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Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Culinary no-no #385

Culinary no-no's

We begin with some historical notes (And who said Culinary No-No wasn't educational?).


“The first lady of the United States plays a vital role in setting the tone for the national office. Though it is not an official job, first ladies throughout U.S. history have entertained, served as advisors to their husbands… Many first ladies have also been passionate about specific causes.”

About those causes:

Dolley Madison: Supported the Washington City Orphan Asylum.

Mary Todd Lincoln: She marshaled resources for the Contraband Relief Association, an organization which helped recently freed former slaves and injured soldiers.

Lou Henry Hoover:  She was passionate about athletics and was a founder of the National Amateur Athletic Foundation.

Eleanor Roosevelt: She was a powerful opponent of segregation and lynching, and she fought actively for equality for African Americans. After her term as first lady, Roosevelt helped create the United Nations Charter on Human Rights.

“Lady Bird” Johnson”: She launched a campaign to inspire communities to clean up neighborhoods and highways.  Her advocacy helped lead to the Highway Beautification Act of 1965, which set up limitations on outdoor advertising and provided funding for cleaning up highways.

Betty Ford: After being diagnosed with breast cancer. Ford spoke publicly about her mastectomy, inspiring other women to learn about the disease.

Rosalynn Carter:  She used her position to speak widely on mental illness.

Nancy Reagan: Her name became almost synonymous with her Just Say No campaign against drug abuse.

Laura Bush: Launched "Ready to Read, Ready to Learn" in an effort to prime young children for the world of literature. Laura followed in the footsteps of mother-in-law Barbara Bush, who helped pass the National Literacy Act in 1991. The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy was christened in 1989 and has since helped fund more than 750 reading programs.

And then there's...

The queen of the Nanny State. She decided since you were too stupid to figure out what constituted healthy foods for your children that she would dictate what you and your children should eat.

In 2010, when the governing party of the Nanny State controlled the White House, the US Senate and the US House, they rammed through the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 into law. 

When the legislation reads, in part, "Congress finds that—‘‘(I) eating habits and other wellness-related behavior habits are established early in life; and ‘‘(II) good nutrition and wellness are important contributors to the overall health of young children and essential to cognitive development,” the party that creates policy with a crying towel couldn’t possibly have voted no.

School lunches were about to change, starting with the 2012 school year.

The US Department of Agriculture wrote:

“This rule requires most schools to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat free and low-fat fluid milk in school meals; reduce the levels of sodium, saturated fat and trans fat in meals; and meet the nutrition needs of school children within their calorie requirements. These improvements to the school meal programs, largely based on recommendations made by the Institute of the National Academies of Medicine, are expected to enhance the diet and health of school children, and help mitigate the childhood obesity trend.”

Can we say, “Feel good?”

Specifics, please. Again, from the USDA:

"In summary, the January 2011 proposed rule sought to improve lunches and breakfasts by requiring schools to:

• Offer fruits and vegetables as two separate meal components;

• Offer fruit daily at breakfast and lunch;

• Offer vegetables daily at lunch, including specific vegetable subgroups weekly (dark green, orange, legumes, and other as defined in the 2005 Dietary Guidelines) and a limited quantity of

starchy vegetables throughout the week;

• Offer whole grains: half of the grains would be whole grain-rich upon implementation of the rule and all grains would be whole-grain rich two years post implementation;

• Offer a daily meat/meat alternate at breakfast;

• Offer fluid milk that is fat-free (unflavored and flavored) and low-fat (unflavored only);

• Offer meals that meet specific calorie ranges for each age/grade group;

• Reduce the sodium content of meals gradually over a 10-year period through two intermediate sodium targets at two and four years post implementation;

• Prepare meals using food products or ingredients that contain zero grams of trans fat per serving;

• Require students to select a fruit or a vegetable as part of the reimbursable meal..."

The Nanny State provided a comparison of what was on the school menu before and what would be on the school menu in the future.

Here’s what would be served on a typical weekday:

Hot dog on bun (3 oz) with ketchup (4 T)

Canned Pears (1/4 cup)

Raw Celery and Carrots (1/8 cup each) with ranch dressing (1.75 T)

Low-fat (1%) Chocolate Milk (8 oz)

That was before the Nanny State ran amok.  The hot dog menu was now kaput. In its place:

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Meat Sauce (1/2 cup) and Whole Wheat Roll 
Green Beans, cooked (1/2 cup)
Broccoli (1/2 cup)

Cauliflower (1/2 cup)

Kiwi Halves, raw (1/2 cup)

Low-fat (1%) Milk (8 oz)

Low Fat Ranch Dip (1 oz)
Soft Margarine (5 g)

Whole wheat spaghetti instead of a hot dog?  Sounds Communistic, not to mention totally unappetizing.

Here’s a complete before and after look from the USDA.

By the way, if schools didn’t comply with all these new good for you government rules and regulations, they faced losing government funding or be fined. Yes, you could call it blackmail.

For a time school districts were in acceptance, compliance, or simply acquiesced. Eventually, there came a rebellion, a food fight.

USA Today reported that high school athletes complained that the lunches did not offer enough to sustain their bodies through a school day plus practice. The New York Times reported on students around the country were going on strike against the First Lady’s eating guidelines and significantly reduced portions. A GAO report indicated that there was a 1 million student decline in enrollment in school lunch programs directly related to Michelle Obama’s nutritional guidelines that government mandated schools follow.  And two Wisconsin school districts chose to get out from under the thumb of government control when it comes to what kids can eat at lunch.

Waterford Graded and Waterford High School districts have both opted out from the federal lunch program. The reasons are outlined in a report by The Journal Times. 

Would Michelle and the rest of her nannies back down? Are you crazy?

Ben Velderman at reports it’s gotten goofier.

First, Michelle Obama seized control of your child’s school lunch and made it “healthy.” Now, the First Lady wants to change the way you buy groceries.

A new 80-page report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture explains that federal bureaucrats hope to use a variety of tools to modify the way Americans select food items at the supermarket.

Tools? What new tools? Please take a seat.

…the federal busybodies want to provide food-stamp shoppers with “incentives” for making healthy food choices – such as discounts or free movie tickets – and even talking shopping carts that will notify them when they’ve selected enough healthy items.

Say what?

…talking shopping carts that will notify them when they’ve selected enough healthy items.

Again, the assumption is that you couldn’t possibly be as smart as Michelle Obama or some bureaucrat who are going to inform you what you should be choosing to dine.

Specific details haven’t been announced about the Super-Duper Michelle Obama “I Know Better than You” Official Nanny State Better Eating and Consumer Choices Talking Shopping Cart. But I can just imagine.

You’re about to reach for the Brew Pub Lotzza Motzza Supreme frozen pizza and bells and buzzers go off on your cart. Then a voice suddenly speaks:


Of course you know full well that veggie sticks and a head of cabbage is much better for you than a frozen pizza with cheese, sausage, mushrooms, pepperoni, red peppers and onions. So as your talking shopping cart goes nutso, you react the way that is expected and normal.


I can picture 350 pound guys or folks on food stamps taking hammers to these new gadgets and literally destroying them right in the grocery store.
  And could you blame them. We have replaced common sense with technology drawn up by nanny state bureaucrats who believe they’re far superior intellectually to you.

In 2011, S.E. Cupp wrote a great column: Michelle Obama, are you calling me fat? First Lady's war on junk food has gone too far:

“…when a First Lady or a government agency wants to dictate how much dinner I deserve to have, and how it should be prepared, I am once again under the harsh gaze of my ballet instructors, and my ability to control myself like the mature adult I am is replaced by an omniscient regulator's guidelines. I understand what you're trying to do, and I agree that we should raise healthier kids. Fewer video games and more soccer is a great start. But ultimately, responsibility has to be taught, instilled and enforced - not mandated by law. It has to come from parents and guardians, not from Capitol Hill.”

Talking shopping carts lecturing us? 2016, please get here soon.


The complicated politics of the school cafeteria

Please just pass the sour cream and onion

Would you order this taco?

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