MICHELLE UH-O: Texas defiant over school lunches, pushes freedom and local control

Jun 19, 2015 by

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller introduced a plan to fight childhood obesity this week that’s essentially the exact opposite of first lady Michelle Obama’s approach.

Instead of increasing government-imposed regulations on the state’s schools, and forcing students to eat “healthy” foods they hate, Miller is giving local school districts more control over their cafeterias and promoting partnerships between schools and area farmers, the Dallas News reports.

Miller’s approach to fighting childhood obesity essentially relies on local school officials to craft healthy meals students actually want to eat, and will lift a decade old state ban on sodas and deep fryers, and mandates on what students “must” eat.

“What we have been doing to fight childhood obesity for the last 10 years has not solved the epidemic in Texas, and in fact, it’s gotten worse,” Miller said, according to the Stephenville Empire-Tribune.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Here at the Texas Department of Agriculture, we are taking a fresh approach,” he said. “We want to stop creating healthy trash cans. We must encourage kids to stop throwing away their meals because with them goes taxpayer dollars. Instead, we want all schools to employ best practices to create and serve healthy meals that kids actually want to eat.”

The recent announcement comes after Miller in January declared amnesty for cupcakes in schools in response to federal snack rules rolled out this year through the National School Lunch Program. Those federal edicts are the latest phase of restrictions in the Healthy and Hunger Free Kids Act, Michelle Obama pet project, and follow similar restrictions on calories, sugar, sodium, whole grains, and other aspects of school lunches.

Miller has also declared amnesty for deep fryers.

“A former teacher and rodeo calf-roper, Miller says … Texas is simply giving schools the option of reinstalling fryers if they want starting July 1,” News Channel 10 reports. “Experts, though, say federal limits on calories and fat in school meals make it unlikely that Texas schools will resume deep-frying.”

His point about school food is simple: “What works well in Dallas might not work in the Rio Grande Valley, and what works well in Lufkin might not work well in Lubbock,” Miller said. “Our new nutrition policy promotes individual responsibility, freedom and liberty.”

“We have to look past the deep-fry machines and diet sodas,” Miller told Breitbart.com. “We will teach our schools how to present food in an appetizing way so that children will be more likely to want to actually eat.”

One of the biggest criticisms of Michelle Obama’s federal lunch restrictions is they require students to take a fruit or vegetable, whether they want it or not, which created a more than $1 billion increase in annual school food waste.

And despite repeated government mandates on school food, the problem isn’t getting any better.

According to the Texas Tribune, “in 2013, 16 percent of high school students in Texas were obese, up from 14 percent in 2005. Only Arkansas, Kentucky and Alabama have reported higher rates.

“Nationwide, child obesity rates have jumped from 7 percent in 1980 to 18 percent in 2012. Among minorities, the rates for children and adolescents were significantly higher, with Hispanics at 22 percent and non-Hispanic black youth at 20 percent.”

To change that dynamic Miller unveiled a plan to get students more engaged in what they eat, and help school officials understand how to better prepare and present farm fresh meals.

According to Breitbart, the plan will:

* Institute community health fairs,
* Continue to educate Texans at conferences around the state,
* Teach decision-makers how to create healthy environments,
* Collaborate with student leaders on healthy initiatives,
* Institute training sessions on food presentation,
* Increase farm to school programs and
* Unveil a Farm Fresh Fridays campaign.

“Parents, superintendents, principals and locally elected school board members are best equipped to make decisions for their own communities, and I trust them to make the right choice for their schools,” Miller said. “We are working to put an end to a one-size-fits-all approach mandated from Austin. We want families, teachers and school districts to know the Texas Department of Agriculture supports their decisions and efforts to teach Texas students about making healthy choices.”

The current approach to fighting childhood obesity “resulted in millions of dollars of food not being eaten and thrown away, and I’m here to put an end to that,” Miller said.

Source: MICHELLE UH-O: Texas defiant over school lunches, pushes freedom and local control – EAGnews.org

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar
    Carolyn

    Really when someone doesn’t understand afterward its up to other people that they will help, so here it
    happens.

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