Top-flight schools deserve a better approach to lunch

Andrew Miller is active in numerous community organizations. Upper Arlington schools rank at the top of several state and national ratings. Full Story
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UA Almost Retired

Raleigh, NC

#1 Jan 6, 2011
Count me as experienced. My three adult children attended UA from beginning through graduation. This time I side with the school lunch administrators. It strikes me that Andrew has unrealistic expectations or awareness of the logistics and scale economies involved pleasing everyone. As a taxpayer I do not expect others to do what Andrew could seemingly easily accomplish on his own. Namely, prepare his child's lunch at home complete with thermos containing appropriate milk and safety-conscious, law enforcement approved utensils. Each of my children left home with a packed lunch until high school. They suffered no social stigma consequences thank you.

If I'm off base UA schools (others) will you please correct me?
Anonymous

Plain City, OH

#2 Jan 6, 2011
I used to love to go to Taco Bell for the sporks. REALLY?! Sporks?!..... I suggest packing flatware for your child, Andrew.
Jill Hess

Columbus, OH

#3 Jan 6, 2011
OMG!!! Send in your own milk or let your poor child come home for lunch. I feel sorry for him/her. Your control is frightening!
Truth Seeker

Columbus, OH

#4 Jan 6, 2011
How about teaching your child to make decisions that reflect your values (choose white milk my dear) instead of forcing a program to change so that everyone must follow your principles?
auburntiger

Saint Louis, MO

#5 Jan 6, 2011
Are you kidding me? How did you ever survive childhood without all of this intervention yourself? Socially ousted for not drinking chocolate milk? This is what happens when people expect the government to solve all of our problems. Government is not the solution to the problem, government IS the problem!
Milk Dud

Bowling Green, OH

#6 Jan 6, 2011
The obesity problem in America is not connected with the elementary school lunch program's offering of small containers of chocolate milk.

It's when the kids arrive in middle/high school expecting to drink 32 oz Mt Dew for breakfast. They take their one PE class in high school, and then begin to see "one serving size as an entire pizza, one full bag of Doritoes, etc.

Throw in 4-5 hours of television or computer games after school, and we have embarked on the obesity journey in America.
A Parent

AOL

#7 Jan 8, 2011
One word, Mr. Miller.

Homeschool.

It will enable you to totally control your daughter and her environment ... that is, until she finds out that there's a real world out there with a myriad of choices, and lacking any critical thinking/decision-making skills, she ends up incarcerated, homeless, or dead.

I feel for your daughter.
Good Grief

Mount Vernon, OH

#8 Jan 8, 2011
Just have President Obama sign an executive order outlawing chocolate milk and sporks in schools because it's an issue of national security. He's already outlawed school bake sales for that reason.

Problem solved.
Are You Kidding

Columbus, OH

#9 Jan 8, 2011
Andrew Miller must be one of the class action plaintiffs suing McDonalds because they include a toy in the Happy Meal box. According to the suit, the toy made the parents buy the Happy Meal, and the children gained weight from eating the Happy Meal food and are now fat. What part of "no" does Mr. Miller not understand. It's clear from his repeated guest columns that he wants more government, bigger government and from the repeated guest columns he keeps writing, intends to run for a city council position in the UA government. Suffice it to say, we don't need any Andrew Millers!
I agree

Park Ridge, IL

#10 Jan 8, 2011
I think the point the author was trying to make was that considering the exceptionally high academic standards of the district, it is a bit strange that the lunches are are so sub-standard. After reading the comments posted here I cant help but think that parental apathy is the reason why. The citizens of UA don't think it important that their schools should set a good example by providing proper lunches to their children, so no push has been made to bring UA lunches up to 2010 standards. I suppose if Jamie Oliver came to UA, all of the elite pack your own baggers would rush to be the first to eat his food, but if he ever tried to help change the way the schools feed their children, they would run him out of town!
Another Parent

AOL

#11 Jan 9, 2011
To the poster "I Agree," two questions.

1. Since when is offering a choice considered to be "so sub-standard?" Mr. Miller and his daughter are being offered a choice, and if Mr. Miller does not like the options, he can, as another poster pointed out, pack his daughter's lunch or, as Mr. Miller himself pointed out, merely instruct the school to prohibit his daughter from consuming chocolate milk.

2. How is "sub-standard" defined? I would assume that Burbank School meets all USDA dietary requirements. If he has a problem with those guidelines, he should take this up with the USDA itself and insure that each and every school in the country benefits from the change.

Furthermore, if Mr. Miller is truly concerned about childhood nutrition/obesity, he could opt to donate a portion of the $9585 of his daughter's 9-month preschool tuition at Burbank School ( http://www.uaschools.org/DocumentView.aspx... ) to fund meal programs in less-fortunate districts. This would go a long way towards improving the outcomes of many, many children, for whom having anything at all to eat is a luxury.

Even better, Mr. Miller could quit his $73,800 state job (2009 salary, htt;://www.buckeyeinstitute.or g/state-salary)), forgo his taxpayer-funded medical and pension plan, and work in a homeless shelter or food pantry. In this capacity, he could service the subsistence needs of children and their parents, and educate them on proper nutrition and health at the same time.

Indeed, there are many options open to Mr. Miller in addressing his daughter's school lunch issue. Mandating that everyone else abide by his own preferences by forcing the school to pull chocolate milk from the menu and to have the children use forks/spoons is not one of them.

What are you thinking

Reynoldsburg, OH

#12 Jan 9, 2011
To the recent "I agree" poster, you do what most liberals do, you changed the subject. Nowhere did Miller contend that lunches are "sub-standard" in UA schools, nor does any evidence support this contention. Additionally, UA parents are proactive, not apathetic. Andrew Miller is dissatified with an offering at the UA schools, so, because he disagrees, he expects everyone else to do without (in this case chocolate milk). I suppose if Miller didn't like pizza on the menu, that he'd ask that that also be changed. This is what liberals like Miller do. I hope when the school board considers this that they tell Miller to shove it!
Concerned Parent

Columbus, OH

#13 Jan 10, 2011
Chocolate Milk Nazi, Andrew Miller, need to stop milking mice, and stop limiting my choice and teach his daughter self discipline and just say no to chocolate milk.
Hard to believe

Ballwin, MO

#14 Jan 10, 2011
First reading of the "Better lunch" article made me think it was satire. The author paints with a broad brush and, without citing any evidence, condemns the lunch program? If that's not enough he takes issue with the use of sporks? Let's go for the ultimate in irony and ban the chocolate from participating in our education program....then Mr. Miller can lead a march on Birmingham, armed with stainless steel cutlerly, to fight for for lactic equality. I just awoke from a dream where I went to Mr. Miller's refrigerator and picked up his milk carton. On the label was a picture of common sense with the words "MISSING---have you seen me?"
Cowards

Columbus, OH

#15 Jan 11, 2011
I'd like to join the parade of cowards posting out here using anonomous names and locations to spew their ignorance.

So if Mr. Miller had written about how he was pissed that he had to send chocolate milk to school with his daughter because the school would only provide white milk would you all be telling him that he should suck it up and it isn't the taxpayers duty to supply his daughter with "precious chocolate milk"?

Also, if you're kids are the ones who are so inept that they can't manage to use a FORK AND SPOON then who's kids aren't being parented well? I would guess that Mr. Miller is the one here who is actually caring for his child unlike you morons.

"Nazi"? Really, do you think those millions of Jews killed during the holocaust are sitting around the afterlife thinking, "wow, that commentor really captured what the Nazi's were trying to do by calling someone a 'Chocolate Milk Nazi'".

From what I got from this article is that UA schools appear to have the same mediocre lunch program as pretty much every school in America and this person is just hoping to do a little better. There was a time when this country was built on the idea that trying to do BETTER was a GOOD thing. Sad that all of you freakish Sarah Palin loving 9/12er nut jobs have decided that what is best for our country is to hide behind psudeonyms and strive for mediocrity.

BTW - why should any of you from "PA, MO, etc." give a care about an upper middle class school in Ohio?
Hard to believe

Ballwin, MO

#16 Jan 11, 2011
Sad that those who can't engage in debate resort to name calling. I don't think the term Nazi is appropriate but also labeling people as "ignorant", "Sarah Palin loving" and "9/12 nut jobs" reinforces the stereotype that many, mostly liberals, resort to name calling when there are no facts to support their case. The gist of the responses, as I've read them, is that some don't want to resort to a nanny state where every detail of our lives are tightly governed. The original author has a long history of following that line of thinking as evidenced in his articles, columns, and blogs. He's advocated government takeover of private property, dispelling zoning laws for the common good, subsidizing health club memberships for the rich (despite overwhelming defeats at the ballot box), and lobbied for more amenities despite the lack of finances available to take care of what is already in place. I'll defend his right to speak to my last breath but statements do carry the responsibility of being able to support the position with facts. I'd suggest "Cowards" not worry about where people post from as they travel on business and pleasure. I'd work from the assumption that people posting from outside UA have as much a right to speak as someone from New Albany. As to the anonymity that "Cowards" seems to enjoy, there is a long history of writing under pseudonyms in American history including Sam Addams, Jefferson, Franklin, and Samuel Clemens. I'd go as far as to say it is an American tradition. I concur with Cowards that Nazi might be viewed as a devisive term and would encourage "Concerned Parent" to consider another moniker that is representative of those who want to see tighter controls of government over our lives, fewer personal responsibilities,government mandates,limited speech, etc...something like fascists would be more representative and might not offend as many.
Was Yes

Columbus, OH

#17 Jan 11, 2011
Glad to see Grove City isn't the only community with nut jobs!
Cowards

Dublin, OH

#18 Jan 11, 2011
Hmm, not unlike the ridiculous Nazi comment I wonder if the founding fathers would agree that this opinion piece by someone who has never held political office and only has a single vote which doesn't even have a direct impact on this debate at all would think, "wow, Hard To Believe, I can see how you would equate your idiotic argument online at some little community newspaper to our anonymity when trying to stir the hearts of our countrymen to revolt against the greatest empire the world has known (at the time)." You are insane.

Likewise you talk about how factual everything the posters out here are saying. So I'm going to make the assumption that "Another Parent", given what they wrote, are not best friends with Andrew Miller. Assuming that is right then I question how they can possibly back up what they claim his salary to be and more importantly what he spends to send his daughter to Burbank. Do they know exactly how many days a week she goes to school, if she goes full day or half, if she goes year round? If they know all of those things and aren't his best friend or a close family relative then they must be some sort of sociopath for following his family around to determine this. Particularly given that he is not any sort of public figure, he apparently is just a community member. OR they don't have corret "facts" which is probably the case.

Finally, Hard To Believe, you seem to have a hard on for following the exploits of Mr. Miller - again, particularly given the fact that he doesn't hold any sort of official capacity in UA. Are you in love with him?

So man up and start using your real name, and maybe you could also start posting your own salary information along with the rest of your family finances on these public boards. Funny that you and your teabagger friends act like you're being so put out but you are the ones who choose to personally attack people on the other side of the political spectrum in this way (not to mention killing federal judges and attempting to kill democratic congresswomen)... But your right, we liberals sure are meanies...

I hope Andrew Miller doesn't have to deal with you guys all the time cause I feel sorry for him if he does. If he's done anything wrong it was moving to such an insane community.
sneha123

Delhi, India

#19 Jan 11, 2011
I used to love to go to Taco Bell for the sporks. REALLY?! Sporks?!..... I suggest packing flatware for your child, Andrew.
green lion

Columbus, OH

#20 Jan 12, 2011
seriously people?? this article is about the quality of the ua school lunches, period. the quality sucks, take a look for yourself. and yes, i do pack for my son, but that doesn't change the fact that the lunches could use improving. i first noticed the odd choices at burbank, where packing is not really an option. i voiced my concerns as to why 'ketchup' was randomly listed on one day's menu only to find it's thrown in there as a 'vegetable'. another great menu item-'bosco sticks' seriously? a cheese filled bread stick is an entree? I hate to break it to you, Andrew, but the 'white' milk i checked out was actually vanilla and loaded with sugar, more than the chocolate. They do offer regular milk but i found not always. I could go on, but anyone who actually has children at ua knows exactly what we're getting. Now, i'm sure these menu items are standard fare around the districts. My sisters attending worthington schools where they had fast food options right there in the schools. I do have a problem with that and I'm not a nazi or liberal or crazy person, just concerned with the food we consume without thinking twice about where it comes from. All Andrew is trying to do is raise awareness that our bodies deserve better food.

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