Nanny State Diaries: CBS Profiles Schools Outlawing Baked Goods

     Call it a textbook example of liberal policies pushing toward a socially engineered society.

     The Nov. 11 “CBS Evening News” featured California schools that were forced to ban old-fashioned fundraising bake sales thanks to state nutrition guidelines that forbid K-12 schools from serving foods with more than 35 percent of calories from fat or sugar.

     “In California, it’s still legal to sell cupcakes, cookies and brownies in a bakery, but not at your kid’s school bake sale,” CBS correspondent John Blackstone said. “But that fundraising slice of Americana – loaded with sugar and fat – has been banned in California schools by government order.”

     Blackstone interviewed the principal of one of the schools following lockstep with California law.

     “I love the bake sales,” Randall Booker, principal of PiedmontHigh School, a small comprehensive high school located in the EastBay hills of the San Francisco Bay Area, said. “I eat them myself, but there are state laws that we have to abide by.”

     The “laws that they have to abide by” were passed in 2005 by the California state legislature and went into effect in 2007. The laws will apply to beverages sold in schools starting in 2009.

     “To combat the epidemic of childhood obesity, new state nutrition guidelines strictly limit the fat, sugar and total calories of any food sold on campus during school days – even before and after school,” Blackstone said.

     Childhood obesity is relatively moderate in California, according to a study from the Brookings Institution and Princeton’s WoodrowWilsonSchool of Public & International affairs. Out of the 50 states, it ranks 25th – tied with six other states. Still, public schools, which have become increasingly dependent on the government for funding, have lost a means of raising money.

     “Bake sales may have once have dominated fundraising, but with the kind of money schools need these days they’re more likely to turn to walk-a-thons, silent auctions or just plain begging for donations,” Blackstone added.