Annika Eriksson, a long-time Swedish chef revered for her school lunches, has been squelched.
Has she made errors? Are her meals contaminated? Has the quality of her ingredients slipped? No, none of the above.
The trouble stems purely from the fact that her meals are too good. Yes, you read that right.
She’s exceeding expectations. She bakes fresh bread every day. She offers 15 different vegetables at lunchtime. She knows it pleases the students to have choices.
This is her crime because, you see, other schools don’t have the same benefits in the Falun district in Sweden. (This is called collectivist logic, something to avoid like the plague.)
Ericksson maintains her meals don’t go beyond budget allocations. She’s just doing a good thing. She obviously likes doing it; and, of course, the kids love her meals.
Now, there will be no more of her fresh baked bread. That will be replaced by store-bought bread.
And the array of 15 vegetables? Gone, too. She is allowed to offer only half as many.
Ericksson’s students and their parents are in an uproar. How can the authorities take away the wonderful lunches? Apparently, it’s more important to preserve one-size-fits-all collectivism than to serve healthy and innovative meals.
Why doesn’t the district send other school chefs to Eriksson, so they can learn how she makes her brand of magic?
When someone exceeds the standard in a positive direction, why not pull everyone else upward? Why push the brilliant person down?
The answer is obvious. The most important thing is the collectivist system. The individual who enters the system is expected to tailor his or her actions to the norm. That’s the game.
The person who goes beyond the norm exposes the lie of the system. That person reveals there is something better outside the framework of the consensus reality.
It makes the bureaucratic androids tremble. Of what use are they when someone ignores their jungle of rules and regulations and creates a better outcome in the process?
I don’t know about you, but I prefer 15 vegetables and fresh-baked bread. I prefer Ericksson to human drones.
This story reminds me of a piece I wrote in 2002, “A Miracle in Wisconsin.” It detailed how one school independently pushed through the ceiling of conformity to create a revolution in healthy eating and, thereby, its own culture. Here it is:
In Appleton, Wisconsin, a revolution has occurred. It’s taken place in the Central Alternative High School. The kids now behave. The hallways aren’t frantic. Even the teachers are happy.
The school used to be out of control. Kids packed weapons. Discipline problems swamped the principal’s office.
But not since 1997.
What happened? Did they line every inch of space with cops? Did they spray Valium gas in the classrooms? Did they install metal detectors in the bathrooms? Did they build holding cells in the gym?
Afraid not. In 1997, a private group called Natural Ovens began installing a healthy lunch program.
Fast-food burgers, fries, and burritos gave way to fresh salads, meats “prepared with old-fashioned recipes,” and whole grain bread. Fresh fruits were added to the menu. Good drinking water arrived.
As reported in a newsletter called Pure Facts, “Grades are up, truancy is no longer a problem, arguments are rare, and teachers are able to spend their time teaching.”
Principal LuAnn Coenen, who files annual reports with the state of Wisconsin, has turned in some staggering figures since 1997. Drop-outs? Students expelled? Students discovered to be using drugs? Carrying weapons? Committing suicide? Every category has come up ZERO. Every year.
Mary Bruyette, a teacher, states, “I don’t have to deal with daily discipline issues. I don’t have disruptions in class or the difficulties with student behavior I experienced before we started the food program.”
One student asserted, “Now that I can concentrate I think it’s easier to get along with people.”
Principal Coenen sums it up: “I can’t buy the argument that it’s too costly for schools to provide good nutrition for their students. I found that one cost will reduce another. I don’t have the vandalism. I don’t have the litter. I don’t have the need for high security.”
Pure Facts, the newsletter that ran this story, is published by a nonprofit organization called The Feingold Association, which has existed since 1976. Part of its mission is to “generate public awareness of the potential role of foods and synthetic additives in behavior, learning and health problems. The [Feingold] program is based on a diet eliminating synthetic colors, synthetic flavors, and the preservatives BHA, BHT, and TBHQ.”
Thirty years ago, there was a Dr. Feingold. His breakthrough work proved the connection between these negative factors in food and the lives of children. Hailed as a revolutionary advance, Feingold’s findings were soon trashed by the medical cartel, since those findings threatened the drugs-for-everything, disease-model concept of modern healthcare.
But Feingold’s followers have kept his work alive.
Every great revolution starts with a foothold. Sounds like Natural Ovens and The Feingold Association have made strong cuts into the big rock of ignorance and greed.
Update, 2012: We now see big government trying to force dietary changes on citizens, and it was predictable that this effort would be met with resistance. The change, in order to succeed, has to come from within.
People have to want it and make it happen where they live. Otherwise, it’s just another brand of government coercion, and it’s usually launched for covert reasons having little to do with the announced objectives. One of those hidden reasons is naked control over the population.
When big government is ignored in favor of local and passionate volunteer participation, people do come up with their own innovative ideas; and they do implement them. It’s called decentralization of power. It’s the core of vital change for the better.
Remember President Barack Obama’s pronouncement, “You didn’t build that. Somebody else did.” In his estimation, all good things flow from centralized authority acting “for the greatest good of the greatest number.”
Well, he was dead wrong about what the greatest good is and where it comes from. It comes from the free individual, a concept he and others like him have never fathomed.
And where health is concerned, the commitment to it can begin in only one place: in the mind of the individual. It can’t emanate from big government imposing rules. It can’t be handed down like an edict. People aren’t identical biological machines.
Free Eriksson! Bring back her bread and her 15 vegetables!