It's election year so of course the greens are amping up the Moral Panic about food.* This time they've surveyed food to see what they have for sale. The list is full of the usual breathless, random, dividing of food into good and bad (Muesli bar good, chips bad). The discussion on what's available in food canteens has always seemed ridiculous to me, and completely ignores some basic facts about school lunches, and seems to want people to buy things from school that they can make at home (like sandwiches) rather than selling things at school which it's harder to bring from home (like pies). I'm all for getting profit making businesses out of providing food in schools. I'd support the provision of free lunch (and breakfast) in schools. But since this is about moral panic rather than food supply, that won't even get mentioned.
The extent this is about moral panic was made clear in the discussion on drinks. They tell us that 44% of schools sell water and 44% of schools don't sell water, but the 'good' news is the number of schools selling water has gone up. Every single school should (and I'm sure does) have all the water kids can drink for free. It's obscene that schools selling water to kids, and that anyone would laud them for doing so. Even if the greens don't care about commodification, they should care about all those plastic bottles.
* Frogblog couldn't discuss GST on Food without listing food sins:
It’s hard to develop a graded GST system without grey areas. E.g. Should the following foods be in or out; fast food, imported luxury items, stuff nutritionalists say we already eat too much off such as dairy and fats?Although they were hardly alone in this. It's really depressing that a response to food going up is greeted by an extended discussion which makes it clear how much society doesn't like food, or the poor people who eat it (if I had a piece of KFC, for everytime that KFC had been used as an example, then I'd have enough KFC for a KFC party. And at that party I'd rant about how unsubtle a way it is to hate and blame poor brown people.)