The Day The Bake Sales Died? Ag Sec Tom Vilsack Responds to Sarah Palin Nanny State Concerns

By Maya

Dec 10, 2010 3:52pm

ABC’s Brian Hartman reports:
 
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says Monday will be “historic” and “a great day for kids” when President Obama signs into law the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
 
The new law provides $4.5 billion to schools over the next decade and sets standards for food served in school cafeterias, vending machines and stores. But Sarah Palin and other Republicans warn this is a nanny state killjoy law will steal freedom, and cookies, from American children.

That’s because the law technically could allow limits on bake sales and candy fundraisers during school hours. But Vilsack has written a letter to Congress promising he will not exercise that authority. And in a briefing with reporters today he insisted Palin is wrong.
 
“It would be interesting for folks to read the bill. The bill doesn’t ban cookies. It doesn’t ban bake sales,” Vilsack said. “What it does do is it provides the USDA with the capacity to establish nutritional standards for vending machines, a la carte lines and for the regular lines – for meals and activities that take place during the school day. There will be activities after school that it will not necessarily be involved or in the rubric of this bill.”
 
Vilsack also said creative bakers can make snacks that are both tasty and nutritious, like brownies made from black beans that he tried at a school in Colorado.

The need for new standards, Vilsack said, is evidenced by the fact that more than one half of all US schoolchildren are either hungry, obese or at risk of obesity.

White House chef Sam Kass said the bill signing will be “an absolute milestone,” after which kids will have access to more whole grains, fat-free foods, fruits and vegetables. Critical, he said, because “many of these students are receiving most or all of their calories in schools.”

The need for new standards, Vilsack said, is evidenced by the fact that more than one half of all US schoolchildren are either hungry, obese or at risk of obesity.

White House chef Sam Kass said the bill signing will be “an absolute milestone,” after which kids will have access to more whole grains, fat-free foods, fruits and vegetables. Critical, he said, because “many of these students are receiving most or all of their calories in schools.”

It is not clear which recipe was used to make Vilsack’s black bean brownies, but HERE is one example.

For more on Palin’s concerns about the nanny state, watch this GMA report:

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