Closing tabs (about food and education)

1. No Brownies at Bake Sales, but Doritos May Be O.K. raised my blood pressure way more than a whole plate of brownies (mmm… brownies):

Nine months after effectively banning most fund-raising food sales in city schools, a city panel will vote Wednesday on an amended regulation that will allow student groups to sell items like Pop-Tarts and Doritos during the school day, but not brownies, zucchini bread or anything else homemade.

Ostensibly this is about “health”: they have a whole list of proposed regulations about percentage of calories from fat and allowable ingredients. It could also be about allergies. (My theory, based on the sort of things I’ve heard people say at my school, is that it’s at least partly about sanitation: who knows what could be going on at those other parents’ houses? At least if it’s pre-packaged I know it’s safe!)

Shall we count the things that piss me off here? “Childhood obesity” is a bogus bogeyman. Let’s teach our kids to make healthy choices about their diets rather than micromanaging everything. A list of ingredients and a portion size doesn’t make something healthy — in fact, I would argue that, whatever the fat content, brownies made from scratch are healthier than Pop-Tarts because they’re made out of actual food ingredients pronounceable by human beings. Baking together at home is an educational family bonding activity; stopping by Costco is not so much. And for crying out loud, can schools stop [insert gross metaphor here that I won’t use because this is a family site] huge corporations already?

That’s five things, and I didn’t even include my made-up sanitation theory!

2. From Wired: How to Raise Racist Kids.

Step One: Don’t talk about race. Don’t point out skin color. Be “color blind.”

Step Two: Actually, that’s it. There is no Step Two.

Or at least, so says the authors of a recent book researching how kids think about race.

3. And back to food… The Anti-Fridge

While the wall-mounted “anti-fridges” are pretty cool, I’m not sure they’re so practical for large quantities. My current eating lifestyle involves very little refrigeration in production or transportation, but lots in my home. Turns out you have to chill a lot of produce if you a) live in New England, b) don’t buy produce except from the farmer’s market, and c) want to eat something other than root veggies all winter. But it does concern me to be so dependent on refrigeration… clearly I’ve found my next Crazy Hippie Food Project!

The best thing about this link, though, is that it introduced me to You Are What You Eat by Mark Menjivar, “a series of portraits made by examining the interiors of refrigerators in homes across the United States.” It’s not quite as amazing as Material World: A Global Family Portrait, but darn close.

(Thanks for the links, Martini-Corona!)

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3 Responses to Closing tabs (about food and education)

  1. Martini-Corona says:

    Hee hee — I’m glad I goaded you into writing an actual post about these!

  2. Sam says:

    Hey, you found another thing that pisses me off about this! I knew there had to be more. :)

  3. jfpbookworm says:

    Re: banning brownies but allowing Doritos: it’s not about health; it’s about lawsuit-phobia. If kids get sick from homemade food, the big-money target is the school district, while if kids get sick from pre-packaged food, the buck stops with the company that produced the food.

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