As I noted in last week's podcast, both sides have legitimate views on the flavored milk debate, and the goal is to get kids the nutrients they need to run around and learn in the classroom.
The flavored milk is an ongoing symptom to the major disease of what we serve our children in the lunchrooms in school.
Society makes a gigantic deal out of doing what is best for our children. Our setup of society is geared to giving kids and their parents things they need to produce better offspring. Except for school lunches.
The federal government has two major sources of people to feed: school children and soldiers. We know how well they are doing with children. What about our fighting troops?
Well back in March, President Barack Obama, at the advisement of General Stanley McChrystal, then commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, took out the fast food restaurants.
Nutrition was not cited as a reason, but it looked odd — and truly symbolic — to show U.S. troops, the leanest, meanest fighting people that we know, eating burgers and French fries.
As you may have guessed, the new commander — Gen. David Petraeus — is looking to bring back the fast food restaurants.
"With respect to Burger Kings, all options are on the table." Petraeus told The Washington Post.
No reason given — could range from changing the policy of the predecessor to giving the troops a perceived benefit.
We see our troops eating fast food. We see athletes praising fast food. These are supposed to be some of the fittest people in the country. Given how good their shape is, they might be the only ones who can afford to eat some fast food and not suffer.
School children would be in the other extreme. They need the best nutrition. They need the proper ratio of energy and nutrition.
They are being asked to — in many cases — grab their food and gulp it down in 20-30 minutes with little recess or gym class to properly burn off some of the energy. Our soldiers, even in war time, get better conditions to eat than tomorrow's future leader do.
Those who understand the connection between proper nutrition and better learning are still in the minority, but the numbers are increasing. Those who don't understand — some of them never will because they don't think the federal government should spend money on education. But others see fast food as being part of their lives, and don't see why their soldiers, their athletes, and their children should fare any different.
We have worked hard to show more visible appreciation for our troops. We applaud them at ball games, literally the same games where athletes get on the scoreboard and praise a certain fast food restaurant.
Our troops deserve the appreciation we give them. Our children also deserve appreciation, some of which can come in a more ideal lunchtime environment, where they can gain social skills (even learning how to do a trade or two) and enjoy healthier food and even be able to swallow it.
All about deciding what are the priorities of a society.