Tuesday, May 17, 2011

TX Schools to Install Spy “Cams” to Monitor Student Food Choices at Lunchtime « The Greenroom

TX Schools to Install Spy “Cams” to Monitor Student Food Choices at Lunchtime « The Greenroom

He knows if you’ve bad or good, so be good for goodness sake.

The “he” in the above line is not Santa Claus. It’s Big Brother. And thanks to a $2 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, he will be keeping an eye on schoolchildren in San Antonio both during and after school lunch.

The latest step in the government’s efforts to curb childhood obesity—mainly by means of unprecedented overreach into the realm of personal choice—is to install surveillance cameras in school lunch rooms.

The purpose of the cafeteria “cams” is twofold. First, they will be used to spy on what children choose to eat. (No word yet on whether those who reach for chocolate milk will receive an electric shock.) Second, they will help administrators track how much food is left at the end of the lunch period. (There are starving children in [fill in the blank] who would be happy to make a meal of these scraps.)

The project will at least be cutting edge, making use of digital imaging technology that calculates a child’s caloric intake and the nutrients provided by the lunch chosen. There will also be a bar code on each lunch tray, presumably so the school single out the most flagrant offenders.

If there is one positive note to the story, it is that parents will be given the right to opt out if they’d rather monitor their own children’s nutritional intake. If there’s a negative note, it is that this grant is yet another illustration of the government’s wanton squandering of taxpayer money on misguided pet projects even as the country teeters on the brink of insolvency.

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