With school lunches fundamentally transformed, Michelle O eyes ‘talking shopping carts’

July 18, 2014

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Ben Velderman Ben Velderman

Ben was a communications specialist for EAG from 2010 until August 2014. He is a former member of the Michigan Education Association.
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – First, Michelle Obama seized control of your child’s school lunch and made it “healthy.” Now, the First Lady wants to change the way you buy groceries.

michelle obama shopping 337 x 244A new 80-page report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture explains that federal bureaucrats hope to use a variety of tools to modify the way Americans select food items at the supermarket.

The goal is to steer consumers toward fruits and vegetables – and away from sugar- and fat-laden items. The plan is in line with “Michelle Obama’s stated second term agenda to ‘impact the nature of food in grocery stores,’” reports FreeBeacon.com.

While the feds’ plan deals mostly with the 47 million Americans who participate in the government’s food stamp program, it would indirectly affect all consumers.

According to FreeBeacon.com, the federal busybodies want to provide food-stamp shoppers with “incentives” for making healthy food choices – such as discounts or free movie tickets – and even talking shopping carts that will notify them when they’ve selected enough healthy items.

RELATED: School board slams Michelle O’s lunch rules: ‘Nanny state interference’

The high-tech carts – which would cost every grocery store about $30,000 to provide – would be physically divided and color coded to help consumers select approved food items. It would also “have a system installed so that when the shopping cart reaches its healthy ‘threshold’ it would congratulate the customer,” FreeBeacon.com reports.

In case that’s not creepy enough, the feds want grocery store employees to serve as government “ambassadors” who can “redirect” food stampers toward healthy items by explaining the various incentive programs and nutritional information.

Michelle Obama and her minions also envision turning the grocery store into a “classroom” where shoppers can receive cooking tips and advice from dieticians – presumably ones employed by the federal government.

The feds also want stores to use better signage, lighting and product placement so customers can easily find the food their government thinks they should be eating. They also want stores to set aside more shelf space for the government-preferred products.

While the feds could easily ensure healthier purchases for food stamp participants by clamping down on which products are available to them, the government busybodies want consumers to think they’re making these choices all by themselves.

The feds are following “the principle of self-attribution (which) suggests that when an individual perceives they have the ability to freely choose between options, they are more likely to be satisfied with the choice they make,” the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report states.

So even though Michelle Obama will be limiting your choices and “nudging” you in the “proper” direction, she wants you to think you’re doing these things voluntarily.

Some grocery store owners probably won’t want to subject their customers to this “Big Brother” shopping experience, but they may not have a choice.

The FreeBeacon.com article ends with this cryptic line: “The USDA envisions that supermarkets, superstores, small grocers, specialty stores, and farmers markets would adopt changes in the future through an agency program.”

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