Half Baked?
February 24th, 2010

Now I know I was born too soon — or at least my kids were.

Just as my bakesale days are drawing to a close, the Department of Education has banned homemade treats for most school bakesales. Parents will no longer have to churn out batches of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (compete with lots of old-fashioned, cholesterol-busting rolled oats) as I did: All they have to do is buy a box of Pop-Tarts.

The department, which craves standardization in curriculum and in testing, has decided it’s good for food too. According to a report by Sharon Otterman in today’s Times, the department will allow the sale of 27 specific items in individual packages “that have been approved for sales in city vending machines” including two varieties of Doritos (at least one of which comes heavily laced with chemicals) and one type of Pop-Tart. Fresh fruits and vegetables are OK as well.

Homemade items, however healthy, are verboten because “its impossible to know what the content is, or what the portion size is, deputy chancellor Kathleen Grimm told Otterman.

“Additive-filled, highly-processed vending machine effluence = good. Homemade, chemically unadulterated zucchini bread = bad,” the Fork in the Road said, summarizing the policy.

“This literally made me ill,” wrote 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet. “Where on EARTH did we get the idea that kids could eat all of the prepackaged junk they want, but that a freaking CUPCAKE consumed once a week is a CATASTROPHE???”

“I’m all for limiting the sweets intake. But I don’t see how packaged items such as Doritos and Pop-Tarts (both of which are on the list of approved items) are healthier than my homemade brownies,” added Undomesticated Me.

The rules, expected to be adopted by the Panel for Educational Policy tonight, drew immediate barbs from those who have accused the Bloomberg administration of having a “we know what’s good for you” attitude toward public health.

“Bake sales that ban brownies, but allow Doritos? Welcome to New York City, the nanny capital,” said RedState. Overlawyered described Otterman’s article as “Surreal notes from the frontiers of food paternalism. ” The laws of New York City (not from *The Onion*),” Humanitarian News headlined its posting of the piece.

By the way, whats really sold at those bake sales anyway? The Times picture displayed bacon chocolate chip cookies, prompting Dry Paint Signs to wonder, ” What kind of yuppie bake sale is this? Certainly not one taking place in a New York City public school.”

By on February 24, 2010, 10:51 am
In category: Education,Health | 2 Comments »

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2 Responses to “Half Baked?”

  1. Larry Littlefield Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 9:26 am

    If your children are about to exit the NYC public schools, they were born just in time, because the city’s schools are going back to the 1970s, the last time there was a 25/55 pension for teachers. The cost is overwhelming and devastating.

    I only hope the schools last through next year.

  2. ShanaE1 Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    I think this policy is ridiculous and in a way violates people’s rights to be individuals and make choices. Our school system (not NYC) also has policies about treats for birthdays and snacks sent in for consumption on school grounds. They actual employ extra aides at lunch time to help monitor what children are eating from home. What? I am the parent and I am teaching my children how to make choices–both healthy and the occasional treat. Although obesity rates have been growing, I don’t think these changes are helping people learn how to make good choices and have a healthy relationship with food.

    Oh and I have no idea how Larry Littlefield ends up blaming teachers for this short-sighted policy, but everyone is entitled to his opinion even if it is daft!

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