Afghanistan, National Security And, Yes, Even Obesity
What a powerful segment on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" with Mika Brzezinski, Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist, with the big issues of the day all circling back to what is happening to our nation's classrooms and cafeterias. Guests included Chris Hayes, Washington Editor of "The Nation"; Tom Colicchio, head judge of Bravo's "Top Chef"; Mike Barnicle and Pat Buchanan.
If time crunched, skip the first 2 minutes of banter. The tie-in to education begins halfway through but the conversation beginning at the 2 min. mark provides the context bringing the message full circle. More stunning excerpts:
This from Tom Colicchio:"Mika, if you look a the fact that the United States Congress just spent $60 billion more dollars on warfare, and this Fall children are going back to school with classrooms that maybe have 35 to 45 students in them instead of 25 because teachers are being fired across America right now, and this Congress can't find $10 billion to keep those teachers in the classroom despite the fact Arnie Duncan has figured out a way to pay for it?
We are spending $60 billion on another decade of warfare in Afghanistan and yet we are eating our seed corn at home, and we are not educating our students saying, "we can't afford it." I find that preposterous! " - Joe Scarborough
And his shocking revelation:"And this Fall . . .teachers will be going back to classrooms full of kids - and if you don't think this impacts our national security, you are not thinking deep enough - but full of kids who are obese."
Other comments:"When I was up on the Hill testifying, there was a retired general testifying that 40% of recruits coming into the armed services fell out because of obesity. 40%!"
When Buchanan questioned how we survived without food programs, Chris Hayes jumped in with quick response which was a very interesting slice of history:"And obesity is actually a sentiment of poverty and poor diet, not overeating . . ."
"Right now School Child authorization is up for a revote and the House is looking for $8 Billion, the Senate is looking for $4 Billion. The President asked for $10 billion. This is not for one year, it is for ten years. You can find $60 billion for war, but you cannot find $10 billion to feed kids, These are funding summer feeding programs, breakfast programs . . ." (Colicchio)
"What are they feeding them?" -- (Buchanan)
". . . overprocessed foods that fills them up that is not nutritious. It is fat, sugar, and that's leading to obesity . . ."
". . .because that's what is cheapest, those are the calories we subsidize . . ."
" . . . and you develop a taste for it."
" . . . we are subsidizing on the back end and have obesity on the front end."
Full segment below:"The school lunch program started because troops were starting up malnourished going to fight WWII. That's how the food program started. (Hayes)