The food fight over student lunches is personal for First Lady Michelle Obama, and personal for millions of upset school children and their families.
She has told us, “My most important title is mom-in-chief,” and “We can’t just leave it up to the parents.” The First Lady’s attitude is reinforced by the regulators at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, overseeing the federal School Lunch Program. They follow her bidding on extreme makeover of meals, but 1.6-million students have dropped out of the program rather than accept the new menus.
Federal regulators mandate use of ethanol in gasoline for “environmental benefits,” applying what they call a “renewable fuel standard.” That makes corn a much more profitable crop than without the regulation.
But a detailed study by The Associated Press concluded that the rationale is phony. Some of the findings:
- As farmers rushed to find new places to plant corn, they wiped out millions of acres of conservation land, destroyed habitat and polluted water supplies, an Associated Press investigation found.
- Five million acres of land set aside for conservation—more than Yellowstone, Everglades and Yosemite National Parks combined—have vanished on Obama’s watch.
- Landowners filled in wetlands. They plowed into pristine prairies, releasing carbon dioxide that had been locked in the soil.
Source: The secret environmental cost of US ethanol policy