Our own Tom wrote this article, which advocates a drastic overhaul of US school lunches, as envisioned by a woman -- the organic, superstar chef "Lunch Lady" -- who shares my and Tom's advocacy of all-natural foods. But Tom and the Lunch Lady take what I call a leftist, socialist view of how to get there: more federal funds to guarantee every child in the US an all-organic lunch.
I offer these criticisms:
1. As I've already documented in this blog, the US govt (via fed, state, and local agencies) already spends enough for each kid that we ought to get all we need out of the current budget; Tom and the Lunch Lady ought to argue for more efficient spending, not yet more money to get wasted.
2. The Lunch Lady claims that on average, schools only get about $2.50 to spend for lunch ingredients. This presumably includes govt sources combined paying for "free" lunches, plus cash tendered by "paying" students. I say that we can at least double that by rectifying the spending waste.
3. Before we have any hope of improving school lunches, parents generally must value food in the way that Tom, the Lunch Lady, and I do.
4. I assume that Free Market principles have the best chance of getting the best food into the most kids. I believe that some huge fraction of kids qualifying for "free" and "reduced" lunches spend over a dollar a day (on average) to purchase garbage out of school vending machines and at the corner store. How can we get that dollar out of the coffers of Kraft, Frito-Lay, and Coke, and into the hands of Whole Foods?
I have already solved this problem for my kid. I spend less than $5/day to fix my kid an all-natural, all-organic, nutrient-rich, chemical-free lunch that I bag up and send with her. And every evening and all weekend she gets meals, snacks, candy, and drinks that would make Tom and the Lunch Lady proud. And I've done nothing that most other parents couldn't do; even low income parents could choose to improve the food they provide their kids, as the magical free market brings down the cost of nourishing foods.