that parades as school food?  Oh, Friend.... that would be bad. I would go up there. Not, you know, to have a sit down meeting with the principal - I mean to tell you I'd Go Up There.  And it would not be pretty.

So that we are clear, I don't even let anyone feed my dogs. I would not allow the transfer of my responsibility to feed my kid - by action or inaction - to the school or any body else. Ever.

Honestly,  I thought this story was a joke or a hoax. But if you click on the links - including this one - you'll see that that state requires child care facilities to make the better decision for the parents. I'll just quote it for you but you should read the whole thing.

CHILD CARE RULE .0901 Food From Home When children bring their own food for meals or snacks to the center, if the food does not meet the nutritional requirements outlined in the Meal Patterns for Children in Child Care, the center must provide additional food necessary to meet those requirements.

It might sound well meaning and innocuous and I could possibly imagine the lunch lady saying, "Hey kid would you like some carrots?"  But take away the parent-provided lunch?  Maybe if the parents sent a bag of chocolate chips, corn nuts, and a beer for the kid to eat, sure I could see that someone would give the kid a better meal. But the mom sent a turkey sandwich, a banana, potato chips, and juice.

Even I can't find anything wrong with that and you know how I am. Chances are if you are sitting at a desk and reading this at work, you' probably having a turkey sandwich and chips. Better look around, friend, that lunch inspector could be headed your way.

Is child obesity a problem? Yes. But there is a world of difference between telling parents "you should" and "you must." You should send your kid with a healthy lunch....but for the state to define what that should be? And then to inspect it and take that lunch away? Are you kidding me? Lets not even get into what your kid prefers to eat, or maybe they just didn't want carrots that day, or maybe you didn't put the carrots in the sack....just throw all that aside.  Let's call this what it is - a state defined diet. Just let that sink in for a while. 
You should be mortified.

The grandma is quoted somewhere as saying, "This isn't China, is it?"  I think we should all stop and think for a minute about past governments who took over "parenting" their nation's children. Even if the "lunch inspector" did not say directly to the kid, "Your mommy isn't doing it right, but I'm here to help you."  The intent was pretty clear.

I don't know what your school districts are like, but the school lunches and food allowed on the schools around here are a joke. A healthy snack for the grade school kids is defined as chocolate milk and a bag of Doritos. I'm not even kidding. We were witnesses to this and could not believe it. And to make sure the kids don't get too much sugar, instead of removing the soda vending machines from the school - they replaced all the regular sodas with diet and energy drinks. I hope that you are shrieking with rage at reading this.

Apparently the school in this story apologized. But are you as parents satisfied with that? How about, "The school apologized, fired the lunch inspector, and spent the money improving its lunch offerings to the children by hiring an actual chef who cooks the food on site from real ingredients. Further, they used the money to better educate parents on what good nutrition is - instead of taking away a kids lunch."

Where I came from, the only one who stole your lunch was the class idiot.  And chances are the other kids were giving him a redneck style beat down because they wouldn't tolerate that kind of thing. Especially since everyone knew your mom packed the best lunches.

Parents, I can't speak for you but I hope you are outraged at this. Raw milk may not affect you but when your government takes away your kid's lunch and substitutes their judgment for yours?  There is a lot of mocking about a "slippery slope" but you can't pretend that the next step isn't that "they" are gonna show up and take your dinner off of your table.

If I were you, Parents, I'd grab my sack and tell the government to keep their hands off my kid's lunch.


Anonymous said...

HA! If you think what they do to your kid's lunches is bad - wait till you see what they do to their curriculum!


Wendy said...

To me it sounds like the lunch inspector forgot her lunch at home & thought that turkey sandwich looked pretty good. Kids will eat anything anyway, thanks mom!

Beth of the Rocks said...

Energy drinks!!?! Are you freaking kidding me? You don't give kids energy drinks! Or diet soda. Soda is not a staple. It's a treat. Like when combined with ice cream at a local county fair - you know - root beer float? WTH is the world coming to. Or, rather, our country.

It is a slippery slope, but it's good to know people in America will actually get mad about this kind of thing. Maybe there's hope after all.

Although my son's private school was very good (and they actually did serve very healthy, very balanced lunches, better than mine, with none of that regurgitated chicken...) I was not able to send him this year, and as we're moving he wouldn't be going next year anyway. I don't like public schools. Government directed education and ideals are no good for our kids today. Not to mention all the other things they learn... So I AM homeschooling. And it's great! Hard work, but at least there's no "lunch inspector."

Now can we talk about the entitlement attitude a lot of kids have today and how their parents think it's completely ok for them to be disrespectful to the teacher and disruptive in class, thereby making learning an impossibility...


freemotion said...

Preach it, Sista!!!!!

Traci Sumner said...

And the State actually said that the turkey was the protein, the cheese the dairy, she had her servings of fruit - you don't have to have fruit and veggie, and the whole grain white bread was her grain. And to tell a kid what their parent lovingly packed for them, knowing their child's eating habits, isn't good enough - so ALL she ate was 3 chicken things.

I've gone around with my middle daughter's school. Snacks for the classroom must be store bought and in individual packets - so I spend money (quite a bit for 18 people) to send in diced fruit in fruit juice or applesauce. Other parents send in those crackers stuffed with cheese stuff. Oh, ABSOLUTELY no peanut butter allowed at her school, because someone has an allergy to it. So, for a healthy snack, I can't cut up cheese and send that it. I can't send in a bunch of washed grapes. I can't send in apples. Because they aren't individually packaged.

Wow OFG - you really set me off this morning, too! Combine this with the no kids working on farms crap and I get hot.

KatB said...

I'm not kidding: guess what I'm having for lunch today? Half a grilled turkey sandwich with mozzarella and cranberry mayo and some homemade potato chips with onion dip. And this story is just crazy - makes me want to go hide with my family deep in the woods somewhere where the lunch inspectors and idiot bureaucrats can't find us!

darius said...

Looks like we are on the same rant today... I posted the story too, but with fewer remarks. (Not that I didn't think them, but I was too angered!)

Mr. H. said...

I heard about this on the radio yesterday and couldn't believe it...well, actually it didn't really surprise me that much, nothing does anymore. But yes, the more freedoms we relinquish to big brother the slippery that slope becomes. One of my favorite quotes says it all - "As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness." - Justice William O. Douglas

Oh, and I'm not on FB...was for a while but never seemed to make it over there and consequently decided to cancel. Also, I'm halfway through that big book and actually enjoying it immensely...the first couple hundred pages were a bit of a drag and then it got quite interesting...eerily reminiscsent of modern times.

Chai Chai said...

Do you think you are free or have you already been through the (re)education camps?


Rae said...

Holy freakin crap! Insane! Makes me consider more each day the value of homeschooling (when I decide to have kids).

My gradeschool (went to a country k-8 in CA) had phenomenal meals. Snacks were raisins, nuts, milk. Lunches were outfreakinstanding. Diana (yes, I still remember the lunch lady's name) made this killer turkey gravy, with huge chunks of turkey and even a little liver, served over rice (veggies or salad on the side). It was drool worthy. If I remember correctly, we had one pizza day (Diana made the pizza) and one burger day each month. That was it. We had to take a small carton of milk, and had to mostly clean our plates (they checked), but other than that, no real restrictions.

Now, this WAS back in the 80s, so either I was just super lucky, or things have really really changed.

IanH said...

Wow, remind me to never, never, ever get you real mad! :-}

Sonja said...

The more I read about this the madder I get. Was telling the husband last night about it, and it brought on an obscenity laced, table thumping rant!

Cindy said...

Thanks for spreading this message. I was angered when I heard this story on the radio yesterday morning and not much better today.

I'm still trying to understand how chicken nuggets provides a balanced meal, unless the young lady balanced the chunk-o-meat on a fork or spoon.

Dreaming of Chickens said...

I don't have kids either, but I'm with you OFG. I WOULD GO UP THERE!!

Dreaming of Chickens said...

You made me curious about my local school lunch program, so I got on the website and this is what is says they provide. It gives me a little hope that I might be able to send my kids (when I have them) to public school. I hope it makes you feel a little better too.

"A complete lunch includes one entrée, choice of two different vegetables and/or fruit and one bread, pasta, rice or grain. Daily milk choices include low fat and non fat milk varieties.
Meals are subject to change due to the availability of foods and Emergency school closings."

I got curious about what the entree offering would be, so I looked it up. Here are a couple of meal plans.

Chicken Parmesean w/ Pasta, Broccoli, Tossed Salad, Fresh Fruit or Fruit Cup, Garlic Bread, Milk

Meatsauce and Spaghetti, Cheesy Broccoli, Tossed Salad, Garlic Bread,

Baked Potato Bar, Chili, Cheese, Broccoli, Tossed Salad Cup, Fresh Fruit, Milk

They also provide a sandwich option. Heck, I want to have school lunch!! And as far as I can tell, I'd probably have to ask some of the moms I know, there is no lunch inspector. Hopefully things will stay this way in my area, because I know things are changing all over.

Jody said...

"Chicken nuts" how funny! Could you have been more descriptive?

Mama Mess said...

It all affects us ALL and it is terrifying. We must must take our country back.....I could go on and on and on. We home schooled and now Sis is back in public school. Being a parent is the single most difficult thing I've ever done. I blogged about this issue a while back......we have to make sure as parents that we are raising children who will question, question, don't just blindly follow. We as Americans must learn to question and stand up for ourselves. Too many of us are content to sit there with our hands out, waiting for the government to take care of us. I don't NEED them to take care of me........ It is terrifying.....and Sis says all the time she doesn't want kids, and to tell you the truth, I don't blame her. Unless we get up off our asses, and STAND UP, I don't know what is going to happen to our way of life. What has already happened to it is scary enough! And for more infuriating reading have you read this?


This happened several years ago and I came right home and instructed The Youngun as to what she was to do if ever she found herself in a similar situation. I also informed her school that I didn't care if they thought she had a baggie of coke up her bum, they were to call ME, not strip search her!

David said...

I'm gonna eat red meat cooked in the toaster by the tub, while i run with scissors, smoking a ciggie butt, and drinking a dry martini with extra bacon.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

**** Hey everyone! Great discussion and tons of good info here. I'm going to just let the discussion stand rather than respond to each of these great comments. But thanks to everyone who pitched in.

I think we can all agree that the best thing about this country is that you are (or used to?) be able to make your own mistakes and then solve your own problems.

Well intended or not, that has changed and we aren't doing ourselves any favors with the way things have been going.

Chai Chai's link to the article is very interesting...

it ends with asking the question... "When did they accumulate this power?

Just over the course of long decades, as a result of a thousand laws passed For the Public Good, and millions of decisions that it just wasn't worth fighting over."

Some things are worth fighting for - our rights to grow, produce, and decide what food we are going to eat is one of them.

Mrs. Mac said...

There are so many issues here. Gov't assistance has made people too dependent on handouts. Free breakfast and lunch at all schools. Free? Really. We have lost our 'free'doms because we as a society care more about watching TV than fixing a decent meal. TV is dominated by the lefty-press. Nuff said.

Chai Chai said...

....and of course the school officials were lying...


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