MAY 13, 2011
The government agency that’s wasting tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to study how global warming effects crops, recruit more food-stamp recipients and bring healthy cuisine to the inner city has dropped a couple million on a device that tracks what minority public school children eat for lunch.It marks the latest outrageous expenditure of public funds at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which is supposed to provide leadership on food, agriculture and natural resources based on “sound public policy” and science. Instead, under the Obama Administration, the bloated agency is spending huge sums to control matters unrelated to its mission.As the federal deficit creeps towards $15 trillion, the USDA has launched a costly project to calculate how many lunchtime calories poor and minority kids consume at five Texaselementary schools. High-tech cameras have already been installed in the cafeteria of oneSan Antonio campus to photograph the foods students put on their trays. The digital imaging later determines how many calories were consumed. The cost to U.S. taxpayers; $2 million.The local official overseeing the absurd minority food monitoring project for the feds assures that taxpayers are getting their money’s worth because it’s “very sophisticated.” After software calculates calories—by analyzing before and after food photos—parents will receive reports showing what their kids are eating at lunch. The goal is to motivate the adults to change their children’s eating habits at home.This is all part of Michelle Obama’s multi billion-dollar effort to bring healthy foods to low-income neighborhoods and combat childhood obesity, which she claims is most prevalent among the poor and ethnic minorities. Last year the First Lady got her husband to sign a $4.5 billion measure (The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act) that’s expected to revolutionize the inner-city diet by providing fresh produce and grilled lean meats as alternatives to greasy, fried foods that tend to be more popular in the so-called “food deserts.”Under the law poor and “at-risk” children around the country will get free nutritious meals from U.S. taxpayers and the government will have the power to decide what exactly constitutes healthy cuisine. The law will also help communities establish local farm to school networks, create school gardens, and ensure that more local foods are used in the school setting. The idea is to slash greasy foods and extra calories by letting the government regulate what can be consumed on school grounds, including vending machines and at fundraisers.The First Lady’s primary tool in this mission to improve the inner city diet has been the USDA, which now controls school bake sales under the new law. Earlier this month, the agency announced that it launched a “Food Desert Locator,” an internet-based mapping tool that identifies areas with “limited access to affordable and nutritious foods.”Under the Obama Administration the USDA has also dropped substantial chunks of money—$60 million—to study the effects of climate change on crops and forests and to boost the food stamp rolls, even though they are at an all-time high. The goal behind that $5 million campaign is to eradicate “food insecure households.”
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