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john65pennington's avatar

How to catch a thief stealing french fries in school?

Asked by john65pennington (29253points) May 14th, 2011

I have always heard that the State of Texas did everything in a big way, but this is unbelievable. The Dept. of Agriculture has given Texas a $2 million dollar grant to catch a french fries thief in school. Yep, its all about obesity in school children. Cameras will be installed, in order to catch the Mr. Potatoe Head thief. In other words, if there are more french fries on your plate, at the end of the line, than the beginning, a photo will be taken and you might be given time in the potatoe bin. Lets face it, obesity is running ramphant in our school children. But, is spending $2 million dollars for cameras….the real answer to obseity? The only way you are going to stop kids from eating french fries is to tape thier mouth shut and place them in handcuffs. A $2 million dollar grant is not the answer. It makes one think that there may be another motive behind this grant. Question: could this $2 million dollar grant to Texas, from The Dept. of Agriculture, been better spent for child obesity? If so, how?

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13 Answers

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’ll throw out an alternative reason.
It might be used to change behavior. They already know who is stealing but exposing the person might appear like they were being “selective”.
This method is supposedly fair – not unlike police photo radar.

It can also be used to investigate or reduce the chance of food tampering.

Mamradpivo's avatar

I think it could have been better spent not laying off teachers so there could be someone to teach health in schools.

wundayatta's avatar

Education about nutrition and support services.

How do they steal extra fries? Doesn’t the lunch lady lord over her entire lair?

There must be more to the story.

john65pennington's avatar

Source: Reuters. Giving a $2 million dollar grant to catch a “french fries thief” just sound ridiculous.

Worriedguy, changing a students behavioral pattern and eating habits may be behind this idea. But, is it worth $2 million dollars and the whole idea goes down the tubes?

krrazypassions's avatar

Why have french fries in the school in the first place? The simplest way to teach children good food habits would be to offer only healthy nutritious food in the school! I would spend a part of these 2 million dollars in ensuring there is healthy and tasty food so that the children will enjoy eating healthy food and know that it can be very tasty too (unlike tasty but unhealthy junk food)

However, if you are so crazy and stubborn about( or also love) having french fries in your menu, you can offer limited amount of french fries by giving them away in paper packets (use recycled paper and recycle the used packets) and having limited packets so that one child gets only one.

jlelandg's avatar

I think real food vs. processed food is a big thing in this issue. I notice a difference in my life, outlook, and weight when I don’t eat mostly real food. Tons of sweets, snacks, and frozen appetizers are horrible for you. I think we need to look at it from this angle.

Coloma's avatar

Seems like a no brainer to me. Just nix the fries from the menu..really…this is another great example of our governments total stupidity. Gimme a break!

I think the government should give me 2 million to write poetry for the next 20 years. lol

crisw's avatar

I think you misinterpreted the study a bit. The French fries were just mentioned as a bit of humor; the study really has nothing at all to do with kids stealing French fries. Instead, it will measure what students are and are not eating by recording what they take and its nutritional value, and what they throw away, in an attempt to develop healthy meals with less waste.

Blueroses's avatar

@crisw That makes a lot more sense.

BarnacleBill's avatar

The headline is really misleading, but the actual concept of the study is innovative. People generally underestimate what they eat when they self-report food consumption. With children, the only way to get accurate metrics is to remove self-reporting from the equation. School lunches are portion controlled and therefore should be visually measurable by comparing the size of the portion before consumption to the waste afterwards. It’s important to know what is actually being eaten, as a significant portion of the children in the US only eat school.

quarkquarkquark's avatar

This is a truly impenetrable decision by people who spend their lives missing the forest for the trees.

crisw's avatar


Do you still think so after reading the two interpretations of what the study was really about? If so, why? Whether you agree with it or not, I hardly think it’s “impenetrable”; it’s actually very easy to understand.

Ron_C's avatar

Texas is a very right-wing state. To the conservative, the only function of the state is to control people, hence prisons, military, state police, and rules for the bedroom.

All other functions should be handled by “regulation free enterprise”. I expect that the state’s resistance to healthy food guidelines stems from the fact that they see all federal rules and even suggestions as limiting their freedoms. They see nothing wrong, however, using an outside contractor to buy equipment and monitor people to enforce their own rules. After all, they seriously considered succeeding from the union and starting their own fascist state.

I feel really sorry for the citizens of Texas.

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