The Advancement of the Toxic Totalitarian Nanny State

But the second reason it was dumb is because the guidelines themselves are based on junk science:

When the Food Pyramid was released to the public, the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture had made drastic changes to it. These changes had nothing to do with improving nutrition -- and everything to do with improving the profits of the food industry!

Crackers, baked goods and low-nutrient processed foods were taken from the top of the pyramid and moved to the base, where they were to make up the bulk of the American diet. The team’s recommendation of 2 to 4 servings of whole-grain breads and cereals was nixed. The “new” Pyramid called for 6-11 servings of bread, cereals and pasta. No doubt, these changes pleased the corn, wheat and packaged food industries.

And in fact, the evidence continues to accumulate that grains, whether whole or not, and especially wheat are bad for us, but that saturated fats are just fine, exactly the opposite of the government recommendations that drove the food nanny to ignorantly nix the kid’s lunch.

So, let’s recap. A child takes a relatively healthy lunch to school. A bureaucrat decides that it is his or her job to inspect said lunch, and on the basis of flawed federal guidelines, driven by agricultural industry profits rather than actual nutritional science, compels her to eat a lunch supplied by the state, resulting in her actual malnourishment and shame for being the offspring of such irresponsible people. And as with the grand tradition of totalitarian states like Iran, in which the family of the executed is charged for the firing-squads’ bullets, the family of the malnourished child is to be charged a buck and a quarter for the privilege.

As James Lileks notes:

I guarantee you this: when this program – whatever the devil it is – was first proposed, someone said it will lead to inspectors demanding to see what’s in kid’s lunches, and insisting they eat something else instead of what mom sent. And the critic got a cold, withering look from the good people in charge. Really. I think that’s a little overboard.

You could say: yank the kid! Private schools! But they’ll be next; there’s no possible argument left for letting some private institution wreak their havoc on juvenile constitutions, particularly if they partake of some governmental benefit, like “Streets” or “water” or perhaps clean air.

Yes, I know. Really. I think that’s a little overboard.

As the Instapundit says, there used to be a solution for this sort of thing. It involved a hot thick hydrocarbon solution, bird coverings, and a rail. But sadly, it’s gone out of fashion.

We’ll have to make do with the ballot box this coming fall. If it’s not too late.