Saturday, April 03, 2010

Foodlike Substances.

One thing that annoyed me about conservatives during Obama's campaign was their insistence on mocking him for his eating habits. What a pretentious, arugula-eating food-snob. How dare he eat a lesser-known variety of lettuce than the rest of America. What the hell is wrong with iceburg? It's crisp, cheap, and blissfully devoid of nutritional value.

You see, I don't see anything wrong with the Obama family's ardent appreciation for so-called elitist food. If we should be anything in this amazing country, it should be food-snobs. We should support local agricultural endeavors, eat funny-looking vegetables, and demand the companies that supply our food hold themselves to the highest possible quality standards. We should be the healthiest nation on the planet - not the least-healthy.

But here's where Obama and I stop tracking: I don't believe the government is going to pull us up out of our obese squalor and save us from childhood diabetes. In fact, I firmly believe the government put us there.

After my room mate brought home Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution cookbook, I checked out the show on hulu just to get recipe ideas and see The Naked Chef back in action. He's so dreamy.

I didn't realize the show actually had something to do with its title.

Jamie is documenting his mission to improve the eating habits of Americans by starting at the most ingenius and obvious place - the schools. He started a similar program in the UK that was wildly successful at transforming the food children were being fed.

I had no idea how important this was. You see, I live in a dream world.

Until watching this program I was blind to the fact that children are still being fed bad food in public schools. I thought, surely in this time of FLOTUS vegetable gardens and the War On Obesity that we'd have gotten rid of the pizza and french fries for five-year-olds ages ago.

Here's the promo:

I say this all the time and I'll say it again - I was home schooled from 2nd grade on; my mother never bought soda, pre-made foods, or fast food. We grew up loving vegetables and whole foods because... that was just normal. It blows my mind to see children drinking milk with three teaspoons of sugar in it (yes, sugar in milk). It hurts me to see children dramatically acting like veggies are gross or yucky. I used to sneak up to our garden to pick parsley and sorrell and eat it like a rabbit.

Eating well is a learned behavior; if they were raised with vegetables as a normal, healthy, necessary part of life they wouldn't act that way. They should be gagging and spitting out the fat-loaded foodlike-substances they happily munch on every day; that is what's going to kill them, not the broccoli.

Shocking as this sounds, our system for school lunches has more backwards guidelines and pointless bureaucracy than the UK has.

Children can't have knives; they might stab each other. Pizza is suitable for breakfast, french fries are a vegetable, oh—and make sure you wear plastic gloves while you're preparing chicken byproducts for the kids! When it came time to look at the system that allows these types of things to go on in our schools, an expert explained that it's all laid out in regulation manuals thicker than phonebooks that she had to bring in on a dolly for their meeting.

Endless pages of pie charts, spreadsheets, and red tape... but our kids are eating pizza for breakfast.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

I'm just a single twenty-something; I'm not a parent, but this has really boiled my potatoes. I aspire to have children some day and I wouldn't let them within 50 feet of a public school unless it was to take a standardized test to prove, once again, that home schoolers are infinitely smarter than public schoolers.

The government wants to give us "free" health care and tax our tanning beds 10% but they still present our children with animal-feed-grade fare?