The glittering record of failure enjoyed by school treat bans hasn’t taken them off the food activist agenda. Massachusetts and the federal government will soon institute bans or partial bans on the bake sales at schools, while many school systems already languish under such regimes: In Bloomberg Businessweek, we get to enjoy this bit of joylessness from the nutrition officialdom of Montgomery County, Maryland:
If a bake sale is going on, it’s reported to administration and it’s taken care of […]. You can’t sell Girl Scout cookies, candy, cakes, any of that stuff.
We don’t know if MeMe Roth will be offering this bureaucrat a commission in the Junior Anti-Sweets Leagues or if Robert Lustig will commend her for services to the No-Sugar Party, but we can predict how parents and students will tend to respond to this kind of diktat: poorly.
When Los Angeles adopted school lunches praised by the vegan activists at Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, students rejected the “nasty, nasty” dishes en masse. In Austin, Texas, entrepreneurial students responded to a sweets ban by trading and selling candies they brought from home. The Austin American-Statesman called it “Willy-Wonka-meets-Casablanca.” Businessweek tells the shocking story of a “napkin sale” in Colorado: Students peddled napkins with sweets in them, at least until Big Brother caught them.
Adults also think these bans go too far. One parent in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. responded to a ban by making cupcakes at home “for the first time in her life.” Students hardly need to wait for their parents to crack open the cookbook. As one Massachusetts man told Businessweek: “Who’s going to line up to buy apples and granola, he says, ‘when you can go right down the street and get Dunkin’ Donuts?’”
No surprise then that a survey found that “weight gain has nothing to do with the candy, soda, chips, and other junk food [students] can purchase at school.” Not that policy ineffectiveness has ever stopped a food cop.