California: Baking the Fun Out of School Fundraising

So you like the weather in California? That’s fair. And yes, the beaches and celebrity sightings are undoubtedly a benefit. (My friends saw Andy Dick at diners twice in one weekend!)

But if you like baked goods, you might want to stick to the Midwest, where we don’t snub our noses at a heavenly slice of good old-fashioned banana bread.

The New York Times has the story of school bake sales that had to be moved off campus before getting burned in the fiery ovens of oppression:

The old-fashioned school bake sale, once as American as apple pie, is fast becoming obsolete in California, a result of strict new state nutrition standards for public schools that regulate the types of food that can be sold to students. The guidelines were passed by lawmakers in 2005 and took effect in July 2007. They require that snacks sold during the school day contain no more than 35 percent sugar by weight and derive no more than 35 percent of their calories from fat and no more than 10 percent of their calories from saturated fat …

Melissa Luna, considered the über-mom of Crocker Highlands Elementary in Oakland, said that sometimes calories mattered less than the importance of a cause — like the bake sale organized to raise money for Christopher Rodriguez, a student who was shot and paralyzed last March by a stray bullet from a gas station robbery while he was taking piano lessons across the street. The sale, attended by members of the Oakland Raiders and Oakland Athletics, raised $30,000.

I’ve got to side with Mrs. Luna on this. And look, I’m all for putting healthier foods in school vending machines and not serving hormone-riddled meat in the cafeteria, but we also need to maintain some perspective here. Our kids need to learn a little about the benefits and responsibilities of free choice and commerce, too.

Hat tip to 13th Floor.