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The Daily Tar Heel

The audacity of lunch reform

CORRECTION: The original version of this article misstated that Sen. Richard Burr voted for a House budget bill that contained a provision without updated rules on school lunches. The original bill changed the rules on school lunches, but an amendment blocked these new rules on school lunches. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for the error.

Congress overcame partisan gridlock for the kids earlier this month, heroically blocking measures that would rob American children of their rights to eat poorly, develop chronic illnesses and die premature deaths.

Congress voted down changes proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that, among other things, would have substituted french fries with more green veggies in school lunches.

These oppressive proposals stemmed from recommendations made by a group of nutritionists representing the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

But, thankfully, the courageous salt producers, potato growers and frozen pizza makers of America spent millions to fight for freedom. They stated that the changes would raise the cost of school lunches, depriving us of health care funding for the future diabetics in our schools.

A few brave North Carolina legislators fought alongside these patriotic lobbyists. Among those voting against the healthier lunches were four N.C. representatives and Republican Sen. Richard Burr.

Democrats Rep. David Price, who represents the Triangle, and Sen. Kay Hagan voted for the healthier rules, exposing themselves as fascists who want to rob children of their right to choose type 2 diabetes.

Thankfully, these health freaks were defeated and first graders’ freedom to be fat was preserved.

Why stop there, Congress? I propose that we go further to teach schoolchildren how to take responsibility for their health.

For instance, we should stop disinfecting the water that comes out of water fountains. American kids are burdened by water treatment policies that reduce the risks of diseases like cholera.

Every classroom in American needs a stove so kids can learn to boil their own water. Children who choose to drink untreated water might develop a nasty bout of diarrhea, but at least they’ll be exercising their freedoms.

We should also raise the stakes of arts and crafts time by reducing restrictions on lead-based paints. After a brief lesson on the dangers of lead poisoning, kids can choose between vibrant lead-based colors and the duller lead-free varieties. If Billy wants his finger painting to pop, then let him roll the dice.

Lastly, kids should decide whether to get immunized. We can tolerate a few outbreaks of measles and tetanus, so liberty can prevail.

Years ago, the visionary tobacco companies warned that anti-smoking laws would infringe on our freedoms. As predicted, these laws have forced thousands of smokers to quit, depriving many of their right to die prematurely.

Given that one out of three Americans is obese, moves to change school lunches would rob kids of the opportunities to reuse parents’ plus-size clothes and share insulin-injecting techniques with loved ones.

By blocking these rules, Congress has valiantly preserved children’s right to choose. No one will stand in a first grader’s way as he decides whether his daily dose of french fries is worth the years of chronic disease and health care costs.

That’s congressional belt-tightening at its finest.

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