The federal government will spend $4.5 billion to improve school lunches. Then we see sobering news from Huntington, W.Va., when ABC’s boy-chef Jamie Oliver did a reality show by remaking the school lunches at Central City Elementary.
Obama could not wait to sign this one. Imagine the power: No more lemon tarts with false whipped cream — federal mandate. And he gets brownie points from his wife, who is totally anti-fat.
Then we see sobering news from Huntington, W.Va., when ABC’s boy-chef Jamie Oliver did a reality show by remaking the school lunches at Central City Elementary.
The script was to remove sugary and fat-laden lunch menus and substitute them with low-calorie, nutritious fare. No more cheese pizzas, mini-corn dogs or fried chicken parts, and no more chocolate and strawberry milk. Gone.
Instead, lots of leaves, green beans, white-only, low-fat milk and lower fat everything else.
The script elevated Oliver to hero worship by Washington’s anti-fat lobby. Green bloggers gushed with joy, and it didn’t hurt that he followed Mrs. Obama’s plan to pump down our little plumpsters.
There was only one problem: When the TV lights went off and Oliver departed town, the kids protested. They refused to buy the new lunches. They wanted their chocolate milk. You won’t see this on ABC, but Vicki Smith of the Associated Press dug up the real story.
Jamie’s quiet about all the ruckus he left behind. He’s back to mixing low-cal vodka martinis for Oprah.
The question is, will $4.5 billion be enough? Does a $150,000 bureaucrat at a desk in Washington have the smarts to feed the kids at Central City? Or maybe we reward Jamie Oliver with his own federal agency.
I guess we’ll find out. I’m not holding my moon pies.
I don’t recall getting fat on school lunches at my Frazer Elementary. That’s because we had three recesses a day, lots of gym classes in between and, incidentally, gobs of fun.
Our teachers encouraged us to play, and nobody stood around. We had intramural teams and everyone participated, not just the pre-jocks. We battled ball games against teachers –– they were keeping in shape, too. Not a bad idea.
My fondest memories are of Mr. Brady’s after-school ping-pong tournaments, the Big Go Home Sweaty. I never fought for something so hard in my life. It remains my stellar accomplishment. I beat him after a school year of trying.
Total cost of this 1960s calorie-burning cavalcade: zero tax dollars. It did take motivated teachers who knew fun motivates kids. That’s all.
I have a feeling today’s kids are not that different from us. They can enjoy their mac and cheese and fried chicken, and the fat war will be long gone.
But no. The politics of food are biting hard. The cooks in our school cafeterias are awaiting their federal orders.
Oh, on Jamie’s “Food Revolution” website, there’s nothing about the protest. There is, I quote, “See how he shook up a West Virginia town — and how you can do the same at home.”