Here in America, our First Lady tells us that we have food deserts. No, not desserts. Deserts.
A food desert, as I understand it, is a place absent grocery stores where parents may buy good healthy stalks of broccoli with which to feed their broods. It is a place devoid of healthy food, but overwhelmed by the inevitable nearby strip of fast food joints where desperate parents, unable to find decent grocery stores, are forced to feed their kids cheeseburgers and fries. Making them fat.
Fast food strips are interesting phenomena here in the land of plenty. Americans are in a hurry. We like the drive through option. First, you might see the golden arches. After that, comes the home of the whopper. Maybe a little later a taco place. Then, a chicken joint followed by two pizzas for under 10 bucks. It is not too complicated to figure out how this works. One of the franchise operations does the market research for the location. When they build and succeed the others soon follow. They rarely lose or go out of business and you can usually walk to one of them from the nearest grocery store – heck, they likely share the same food desert parking lot. Get near a mall or shopping area and in addition to the standard fast food, you come upon sit down fast food places – pasta, burgers, steak and meals like Mom used to make. All of it right near the Wal-Mart Super Center with its big ole grocery store and well-stocked produce section.
I do not know for sure who is losing their minds. Either it is the nannies who want to make our daily menu selections or it is the rest of America. We are a nation that seems to be concerned because there is too much food available – even in the First Lady’s vast food deserts. Is too much available food the real problem? One of us, I am convinced, is full of nachos and jalapeño cheese dip.
Our children are now chubby enough that some of their schools are sending letters home telling Mom and Dad that they have fat kids. As if Mom and Dad had not noticed. Do you reckon they send those letters home with the lineman on the football team? Schools that no longer want to harm the child’s self-esteem by giving them an F for rotten work or by marking their papers with red ink are not overly concerned about telling them they are too fat and therefore not normal. I wonder how that works on the mind –and self-esteem – of today’s typically appearance obsessed 13 year-old girl. Here fatso, take this letter home to your mama. “Hey guys, Jenny got a fatso letter.” Yes, and these are some of the same school districts that want to help fat Jenny get an abortion without telling her parents about it. But fatness, no we cannot have that. Fat is bad for her health.
Here is a wild thought. Can Jenny or Johnny write complete sentences and logical thoughts in the English language without saying “u r fat lol.” Can either of them read at the appropriate grade level? Can either of them solve math problems at the appropriate level? Does either of them know the history of the United States? Can either of them answer simple general science questions? Should that not be the focus of our school systems instead of the child’s body mass index?
Here is another wild thought. Mandatory fitness programs, barring physical disabilities, from grades K through 12. How about making Jenny and Johnny participate in structured, sweaty, muscle fatiguing, physical fitness programs in their public schools? I know that would create make-up and blow dryer issues, but they can adjust. That is how we get the fat off of Jenny and make her healthy.
Sending a fat kid letter home to Mom and Dad could help, but only if it weighed 25 pounds and we strapped in on Jenny’s back and made her walk it home.
I suddenly have an odd craving for a chili dog and cheese fries. You know, it is hard to find a good chili dog these days. Chili dog deserts, now there’s a real crisis. Maybe we can get the First Lady to work on that.