Posts Tagged ‘food’
February 26th, 2014 at 5:29 pm
ObamaCare Menu Regulations Could Decrease Food Options

“Tucked deep in the Affordable Care Act is language requiring all restaurants with at least 20 locations to list nutritional information alongside each and every item on the menu,” writes Peter Doocy at Fox News.

The purpose is to inform customers about the nutritional value of a menu item before ordering.

This regulation hits made-to-order eateries particularly hard, since in practice the restaurant would have to provide customers with things like calorie counts on-the-fly – a nearly impossible task for places like Domino’s where up to “34 million different pizza combinations [are] available at the chain, when all crusts and cheeses and toppings are factored in.”

To make matters worse, the cost of compliance will fall on franchisees; i.e., the small business owners most at risk under the new regulation.

Domino’s and other groups are pushing for a solution that would deem restaurant owners compliant if they provide the nutritional information online or through an app.

But if that fails, it’s easy to see eateries cutting back on menu options and clamping down on substitutions. “Have-it-your-way” may soon become “Talk to the FDA.”

If the proposed nutritional rule goes into effect as-is, Americans can add food to the growing number of health-related choices – including doctors, hospitals and insurance plans – that are being reduced thanks to Obamacare.

January 27th, 2012 at 2:35 pm
New Fed Food Regs Leave Schools with $1.7 Billion in Unfunded Mandates

My apologies for gorging on the disastrous impact of meddlesome food czars, but the news is even worse than kids throwing away uneaten salads and smuggling in junk food to curb their hunger pangs.  According to the Federal Register, the Agricultural Department’s new calorie caps on federally subsidized breakfasts and lunches will hit local school districts with an additional $1.7 billion in mandated, uncompensated spending over the next five years.

The reason is twofold.  First, the new regulations require schools to spend money on higher priced foods like whole grains and fresh produce to stay below the calorie cap.  Second, the feds are only contributing an average funding increase of 6 cents per meal – an amount that falls far short of the estimated 10 cents increase for each lunch and 27 cents increase for each breakfast that will result from the new rules.  Thus, a $1.7 billion deficit gets passed onto cash-strapped school districts.

Whatever one thinks about the propriety of trying to force kids to eat healthier foods at school – and there are compelling reasons to consider some of the proposals – no can argue that yet another underfunded mandate is a serious long-term solution to this problem.

January 26th, 2012 at 8:02 pm
More Pie-in-the-Sky Thinking From School Lunch Czars

The drive to force schoolchildren to eat healthier meals continues unabated, despite overwhelming evidence that serving adult-oriented meals increases kids’ use of junk food.  In today’s San Francisco Chronicle one local school district food advocate (yes, they exist) thinks that new federal rules mandating increased use of red, yellow and green vegetables and protein-rich legumes will result in a generation of kids yearning for spinach.

“Parents can now imagine their children coming home from school with a newfound love for spinach, sweet potatoes and whole-wheat spaghetti,” said Dawn Undurraga, staff nutritionist with Environmental Working Group, which works on public health issues, in a statement. “That’s a positive development that will have a lasting impact as they grow into strong, fit young adults.”

Would that it were so.  As a parent myself, I can vouch for the flights of fancy we sometimes entertain when junior’s decision-making process does not mirror our own.  On occasion I’ve tried to convince myself that maybe if I just eliminate sugar from my son’s diet he won’t want it anymore.  Of course, his taste buds and Grandma intercede and the game is up.  He knows that there’s a much better tasting alternative to the wheat-filled slag Dad is serving.  It is one thing for a parent to be paternalistic, but it’s quite another when public sector food bureaucrats (or “activists”) think they can socially engineer a kid to crave certain food.

Unfortunately for the Berkeley-based Ms. Undurraga, my column on the Los Angeles Unified School District’s failed food experiment points in the opposite direction.  According to reporting from the Los Angeles Times students confronted with mass produced health food are reacting in a way all too familiar:

For many students, L.A. Unified’s trailblazing introduction of healthful school lunches has been a flop. Earlier this year, the district got rid of chocolate and strawberry milk, chicken nuggets, corn dogs, nachos and other food high in fat, sugar and sodium. Instead, district chefs concocted such healthful alternatives as vegetarian curries and tamales, quinoa salads and pad Thai noodles.

There’s just one problem: Many of the meals are being rejected en masse. Participation in the school lunch program has dropped by thousands of students. Principals report massive waste, with unopened milk cartons and uneaten entrees being thrown away. Students are ditching lunch, and some say they’re suffering from headaches, stomach pains and even anemia. At many campuses, an underground market for chips, candy, fast-food burgers and other taboo fare is thriving.  (Emphasis mine)

What?  A black market for comfort food seething right below the pad Thai noodles and quinoa salads?!  Obviously, the next step is to confiscate the hamburgers and punish those responsible.  Perhaps Michelle Obama could be called in to force-feed yummy bowls of spinach until the little ones develop that “newfound love” of greens everyone is so eager to foist upon them.

October 18th, 2011 at 3:11 pm
New DarkPeace Video Exposes Greenpeace’s Damage to the Developing World
Posted by Print

Here in the developed world, Greenpeace’s brand of environmentalism provides a convenient way for sheltered liberals to become saints on the cheap.  But Greenpeace’s impact in the developing world isn’t so cheap.  In fact, it can be deadly.

A new introductory video from “DarkPeace” illustrates that destructive impact in very stark terms.  From sabotage against agricultural production research centers, to pressuring apparel companies like Adidas to stop manufacturing textiles in developing nations, to targeting energy projects, Greenpeace’s tactics have the effect of reducing availability of food in nations like Somalia where starvation is very real.  Its tactics also kill jobs, eliminate avenues to better wages and exacerbate miserable poverty.  Even The New York Times has admitted that Greenpeace’s shadier activities threaten “to completely marginalize” it and “undercut its credibility on other issues.”  Greenpeace co-founder Dr. Patrick Moore agrees:

To a considerable extent the environmental movement was hijacked by political and social activists who learned to use green language to cloak agendas that had more to do with anti-capitalism and anti-globalization than with science or ecology. I remember visiting our Toronto office in 1985 and being surprised at how many of the new recruits were sporting army fatigues and red berets in support of the Sandinistas…  Their propaganda campaign is aimed at promoting an ideology that I believe would be extremely damaging to both civilization and the environment.”

Even here in America, Greenpeace’s activities threaten tens of thousands of potential jobs.  But with groups like “DarkPeace” and people like Dr. Moore exposing them, perhaps not much longer.

April 22nd, 2010 at 12:38 pm
Labor Department Says Cost of Living Fine, Excluding Food and Energy

According to the Department of Labor, the cost of living in America is humming along at an affordable rate, so long as increases in the price of food and energy are ignored.  You read that right: food and energy.  If there is a third category that every American uses more on a daily basis, let me know.  Ignoring the continuing increases in the costs of food and energy to claim the economy isn’t worsening for everyday Americans is like calculating unemployment to exclude people who don’t have a job and stopped looking.  Oh, wait…