Sid Miller, the current agriculture commissioner for the state of Texas, wants to reverse a ten-year ban on deep fryers and soda machines in public schools. Why? Kate McGee (@KUTMcGee) reports for NPR’s The Salt.
“We’re all about what our country was founded on — we’re about giving our school districts freedom, liberty and individual responsibility,” says Miller, a Tea Party Republican and former state representative, who is rarely seen in public without his white cowboy hat.
Some students don’t agree with Miller’s plan.
Take fifth-grader Austin Tharpe, who recently guided me through the narrow lunch line at Doss Elementary School in Austin. Healthful eating is a priority at the school. Ice cream hasn’t been sold in five years. Sodas? Try again. Candy? Not one piece of chocolate is for sale. Tharpe says he doesn’t think a soda machine or deep fryer would be welcome.
“All those oils are definitely not good for you on a daily basis,” Tharpe says.
The nutrition policies were put in place by a previous agriculture commissioner, Susan Combs. She was “stunned” by Miller’s proposal.
“Children learn to eat well in school, if we have good nutrition policies in place. And if you change those, you’re trying to reverse course,” she [Combs] says.
Nearly one-third of Texas children between the ages 10 to 17 are considered overweight or obese.