Feed kids first, then save world
The Boston City Council is looking to rethink the way we feed our kids. The plan is to adopt an ordinance called the Good Food Purchasing Program, in use in other big cities around the U.S., including Chicago and Los Angeles. The GFPP would feature local purchasing preferences and avoid businesses with labor violations as well as put standards around animal welfare and healthy foods.
To say it a different way, the byproduct of feeding kids in Boston would be changing the world for the better.
The Good Food Purchasing Program is a “coordinated localnational initiative that harnesses the power of procurement to create a transparent and equitable food system, which prioritizes the health and well-being of people, animals, and the environment.”
It sounds expensive, especially for a city perpetually grappling with school funding and other budgetary challenges.
Buying “locally sourced” food can be very, very costly. The GFPP promotes ways to offset the burden with things like “Meatless Mondays” or smaller portions. We question prioritizing lofty conceptual goals like a “transparent and equitable food system” over feeding a child a meat protein and a robust portion.
Also, it is curious as to why there is a strain of social engineering at play in what should be a simple, fundamental responsibility to feed children. According to the GFPP, vendors and suppliers serving Boston would need to “Provide safe and healthy working conditions and fair compensation for all food chain workers and producers from production to consumption.”
Fair compensation? Although there may be nothing wrong with that in theory, what on earth does it have to do with feeding our kids? Is it a coincidence that the GFPP is in partnerships with several labor unions and activist workers’ organizations? A critical glance would suggest that this initiative is, in part, designed to bolster union membership.
Maybe the Boston City Council means well, but there’s the appearance that they are leveraging the lucrative purchasing power around feeding school kids to affect large-scale political and social change in the region, extending far beyond Boston.
Last month it was the “fair workweek” bill that sounded good in name but was odious in reality. Now we are presented with the Good Food Purchasing Program.
The Boston Public Schools have plenty of problems to tackle that more directly impact their students’ learning environment. We’d like to see a price tag on this initiative and an explanation as to why the goal of feeding Boston’s school children is tethered to affecting larger social change.