Uncle Sam, good luck taking my white bread

Published 10:39pm Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I liked school. Not the studying or homework, whatever that was. I liked recess and I really liked the lunchroom. That’s right. There were some kids who brought their own lunches in their various “pop-cultured” metal lunchboxes with those cool thermos bottles.
I might have had one or two of those, but basically, I didn’t mind eating in the lunchroom. In fact, there are some school lunchroom memories that I would pay good money to revisit. Some of the best yeast rolls and Sloppy-Joes I have ever eaten were made by Mrs. Darby’s lunchroom staff.
The school lunchroom introduced me to many foods that were not cooked at home. One of them was Chinaberries. You don’t see many Chinaberry trees anymore. That’s because they used to grow along fence rows and most fence rows have been torn down.
Also, the Chinaberry tree; it’s only good was for ornamental reasons was a messy tree. Its berries were small, hard, round and green. They grew in clusters like grapes and were not for eating, so why would I say our lunchroom served Chinaberries?
That’s what we called English peas. I’m sure the lunchroom received them in large cans and just heated them up; like they did the creamed corn and just about everything else. But, all of those things tasted pretty good to a young boy who was hungry when lunchtime came.
I was thinking about my past pleasures of our school lunchroom after reading an article about a current revolt against today’s lunchroom meals.
I’m sure the government was involved in our meals during the old days. Those cans of Chinaberrries, creamed corn, sacks of potatoes, and pounds of ground beef probably came from the US Agriculture Department. How else could we all eat for a quarter each.
It seems these days, though, the government has meddled a little too much and a full-scaled revolt is underway in school lunchrooms across the nation. They’ve put a calorie counter on the meals and decreed that salt is a “no-no.” Also, no more chicken fingers and white bread.
A lunchroom operator from a school in Georgia is saying that the children simply won’t eat the vegetables they have to serve and, without some salt, the food doesn’t taste good. As a result, lots of food is being thrown in the garbage can.
“We’ve got some of the healthiest garbage cans in the world,” she said, meaning that they were full of vegetables and fruit and unsalted food.
The government also mandated that within two years all breads and pastas must be 100% whole grain. I feel like the Tea Party did when they revolted against The Affordable Care Act and carried those placards that read, “Keep Your Hands off My Medicare!”
My ranting goes something like this: “Keep Your Hands off My White Bread!”
I understand and acknowledge that it has been cleansed of all nutrients and is just a step up from eating cardboard. I know that many people, more learned than I, turn their noses up at a sandwich made of soft and pliable white bread.
At the same time when asked “What kind of bread do you most enjoy?” the most recent poll taken within my own psyche, screamed White Bread! So, Uncle Sam, in the words of the late, great Charlton Heston, you can have my loaf of white bread when you pry my cold, dead hands off of it.

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