Minnesota rep prioritizes son's taste buds over access to nutritious meals for thousands of students

Originally published at: Minnesota rep prioritizes son's taste buds over access to nutritious meals for thousands of students | Boing Boing


as much as i’d like to jump on the bandwagon of fury, it might be good to know how much food is currently being wasted at schools. what percentage of kids pick the good bits off the plate and toss the rest? my guess is a lot, because fresh food doesn’t match what they get at home. we might need to address the broader issue of child malnourishment before pumping more money into wasted veggies.

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Food waste is another issue, but that’s very likely not why this rich politician is against food programs.



I was just having this discussion with my wife last night after we had our teenage nieces over for dinner. We noted how one niece in particular only eats one meal a day because she’s too rushed for breakfast in the morning and won’t eat the school lunches because they started serving “healthy” options (aka fruits and salads) that the kids mostly ignore or throw away.

He’s grown up now but my son’s school “cafeteria” brought in outside food from places like Domino’s, Chick Fil and McDonalds 3-4 times per week. (Cafeteria in quotes because many schools don’t cook any food in the building anymore. Everything is brought in either from a central kitchen or pre-packaged and warmed up.)

I know this is entirely anecdotal but it does indicate a larger problem with promoting healthy eating among children who get bombarded with nothing but fast/junk food advertising constantly.


We don’t fret about how much food is currently being wasted in private homes. How do we know Joe McDonald doesn’t dump a bunch of uneaten food down the garbage disposal every day?

If he wants to fight food waste then he should propose ways to study and reduce food waste. This is just a bullshit excuse for denying basic nutrition to hungry children.




Mean-spiritedness unredeemed by even the slightest attempt at intelligent discourse: the modern Republican Party.


Is it a bigger sin to worry about good food being wasted while kids are starving or to let kids go starving in the first place?

Did Jesus say “Oh, we’ll have twelve baskets full of leftover fragments so why bother feeding ‘five thousand men, beside women and children’?” Matthew 14:15-21.

And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.

But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.

And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.

He said, Bring them hither to me.

And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.

And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.

And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.


My partner has volunteered and worked at low-income elementary schools for years. Our state provides both breakfast and lunch in low-income schools and provided free lunch to all students through the pandemic regardless of income. The food waste at low-income schools is near zero. Kids who don’t eat as much collaborate with hungrier kids within a few days of school starting and give them their excess/unwanted food before eating.

You know what happens when every kid gets a free lunch at school? Most kids stop bringing lunch and lunch stops being a socioeconomic signalling of inequity. Kids still use clothes, cars, phones, etc. as status indicators but lunch stops being a shame point for low income kids.

As a second point, while kids are the most important aspect of SNAP, they aren’t the only aspect. SNAP was started as a farm subsidy; it remains an important support for many American farmers.

Why does Rep Joe McDonald hate Old McDonald?


it might be good to know how much food is currently being wasted at schools.

Don’t care. Feed them.

what percentage of kids pick the good bits off the plate and toss the rest

Don’t care. Feed them.

we might need to address the broader issue of child malnourishment before pumping more money into wasted veggies

Don’t care. Feed them.

Your objections have been duly noted. But it’s LONG past time we stopped listening to the constant objections which led to NOTHING ELSE BEING DONE. It’s a lot of bullshit to just say “we don’t want to feed hungry kids, despite what study after study shows about how hunger impacts grades.” They can just admit they don’t give a fuck about children rather then drumming up all these excuses that they’ll never do anything about.


Meanwhile, his colleague Steve Drazkowski argued against the same bill saying that there are no hungry Minnesotans.

So, MN GOP, which is it? Are there “starving” Minnesotans who could eat that food and a serious issue of child malnourishment, or are there no hungry people at all?

Oh right, these are all just bad faith arguments. I forgot for a moment that you are just knee jerk against anything that might smack of socialism. We’ll believe Joe is arguing in good faith when he sponsors a bill that tackles the serious issue of food waste rather than fighting things like this.


At least you understand the difference between anecdotal experiences and actual data, and you’re not basing policy on it. Rep. McDonald (and, boy, is it a coincidence that that’s a name that’s synonymous with junk food) is making a policy decision based on what’s allegedly his experience that could easily be made up.

And he’s joining Minnesota state senator Drazkowski who claimed he “never met a hungry Minnesotan” and went on to mock the idea that anyone ever really goes hungry.


I saw this repeatedly at a 98% FRL elementary school where I frequently did social studies lessons. Kids work this stuff out and help each other. They pack uneaten stuff into their backpacks for later.


This part. People who have never been truly starving (not the same thing as waiting 30 minutes for brunch at a popular restaurant) don’t understand that a hungry child will eat whatever food is put in front of them. And young children haven’t had all of their humanity drummed out of them yet, so they’re much more likely to share.


One of the most difficult things for people trying to make cafeteria food more healthy is the fact that it doesn’t matter how nutritious the food is if it ends up in the garbage. In schools where acute hunger is not a serious problem, you still want to encourage healthier eating and that can be difficult.

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Don’t care. Feed them.

All this concern about “waste” is just the sort of drivel manufactured by these assholes to make it easier to say no to these programs. They don’t ACTUALLY care about waste, or they’d take action against restaurant waste, and plastic waste, and so on. Oh, but now when it’s school waste, we best pay attention! No, it’s just an excuse for them to say no, because saying “we don’t give a fuck about feeding hungry kids” doesn’t play well with the public, even though it’s the truth.


Fuckin’ A; keep repeating it until it sinks in.

WTAF has humanity come to, when people are actually debating the fucking concept of FEED ALL HUNGRY CHILDREN ?!?!@!#&*!!!


For that matter, our agricultural system is inherently wasteful/inefficient, because we feed grains and such to animals, instead of adopting a more efficient vegetarian diet.

It would be such a good world, if the worst problem we had was that if all kids were so well fed that they didn’t “clean their plates”, and had some food left over.


OK, let’s see now. Which fallacy is this? “If it’s not perfect, it’s not worth doing?” or “We need to study it more before doing the very obvious thing / walk and chew gum at the same time is unpossible?”

both GIF

How about we feed the hungry and if some other kids get fed as well, you know what? That is ultimately very cool. If waste is a concern, composting is a very viable option. But you know what is a bigger concern? Kids too hungry to learn. That is the bigger concern. And the fix? Feed them. No additional studies needed.


“We shouldn’t give children food until we address malnourishment” is kind of like saying “I’m not going to waste my time showering until someone asks me out”. You’re really making sure it’s not going to happen.