Kids’ Lunch Box Food Inspections: Coming Here?

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By now you’ve heard of the cases of North Carolina preschoolers sentenced to a trip to the cafeteria to solve some deficit in the lunches Mom packed them. But did you know that North Carolina shares something in common with Multnomah County? 

If you guessed a ‘Food Action Plan’ then you get a gold star and go to the head of the class! We won’t even make you go back to the cafeteria by yourself and buy a milk or chicken nuggets. 

As I’ve pointed out here, here, here, here, here, and here among others, Multnomah County passed the Food Action Plan a little more than a year ago. The idea of the plan was to bring “good” food to the masses, make food a ‘right,’ create more gardens (nice), a seed bank (cool), create food hubs (government run food “hubs” or as we call them in the United States of America: grocery stores), and bring into the schools–ready?–The Food Corps.

The Food Corps was started by a guy who grew up in Portland (and now lives in New York) who decided that what was missing in America was a cadre of food police in schools to teach kids how to eat. Mind you, these recently matriculated paid “volunteers” (he likens their service to that of the military–I’m

not kidding) have just spent their last six years in college amassing student debt and spending their Obama food stamps on Rockstar, ramen, caffeine and cigarettes. Now they’re being deployed into the schools to presume to tell children how to eat.

And they started in Portland Public Schools last July!

Among the Food Corps jobs,

“FoodCorps targets a key weakness in the growing and ever-more-fashionable effort to teach children where food comes from and wean them off french fries and pizza in the cafeteria,” Black writes. “It puts boots on the ground to develop the programs that many educators believe are important but, in an era of drastic budget cuts, don’t have the resources to fund.

When I first heard about this North Carolina case we immediately called the PPS to find out if they were doing any food inspecting. Spokesman Matt Shelby said absolutely not.  By that he probably means that there’s no directive from the Superintendent to conduct lunch inspections. Who knows if there are any inspections going on. It’s possible that so many kids are given government food that inspections are moot.

State officials who have worked with the group are unabashed about using Food Corps for “activism,”

Michelle Ratcliffe, farm-to-school program manager for the Oregon Department of Agriculture, describes the advent of Food Corps as “huge” for the field. It will combine some of the national stars in research and activism in the growing movement, and link them in mutual support, says Ratcliffe, the program’s liaison to Oregon.

The founders of the program use food politics to preach their viewpoints,

Two of the three main Food Corps founders have Portland-area connections. Upton settled in North Portland a year and a half ago, and will remain here while overseeing programs in various states. Curt Ellis, who grew up in Lake Oswego and made the documentary film “King Corn,” is Food Corps executive director.
Upton, who previously worked for the advocacy group Slow Food USA, says experience has shown that school gardens need paid coordinators to be sustainable. They also are essential, she says, to achieve the group’s goals of using gardening to weave in school lessons, and arrange to have cafeterias serve locally grown food.

 Of course in Portland I’ve pointed out before that the usual leftist crowd is behind the Food Plan effort because it furthers political aims as well,

ReCode Oregon meets in the “Che” (Guevarra) room of a local church. Their goal is “legalizing sustainability.” Various farmer’s markets support the plan. We can agree that farmer’s markets are wonderful community assets. But they’re private and they’re “markets.” They would become even more beholden to government under this plan.
TransitionPDX is a group created to agitate for government control of food. The group invokes the belief of ‘peak oil’ and ‘climate change’ as reasons to transition to government control over food.

Their objective? 

“Inherent within the challenges of peak oil and climate change is an extraordinary opportunity to reinvent, rethink, and rebuild the world around us.” – Rob Hopkins, The Transition Handbook.  

Back to North Carolina. At first the North Carolina school district dismissed the incident first food inspection incident as a one-off. They said the four year old child was merely sent back to the cafeteria for milk. Then they changed their story twice more. They’ve changed their story more times than a pit crew changes tires at Indy. Then another kid showed up with the same story and, well, the food corps/food police cover was blown.

This is what happens when the government is put in charge of your food choices, when the government has more power than the parent and the government begins to view food availability as food justice. It only gets worse from here.

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