As a fifth grader in rural North Carolina, one of the neatest things I got to do at school was slop the hogs.
I was occasionally honored to be asked to help haul buckets of slop from the cafeteria to feed the principal’s hogs across the street. They were always excited to see me come.
Today, the principal would probably be fired for abuse. And, garbage can no longer be fed to hogs.
At a recent meeting, I learned that local produce cannot be sold to school districts because certification required is too costly for small farmers.
No farmer would want to make anyone sick. Regulations are in place for food safety.
However, the same foods under restrictions for schools are sold elsewhere without those “school” regulations to the rest of us and our children for consumption at home.
So these regulations have not spared us from massive national food and drug recalls when people became sick. So what assurances can we possibly have then if only “certified” foods are sold to schools?
We need a better system of protection that will not make it so difficult for responsible farmers to do business without constant threats.
A possible regional solution is being considered.
Even so, fifth graders can no longer have neat educational experiences slopping the hogs.