By Eric Boehm | Watchdog.org
Brownies, cookies, cupcakes and other essential elements of any successful bake sale have been banned by new rules for food in Vermont public schools.
Thanks to rules that grew out of a 2010 state law, bake sales used as school fundraisers have to switch out the sweet treats and replace them with options like gluten-free, paleo lemon bars, kale and fruit.
Watchdog.org’s Bruce Parker, who is no stranger to exposing Vermont’s nanny state tendencies, exposed the state’s bake sale brownie ban last week in a story that you honestly have to read to believe.
“The new school lunch pattern has low-fat, leaner proteins, greater variety and larger portions of fruit and vegetables; the grains have to be 100 percent whole grain rich,” said Laurie Colgan, the child nutrition program director at the appropriately-dystopian-sounding Agency of Education.
Colgan, who is probably one of the few people on the planet who would prefer a kale biscuit to a fudge brownie, had the chance to exempt fundraisers like bake sales from the new nutritional guidelines, but decided instead to wield her power to ban brownies and other sweet treats from “the whole school environment,” according to Parker’s story.
What are the unintended consequences of the brownie ban, one has to wonder?
Will there soon be an elaborate brownie bootlegging scheme running in Vermont schools, sneaking treats across the border from New York by crossing Lake Champlain under cover of darkness — or perhaps just sneaking them from the homes of parents who are sympathetic to the brownie bootleggers cause?
Will brownie gangs battle for control of the illicit bake sale trade, carving up the streets of Rutland like it was 1930s Chicago?
And what, exactly, is the exchange rate for an illegal brownie at a school lunch table (as anyone who has ever sat at a lunch table can tell you, these types of negotiations are tricky even when the brownies, fruit snacks and chips are all legal)?
Probably not. But Vermont might want to take a look at its southern neighbor to see what sorts of things do happen when bans like this are imposed.
Here’s a hint: School bake sales usually act as fundraisers for clubs and sports. But in order to raise those funds, people have to actually spend money on the things being sold.
Raise your hand if you think a bake sale featuring kale biscuits is going to be as successful as one with fudgy brownies — you know, the ones that are still kind of warm in the middle and just the right amount of moist and they just smell so delicious and you have to have more than one because, come on, that’s like a perfectly chocolately slice of heaven right there — take my money already.
In Massachusetts, an effort to ban brownies and other sweets at school bake sales incited a bake-lash not seen in that state since the British tried to march on Lexington and Concord.
As the Boston Globe reported at the time the state tried it’s brownie ban:
Representative Bradford Hill, an Ipswich Republican, said he proposed junking the ban after being inundated with calls from school booster clubs, from football to the drama club, saying they desperately needed bake sale money to continue operating.
Hill said that when legislators debated and ultimately passed a bill in July 2010 directing public health officials to crack down on junk food in schools, they never dreamed the officials would declare war on beloved bake sales.
Terri L. Murphy – treasurer for the Ipswich Music, Art & Drama Association, a booster club for arts in local schools – said she e-mailed Hill when she heard about the ban earlier this week.
“It was like, ‘Oh, no, we’re going to lose about $6,000 a year,’ ’’ she said…
… “Do we put out apples and oranges and yogurt? Yes,’’ )Murphy) said. “Do they sell? No.’’
Similar concerns are already cropping up in Vermont. Unless this is all a backdoor attempt to shut down schoolchildren’s extracurricular activities — and, really, who has the energy for extracurriculars when all you’re eating is kale — maybe Vermont should reconsider the ban.
But until parents demand a change ,or until little brownie gangsters are running the Green Mountain State’s schools, the ban is here to stay.
That’s why Vermont’s Agency of Education is this week’s winner. Their prize is a never-ending buffet of stale kale biscuits.
- Nanny-state state of the week: MD may become first to ban Vaportinis
- Nanny-state city of the week: Minneapolis wants to ban take-out trays
- Skim is in: CT lawmakers want to ban whole milk in day cares
- Nanny state of the week: Fairfax, VA, wants to limit the right to assemble
- Nanny state of the week: SC — and Schumer — for duplicative efforts to ban powdered alcohol
- Nanny of the Week: Virginia hoses down car wash fundraisers
- Nanny of the Week: Even a summertime trip to the beach can’t be nanny-free
- Nanny of the week: Federal authorities think feral cats can read signs
- Nanny of the week: Cambridge wants to ban ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft
- Nanny-stater of the week: NY lawmaker wants to ban photos with tigers
- Nanny-stater of the Week: Who needs cupcakes and candy? Here, have a pencil
- Nanny-stater of the week: Fargo limits kids to less than four shots of juice per day
- Nanny-stater of the week: Wisconsin towns fight repeal of bow ban
- Nanny of the week: No fun in the sun, thanks to Congress and FDA
- Nanny-stater of the week: DOT to ban cell phone use on planes
- Nanny of the week: The out-of-control trend of arresting non-helicopter moms
- Nanny of the Week: Vermont city could ban ‘human activity’
- Nanny of the Week: Mississippi makes bird feeders illegal – by accident
- Nanny of the week: MO town bans breastfeeding near pools
- Nanny of the Week: School bans lip balm, 11 year-old girl fights back
- Watchdog.org blows lid off Vermont’s bake sale brownie ban
- Nanny of the Week: Seattle imposes fine on residents who throw away food
- Nanny of the Week: California bans plastic bags
- Nanny of the week: Maybe this time it will be different for Chicago
- Nanny of the Week: Florida growls at craft breweries’ growlers
- Nanny of the Week: Massachusetts town seeking to ban tobacco faces uprising from residents
- Nanny of the Week: Proposed bans on Thanksgiving Day shopping
- Nanny of the week: U.S. government bans ‘Comfyballs’ underwear
- Nanny of the Week: Better take down those holiday decorations
- Nanny of the week: Towns ban sledding
- Nanny of the Week: New York City plans to ban out-of-state cars
- Nanny of the Week: Snow-shoveling teens get in trouble with the law
- Nanny of the Week: Get caught wearing yoga pants three times, go to jail for life
- Nanny of the Week: Georgia lawmaker wants to ban mermaids, werewolves, other fictional creatures from real life
- Nanny State of the Week: Endangering manatees in Florida
- Nanny of the Week: Christie caves to protectionist gravestone proposal in N.J.
- Nanny of the Week: Don’t mix beer and ice cream – because of the children
- Nanny of the Week: Is the minimum wage a nanny state policy?
- Nanny of the Week: Republican in NY backs cat declawing ban
- Nanny of the Week: NJ continues ban on self-serve gasoline, because sometimes it snows
- Nanny of the Week: Bernie Sanders is coming for your deodorant
- Nanny of the Week: Will babies confuse beer for their binkies?
- Nanny of the Week: Weeds will prevail in Maryland lawn care ban
- Nanny State of the Week: FDA bans trans-fats
- Nanny State of the Week: L.A. plans to jail unlicensed street vendors
- Nanny ST8 of the Week: Anti-government messages not allowed on license plates
- Nanny State of the Week: Helicopters, horses and New York City
- Nanny State of the Week: Lawsuit challenges Seattle trash snooping
- Nanny State of the Week: Town officials mandate mowing
- Nanny State of the Week: Florida county sends environmental specialist to investigate BBQ
- Nanny State: Despite menu nannies, Americans still fat!
- Nanny State of the Week: New York City’s ban on Styrofoam hurts businesses, consumers
- Nanny State of the Week: Colorado Springs may ban sitting in public places
- Nanny State of the Week: New York’s soda ban could be back — but for kids only
- Nanny State of the Week: D.C. flexing licensing muscles at personal trainers
- Nanny State of the Week: Hammock bans mean no hanging out on college campuses
- Nanny State of the Week: County can use same lawn treatments it banned residents from using
- Nanny State of the Week: Pols want to ban daily fantasy sports
- Nanny State of the Week: Bay Area bureaucrats ban fireplaces, wood stoves
- Nanny State of the Week: Halloween for the politically correct only
- Nanny State of the Week: Governments lag behind the public on orca captivity ban
- Nanny State of the Week: New York might accidentally ban makeup
- Nanny State of the Week: California could be first state to apply no-fly list to guns
- Nanny State of the Week: University may block social media app in futile effort to combat racism
- Nanny State of the Week: City fines residents for chipped paint, mismatched curtains
- Nanny State of the Week: No Christmas in Bethlehem this year
- Nanny State of the Week: Connecticut may outlaw smoking in many cars
- Nanny State of the Week: Town inspection checks whether you cleaned your toilet
- Nanny State of the Week: Minnesota men facing felony charges for selling beer
- Nanny State of the Week: City rewrites law to block theater from getting liquor license
- Nanny State of the Week: FDA goes beyond the pale, prepares to ban teen tanning
- Nanny State of the Week: Charleston’s storied history is off-limits to the unlicensed
- Nanny State of the Week: Feds marketing food stamps with bingo games, TV ads
- Nanny State of the Week: No sipping and selling for Alabama winemakers
- Nanny State of the Week: Jail time for texting while walking in New Jersey
- Nanny State of the Week: In time for Opening Day, cities ban chewing tobacco at ballparks
- Nanny State of the Week: Feds send LSD Ale on a long, strange trip
- Nanny State of the Week: Happy Tax Day! Now get ready to pay more to file
- Nanny State of the Week: A state license for breast-feeding advice?
- Nanny State of the Week: School officials bully kids with ban on skinny jeans
- Nanny State of the Week: FDA fries family’s potato chip business with new cooking oil mandates
- Nanny State of the Week: CFPB knows what is best for your personal finances
- Nanny State of the Week: City cracks down on crawfish boils after mayor’s aide complains
- Nanny State of the Week: Florida couple still fighting for their vegetable garden
- Nanny State of the Week: State lawmakers to decide where you can get an Uber in Boston