Saturday, April 30, 2011

bloggish smirks - and a pause to be warned

Somehow, in a fit of former grad-studentness, I became a MedPage reader. A not-quite daily medical/science news update reader. MedPage added blogs at some point - I noticed at a far later point - and read them oh, whenever there's nothing good on in the world of medicine. Which is not so very often, honestly.

But sometimes, I do. And then I wonder at the indignation of someone like this, writing about the horrors of preschool pizza. What is she worried about? It's pizza! Do you know how much lousy, crunchy clinical trial food my kid ate to get his pizza?

This is a line in the sand, drawn by someone who knows that something dreadful lurks in the dunes. Another blogger helpfully explained: it gets worse. Kids eat the most amazing crap in schools, breaded and served up with a side of bread. Or potatoes. No, really. See? Count the number of green things, the second blogger suggested.

Or go for the gusto, and count the ways that you can make a celiac twitch.

And that, I realized, is the missing link between an allergy-friendly school and a school that really cannot be bothered. Or won't. When the monolith of the school menu is standing there, all sorted out and scheduled and packed with the carbs, salt, oils and proteins that kids will eat - and oh, but finding that magical, what they will eat is not to be sneezed - or hived - at, then who wants Change? even Change for Good Reasons?

We know how to feed them. Sort of. Until the allergy kid comes along, leaving shredded cafeteria menus in their legislatively enhanced wake.

Um. Well. Okay, so maybe we still can feed 'em. But from the looks of this menu, we figured out how to feed our kids back in, oh, 1940? And haven't really thought about it since.

Or maybe this has nothing to do with the immunocentric universe, and is really about something far more basic. Like the possibility that taking candy bars out of the school vending machines? A faint, feeble start. Stop picking on Snickers - think about this: for a massive number of school children, this is the central nutritional pillar in their world. Which, to my untutored eye, explains that.

Which is so depressing that I'm going to shut up now, and soothe myself with some Buffalo Bleu chips.

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