No. of Recommendations: 10
One of my personal goals is to minimize wasted food.

I agree with this. There is a simple solution. Don't compel kids to take food they don't want. You could, for example, simply say that for $2.60 a child can get one entree, up to two servings of veggies, up to two servings of fruit, and milk or water. Then allow the child to take what they wish, and encourage them to not take foods they know they don't like. The person in charge of purchasing would then have a better idea of what is actually getting eaten and buy food accordingly. Nowhere is it required that we offer food that actively hampers learning in an educational environment to reduce waste.

also think children should be treated with a reasonable degree of dignity, catering to their tastes and biases in food when it's reasonable to do so.

I agree with that too. I do not, however, think it reasonable for a school with hundreds or thousands of students to cater to different tastes, especially if you have a school with a diverse population from different cultural backgrounds. While many students are up in arms about being given carrots, there are others quietly eating them. Should those students be ignored because they are not as loud? I don't think that's treating them with dignity. Instead, I think it's reasonable for a school to make public their menu on a weekly or monthly basis, and parents and students can decide on which days they will bring food and on which days they will buy. If no kids buy lunch on massaged kale salad day, they'll probably stop serving that.

For the most part, I believe in letting nutrition science dictate what is served in schools, but I admit there is one aspect of this in which I do wish to impose a lesson for children. And that lesson is, when you accept money from someone or let them pay for something for you, you exchange a bit of your freedom for that money. If you take money from grandma for college, you are allowing her to buy some say in what you study. If you don't want grandma butting into your life, don't take her money. When you accept money from an employer, you exchange your freedom to decide how you spend your time for the hours they are paying you. If you don't want to have to do your work, then don't take money from them. When you decide to eat government subsidized food, you give up some of your freedom to decide what you eat, and instead invite government regulations onto your plate. If you do not wish to have those government regulations, then do not eat government subsidized meals.

The meme of the nanny state is usually used in opposition to taking personal responsibility. In this case, I am advocating people take personal responsibility and pack their own darn lunches if they don't like what the government subsidized lunch is that day. If people want to be treated with dignity, then they need to act dignified. Expecting the government to pay in whole or in part for their lunch and then further expecting the government to have no say in what that lunch consists of is not acting dignified, and therefore I do not believe that position is worthy of my respect.

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