Texas Commissioner Says Fighting for Fryers in Schools ‘Isn’t About French Fries, It’s About Freedom’

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"Freedom Fries"
America.Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, who enlisted Ted Nugent to be the treasury of his 2014 campaign, is trying to overturn a ban that has kept deep-fat fryers and soda machines out of public schools in the state for the past ten years, according to the Texas Tribune. Miller, who champions local control against evil state governments in the same way many conservative national politicians champion states instead of the federal government, has written that this fight “isn’t about french fries, it’s about freedom,” a battle cry that pops up with weird regularity in modern American political rhetoric.

Unsurprisingly, many advocates pushing to make kids healthy and fight obesity have challenged the proposed changed. Miller’s response? “It’s simple. If a school district doesn’t agree with any of these changes, then they don’t have to implement them. That’s the beauty here.”

The Texas Tribune adds that this battle is a theme of the commissioner’s still-young tenure. “Miller granted amnesty to cupcakes during his first act as commissioner.”

Miller’s predecessor, Todd Staples, also made school lunches a focus of his term. In 2014, he called Meatless Mondaystreasonous” and “a carefully orchestrated campaign that seeks to eliminate meat from Americans’ diets seven days a week — starting with Mondays.” When the Huffington Post asked the agriculture commissioner’s spokesperson whether Staples’s position was related to the tens of thousands of dollars he had received in campaign contributions from ranchers and the like, he responded“He’s focused on this issue because children need the freedom to eat meat.”