by Chidem Kurdas
Last week, New York City’s Panel for Educational Policy approved a new rule for school bake sales. Home-made treats are no-no, but pre-approved packaged products, the ones that are also in school vending machines, are fine.
The bake sale ban is supposed to reduce childhood obesity. An education bureaucrat explained that homemade goods can’t be allowed because it’s impossible to know their portion size and content. You may add raisins to your banana bread and slice it thin, while I add walnuts and cut it thick.
Hence banana bread, cupcakes and anything else baked at home have been banished; but kids are free to gorge on Kellogg’s Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts, which come in portion-controlled packages and have known ingredients—in fact a long list of ingredients from high fructose corn syrup to yellow dye #6.
This is a vivid little example of how regulation in general functions and the impact it has in many areas of social life. Continue reading