Up For Debate: Banning School Bake Sales

April 12th, 2010 by Kathy McManus

The battle against the PTA staple heats up.

Brought to you by Liberty Mutual's
The Responsibility Project

In a follow-up to our earlier post, the cookie continues to crumble over the banning of public school bake sales, fueled by government nutrition standards for controlling the foods that can be sold to kids.

In New York City, parents and others opposed to the culinary crackdown staged a “bake-in” at City Hall, protesting the city’s Education Department’s new guidelines that outlaw the in-school sale of homemade treats like cupcakes, brownies, and chocolate chip cookies while allowing kids to buy any of 27 packaged, processed snacks, including Doritos and Pop-Tarts.

“The absurdity is plain,” declared New York’s Daily News, adding that although the processed snacks were deemed acceptable by city bureaucrats because “they come in single-serving packages” and have no artificial sweeteners, their “ingredients include Red 4D, Blue 1 and Yellow 5 dyes, as well as disodium inosinte and disodium guanylate, high-fructose corn syrup, wheat starch, glycerin and TBHQ.” The Daily News also noted that some of the approved servings exceed regulators’ 200 calorie limit.

“An extra cupcake purchased at an occasional bake sale is not going to tip a kid into obesity, but the extra dough parents raise at such an event could be put to good use,” the Daily News argued.

Tell us what you think: Should the government be responsible for determining what foods kids can buy at school? In an epidemic of childhood obesity, should kids be encouraged to buy cupcakes?