Food Policing, Yes - First Aid, No
A story that has been going around the internet is the one about the little girl who brought a lunch to pre-school that her mother had made for her. When she sat down to eat it, a “Food Cop” determined that the lunch did not meet the nutritional requirements as laid out by the Obama Mama and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Of course the whole incident is now being described as “overblown” and that the child’s lunch was not taken from her and her mother was not charged for the “wholesome and nutritional” meal that was being provided by the school. This incident and another one involving “Obama Mama Lunches” deserves to replace another post I had originally planned for tonight.
On January 30th of this year, a mother in Raeford, North Carolina sent her pre-school daughter off to school with a lunch that she made which contained a turkey sandwich w/cheese, a banana, a bag of potato chips and a container of apple juice. When her daughter went to eat it, a state employee decided that it did not meet the approved “Nutritional Standards set forth by the USDA”, took it away and replaced it with an approved lunch that featured chicken nuggets. According to the original reports, the mother was also sent a bill for the $1.50 that the “approved” lunch cost.
Now the government is weighing in on this story and says it is not true. Here is the new story from the government.
In this new story, Bruce Alexander, director of communications and governmental affairs with the USDA, or in other words a paid mouthpiece, said that the mother was never charged a fee or was the lunch replaced.
Alexander said that the school was undergoing a review of North Carolina’s ‘Star Rated’ licensing program. He went on to say:
“A teacher apparently was nervous during this state review and mishandled the situation,” Alexander said.
Alexander also said the mother was never charged for the meal.
“The school thought it had been resolved, apologized to the parent and never charged the parent for a school meal,” he said.
But, we get another viewpoint later on in this new story when an employee of the school district gave this statement:
“Which means the state can come in at any time to check and see if we are in compliance with the state guidelines - for cleanliness, sanitation reasons, what the children are doing or playing socially, what they eat,” said Christy Eldridge, head of Brookhaven Day School - a state-licensed pre-K school in Greensboro.
Later on in this report, we also learn the following:
If a teacher feels that a child’s home-packed meal does not meet the state’s requirements, the teacher is required to supplement the meal with whatever is missing to ensure the child is provided with a healthy lunch.
Nothing from a home-packed meal is ever taken away and teachers cannot force a child to eat whatever supplemental servings are provided.
Of course we are also suppose to believe that a 3 or 4 year old will not be intimated by an authority figure like a teacher, tell them to buzz off and eat what every they want.
So here we have two versions of the same incident and the question is, “which one do you believe”?
Now this story and the other one I promised to get to made me wonder, “what is so bad about a turkey w/cheese sandwich, banana, bag of potato chips and a container of apple juice. Let’s find out what an USDA approved school menu looks like. This is the menu for February 2012 that is being served by the Mercer Area School District located in Pennsylvania near the intersection of Interstate 80 and 79:
If you have a problem reading the fine print you can find an Adobe file of it here:
The first thing that I noticed was that on Monday, February 4th a child could have a “Deli Turkey Sandwich on a whole grain bun, along with potato rounds and milk. That damn sure sounds pretty close to a turkey w/cheese sandwich with potato chips and juice. But what other sandwiches could the children in Mercer have for lunch? How about a “Sloppy Joe”, “Pulled Pork”, “Chicken Patty”, “Fish Patty” or “Toasted Cheese”. Now another question comes to mind, “how is a ‘Sloppy Joe’ sandwich, prepared by a government worker better than a ‘Turkey w/cheese’ sandwich” prepared by a mother who loves her child”? Sorry all of you government people it just doesn’t add up.
Now for the two questions you must be asking yourself, “Why the menu from a small school district in Pennsylvania and what does any of this have to do with first aid”? Fair questions and here is the answer.
On February 13th the menu for the day was a “Hot Dog on a whole grain bun, French Fries and milk”? One might question how a “Hot Dog” becomes health food, but I guess if you have it on a whole grain roll it makes everything all right. But on that day an incident accorded that resulted in this headline in a Pittsburgh newspaper:
And just how important is this whole story in the scope of life? Well here is the entire story that was printed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, all five sentences:
An 8-year-old Mercer County girl died Wednesday after choking on a hot dog at school, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s office said today.
Aizeya Mattocks, of Mercer, choked at about 11:30 a.m. Monday while eating in the Mercer Elementary School cafeteria. She was taken to a local hospital before being transported to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.
She was pronounced dead at 5:46 p.m. Wednesday.
The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s office ruled she died of asphyxiation due to choking on food.
We now have a government that can find the monies and time to train teachers as “food police” but they don’t have the time or initiative to train them in the “Heimlich Maneuver”!
When I saw this story I had to restrain myself from finding some thing to break because this is exactly the reason that we have to take back control of our schools! These places aren’t teaching our children how to live, but rather they are teaching them how not to live. Every single boy that has been in either a Cub Scout pack or Boy Scout troop that I was a leader of became proficient in the “Heimlich Maneuver”. Of the over 200 boys that we trained, three reported having used the maneuver to save a person who was choking person, including one boy who performed it on a classmate in his school as all of the teachers looked on. This simple procedure is almost guaranteed to remove whatever the object is that is blocking a person’s airway. It is so simple that I urge you to learn it by going to this site: The Heimlich Institute
If these two stories don’t convince you that it is way past the time that we take back our schools from the government bureaucrats, then nothing will. In one, they allow a child to die from the “good” food they wanted her to eat and in the other they take away the meal that had the one ingredient that no government could ever put into a meal, a mother’s love.