Good Eatin’

When it comes to “good eating,” I’m a big fan.  Give me a fried shrimp po’boy from down south, a pork tenderloin ex-Iowa, or virtually anything produced by a well-schooled Saucier and I am in hog heaven.  Neither the government nor medical establishment is yet ready to endorse my affinity for items cooked using lard however.  They don’t know what they’re missing I say.

According to the LA Times, the LA Unified School District has chosen to ignore my preferences in favor of a healthier menu endorsed by such groups as the USDA and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.  The changes, as with so many things engineered by government agencies to protect us from such dangerous trends as (in this case) childhood obesity, led to unintended consequences.

The Times reports spending on fresh produce jumped ten-fold from $2 to $20 million over a four year period.  Student participation in the lunch program has declined measurably.  School principals say uneaten entrees are being dumped, resulting in massive waste.  Black markets providing candy, chips, even instant noodles, have sprung up on some campuses, occasionally abetted by staff.

I would never pan healthy food, although adding (really!) items like black bean burgers and quinoa salad may not be my first choice.  What I enjoy about this is the fabulous demonstration, yet once again, that technocratic governments will never be able to foresee the needs of its individual citizens.  The end result is often unexpected, sometimes destructive, and at times even revolutionary.

Zoom out to a wide-frame picture and look at the efforts by our government over past decades to engineer a social agenda with tax incentives, hikes, cuts, fees, legislation, incarceration, and so forth.  A fine mess they got us in, eh Ollie?  I don’t really want to blame them though, they meant well, and most of us no doubt support the initiatives to some degree.  Now we are at an inflection point where the wisdom of having a large, care-taker government is being questioned.   Unfortunately, as always, the devil is in the details.  What specifically would you be willing to give up?  Remember this slightly paraphrased but still sage advice from a Scotsman (no, not Bobby) some 250 years ago, “A democracy can only exist until voters discover they can vote themselves money from the public treasure.”