A former student approached me on the quad today. "I went to get this cinnamon roll, and they made me take this other stuff, too. Do you want it?" In the small paper tray was a tiny carton of apple juice and a container of grapes. I took the apple juice and he tossed the grapes.
I didn't check the nutrition label, but I have to believe apple juice that sweet has been "augmented" a bit with some sweetener. And if the calories of a cinnamon roll aren't enough, we now compel the students to take them with the additional calories of juice and grapes!
To top it all off, a cinnamon roll used to come packaged in a napkin. Now, you get a paper tray, a styrofoam container with grapes, and the carton of apple juice.
Aren't the same people who want to control our lives, and now tell our students what they have to buy with their roll--aren't these the same people who want to cut down on waste? What, exactly, is the greater good here?
We don't sell personal pizzas at lunch anymore. The packages of chocolate chip cookies, which last year came three for a dollar, now come two for seventy-five cents--a 12.5% price increase. They've cut down on the size of the orders of nachos; I don't know if the price has been altered.
And we're not supposed to sell candy at school, and students running for student council can't give away candy with a "Vote for me" label on it--not because it's bad democracy, because it hasn't been in years past, but because that could be seen as the school's pushing candy on kids!
I don't have an issue with selling healthier food to kids. I do have an issue with compelling them to buy more than they want to buy (the cinnamon roll "bundle"), or telling them what foods they can give each other.
The next step will be a total ban on so-called junk foods on campus. Teachers will be junk food police, and there will be underground rings of students who will provide the contraband to others.
The market would correct the situation, if only the school cafeteria were subject to market forces.