A Black Market in Cheetos in L.A. Schools


pssst…wanna buy a cheeto?

This story about the spectacular failure of new, healthier school lunches from the Los Angeles Times is getting a lot of play. As you might might expect (but the school district apparently didn't) 16-year-olds who have previously been on all-pizza diets aren't necessarily going to dive right in to heaping helpings of quinoa salad:

Many of the meals are being rejected en masse. Participation in the school lunch program has dropped by thousands of students. Principals report massive waste, with unopened milk cartons and uneaten entrees being thrown away. Students are ditching lunch, and some say they're suffering from headaches, stomach pains and even anemia. At many campuses, an underground market for chips, candy, fast-food burgers and other taboo fare is thriving….

Iraides Renteria and Mayra Gutierrez don't even bother to line up. Iraides said the school food previously made her throw up, and Mayra calls it "nasty, rotty stuff." So what do they eat? The juniors pull three bags of Flamin' Hot Cheetos and soda from their backpacks.

"This is our daily lunch," Iraides says. "We're eating more junk food now than last year."

School lunch is a reasonable place for do-gooders to try to introduce healthy habits (taking the existence of public schools, federal school lunch programs, etc. as givens). But this is a classic study in the unintended consequences for "for your own good" policies. 

Via Wonkblog.

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  1. Far too many pedagogues have a child fetish but are too aloof to attract a mate and therefore do not have children of their own. Therefore, they really know very little about children compared to actual parents. If they had children of their own they’d know how stupid the idea was on the face of it.

    1. there are some things only a non-parent can know, for no parent could be so stupid….
      the alternate Orwell who had children…

    2. “Aloof” is a kind way of putting it. All the “For the children” pedagogues I’ve met were miserable, arrogant cunts.

    3. For starters, real parents know how to make their kids eat what’s served to them.

      Trafficking in black-market food was not permitted in my household.

      1. real parents also know what their kids like, partly because those parents remember they were once kids, too. This is liberalism at its finest, or worst, depending on your point of view: the left knows better than you do what is good for you and it is willing to use the force of govt to push its decisions.

      2. Trafficking in black-market food was not permitted in my household.


        Black Markets, how the fuck do they work?!

    4. That’s not really an excuse. I don’t have any kids, and rarely deal with that age of kids in my life, and still know this idea is obviously stupid because I was a kid once. A basic understanding of human nature also helps.

  2. As you might might expect (but the school district apparently didn’t) . . . .

    this is a classic study in the unintended consequences for “for your own good” policies.

    C’mon, Katherine. You know the Iron Law:

    Foreseeable consequences are not unintended.

    This is a case study in how busybody nannies completely disregard the obvious and completely foreseeable reactions and consequeneces to their busybody nannying, is what this is. The fact that they do so does not relieve them of responsibility for the ensuing mess.

    1. this is a classic study in the unintended consequences for “for your own good” policies.

      “Unintended consequences”, my ass!

      Think of all the juvie jobs this creates.

    2. I’m inclined to agree. This “failure” will be used as a reason for the next, INTENDED step which is full inspection of each child entering a school. This TSA bag and body-cavity inspection. Jerry Sandusky was just ahead of his time.

      1. Sandbanana: Visionary or Prophet?

    3. This is the one Iron Law I don’t like. People really are that short sighted. Foreseeable =/= Forseen.

      1. Its based on the notion that you are responsible and accountable for the foreseeable consequences of your actions.

        Just because you are stupid is no excuse.

        Kinda like that guy who accidentally shot the Amish girl a few days ago. Was it foreseeable that discharging your rifle into the air might hurt somebody? You bet your ass. Should he be held to account for that, even though he didn’t specifically and subjectively foresee it at the time? Yes, he should.

        Whether you actually want the foreseeable consequences of your actions is irrelevant; you are still responsible for them.

        If you intend to do X, you also intend that the foreseeable consequences (good and bad) of doing X, actually come to pass.

        I think its a fine Iron Law.

        1. I see. In that case I would write it as

          You’re responsible for foreseeable consequences.

          Or as an ex brother in law has often stated, “If you give a monkey a gun and the monkey shoots you, do you blame the monkey?”

          1. You’re responsible for foreseeable consequences.

            Sure, sure. But then its not a direct refutation of the common dodge that the foreseeable consequences were “unintended”, so no need to hold responsible the idiots who set events in motion.

          2. I blame the gun.

        2. Responsibility and intent are not the same thing.

          A captain is responsible for the conduct of his crew, but it would be insane to say every action of theirs was “intended” by the captain.

          1. I never say they are responsibility and intent are the same thing, Tulpa. It is true that you can be responsible for things you don’t intend, but not true that you aren’t responsible for things you do intend.

            1. But your response to others’ and my examples where foreseeable consequences of an act are clearly not intended, is to say that the people who acted are responsible for the foreseeable consequences.

              You’re really talking about responsibility, not intent.

        3. I mean, if you shoot at a burglar in your apartment and miss, with the bullet going through a wall and hitting someone sleeping in the next apartment, you are responsible for their injury. But it would be silly to say you intended to shoot them.

          1. But was that foreseeable? Not really.

          2. You intended to shoot.

            Having the bullet pass through a wall and hit someone on the other side is foreseeable. You may not have wanted it to happen, but you nonetheless intended to do something that had that as its foreseeable result.

            Are you responsible for shooting your neighbor? Well, you shot them, didn’t you? How are you not responsible.

            Now, whether there should be legal consequences is a separate issue entirely.

            1. That’s stretching the meaning of foreseeable. Maybe a different word would be better, though. It needs to be something more definite. For example, if you shot at the burglar knowing for a fact that somebody else was likely to get hit instead, that would not be unintended.

              1. Well that would be reckless endangerment. Even if your bullet don’t hit anyone you can be charged with RE if your actions put uninvolved people in danger.

            2. RC, you’re conflating responsibility with intent again. I’m arguing that there is not intent to harm the person in the other room, and your response is that you are responsible for the harm (which I don’t disagree with). You’re not arguing for intent, though, which is what I’m questioning.

          3. I was under the impression that the burglar is actually legally responsible…

            1. Nope, unless you’re a cop on official duty (then it could be felony murder for the person you were trying to shoot). I suggest you check with a lawyer on that point before using a weapon for self defense.

    4. This “iron law” is kinda lame, RC. It’s alternately naive or paranoid to assume that willful ignorance or incompetence can’t explain this type of situation. Most of the so called “iron laws” make sense, but this one never really passed the smell test for me.

      1. Beaten by the h man. Sigh.

      2. He’ll keep repeating it as if you had never been born, and so will the parrot posters around here.

        1. “He’ll keep repeating it as if you had never been born, and so will the parrot posters around here until you get it through your thick skull.”


    5. Foreseeable consequences are not unintended.

      So the US intended to kill all those Iraqi and Afghan civilians with the air raids that everyone knows are likely to kill civilians?

      1. Murkans are the good guys. It’s collateral damage when they do it.

      2. Aw jeez, not this shit again.

        Since P(Dead civilians)=1, Intent = Yes

      3. There is a direct relationship between unintended and unforeseeable. But something that is so obviously foreseeable means the person is either completely incompetent and should be fired OR ELSE the obvious result was indeed intended.

        Maybe if RC changes his law to “OBVIOUSLY FORESEEABLE” it’s more understandable. Because then the only argument will be how obvious the result was. Which then makes the failure a matter of incompetence versus deceit.

        1. Too clunky. Sorry. Iron Laws have to be pithy. And if being pithy means they are a little cryptic, well, getting people to think about it is kind of the whole point.

          1. This one isn’t cryptic at all, it has a plain meaning. However, that meaning is false.

            A program that gives the wrong answers very fast is not efficient. Likewise for pithy but false sayings (don’t get me started on the usual formulations for the rules of gun safety — ugh).

    6. Well these consequences are foreseeable by people with some common sense and a basic understanding of economics. Foreseeable by nanny statists and public school administrators, not so much.

      First problem is that they are trying to achieve the impossible. They want meals that are:

      1. Tasty
      2. Appealing to kids
      3. High in nutrients
      4. Low in unhealthy ingredients (sugar, processed fats, etc)
      5. Cheap
      6. Can be prepared quickly and easily

      In short, they can’t have it all. Pick 3 or 4 of the above and you have a shot at success.

      Second problem is that the food police often get it wrong re: what is healthy and unhealthy e.g. eliminating whole milk when there is no evidence it causes obesity, and the saturated fat in milk is on of the few nutrient-dense ingredients on the menu. Same with reduced fat cheese (and can you find one teenager who will eat pizza with lowfat cheese??)

      1. In short, they can’t have it all. Pick 3 or 4 of the above and you have a shot at success.

        Engineering trade-offs, how the fuck do they work?!

  3. they can have my orangy, orangy snackie when they pry it from my cold, orangy, dead fingers….

    1. from my Flamin’ Hot, orangy, dead fingers


  4. Cheetos, eh?
    (severs another head)

    1. Great now our cheetos cheese powder is going to be cut with vegetable oil based pasteurized cheese food product.

  5. From the article, it sounds like part of the problem is that the food is poorly prepared.

    1. And old… one thing that was in Mega McArdle’s article was that they were serving salad on the 17th that was supposed to be fresh thru the 7th. Who the hell wants to eat a salad that is ten days past the “best served by” date– especially salad. That’s just nasty, and the “Well, it wasn’t EXPIRED” response was underwhelming as well. Kids aren’t stupid, and they (and adults) aren’t going to eat stuff they perceive as unappetizing.

      1. Mega McArdle

        Any relation to Mecha Striesand?

        1. MechaShiva. She was probably on Suderman’s shoulders when she wrote it.

        2. I saw that right after I posted it, fricking un-editable posts. 😛

      2. Also from the McArdle piece, the food for the test studies was prepared by chefs. The regular school lunches are being cooked by tired school lunch people. I can see that making a huge difference.

        1. Hairy fucking moles and hairnets would make me want to toss my lunch, too.

      3. Yeah, and I love the solution: get rid of the dates, but don’t change the practices.

        Less information solves all problems.

  6. The only solution here is to ban bringing junk food to schools. They can do random locker sweeps with junk food sniffing dogs and make kids submit to pat downs and bag searches on their way into school each morning. Also, they need some zero-tolerance policies so anyone caught with junk food gets suspended. And to make sure kids don’t resort to eating lots of junk food at home, they can require excrement and urine tests.

    1. Don’t be an idiot. They’ll have to conduct random searches of the homes too. There will be confiscating. And beatings appropriate responses to resistance. Oh yes, yes there will be.

      Nothing is too good for our lil’ darlins.

      1. Yes, you’re right. And they will certainly need to do those searches with SWAT teams. I mean, what if some guy starts chucking doritos like ninja stars at the officers?

        1. Random underwear searches for hidden chocolate.

          1. And lemon drops.

          2. fap fap fap

        2. He’s got a bag of Scoops?! GET DOWN!

    2. Nah, there are ways around all those things and the kids will find them. Force-feeding is the only foolproof option.

      1. These kids ARE basically conducting a hunger strike of sorts. Bust out the feeding tubes!

      2. Force Feeding: Pate de Fourth Grader

    3. That should be fairly easy – ALL dogs are junk food sniffing dogs.

  7. You know the Cheetos black market is a gateway black market to MJ.

    1. It’s worse than that. Every heroin addict started out on mother’s milk.

  8. I used to know a band kid who could hide a whole can of Pringle’s in his rectum. Tuba player, if memory serves.

    1. At last, some respect!

  9. Rectum? Damn near killed ‘im!

  10. Well at least these children are actually learning some real world useful skills at school for a change. With ever more government control of basically everything, have knowledge on how to trade on the black market will be big plus when they become adults.

    1. This.

      I welcome the day when most of the transactions we make are either via black or gray market sales.

      If we can’t cut the government out of our consumption choices by cutting government, we’ll just have to go around them.

  11. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Voting Section career employee Stephanie Celandine Gyamfi perjured herself three times during an internal investigation, the Heritage Foundation’s Hans Von Spakovsky reports for Pajamas Media.

    According to Spakovsky, the DOJ inspector general recently launched an investigation into several document leaks between 2005 and 2007. “The genesis of Ms. Gyamfi’s perjury is apparently rooted in political attacks on the [George W.] Bush Justice Department,” Spakovsky wrote. “Throughout 2005-2007, numerous attorney-client privileged documents, confidential personnel information, and other sensitive legal materials were leaked from inside the Voting Section to the Washington Post and various left-wing blogs.”

    Throughout the inspector general’s investigation, one individual that Spakovsky said investigators interviewed multiple times was Gyamfi. “According to numerous sources within the section, Ms. Gyamfi had been asked in two separate interviews whether she was involved in the leaking of confidential and privileged information out of the Voting Section,” Spakovsky wrote. “Each time, she flatly denied any knowledge as to who was responsible for the leaks. In a third interview, she was once again questioned about her role in the leaks.”

    “At first, she adamantly denied involvement,” Spakovsky continued. “Then, however, she was confronted with e-mail documents rebutting her testimony. At that point, she immediately broke down and confessed that she had lied to the investigators three separate times.”

    Gyamfi reportedly said that she lied to protect others within the DOJ.

    Spakovsky said that Gyamfi then cried and told a coworker about how she lied to investigators and admitted it.

    Gyamfi still works for the DOJ Civil Rights Division Voting Section, and is involved with the ongoing Texas congressional redistricting process ? which is the subject of the documents she helped leak.…..z1hHriMXEn

    1. So, perjury doesn’t get you fired from the DOJ?

      If I was working on the redistricting in Texas, this would be the first thing I talked about until she was removed, at a minimum, from working on it, if not fired. Plus, of course, she should be disbarred.

      But, I predict she retires with a full pension after a gala party after putting in another 20 years at DOJ.

      1. Does anyone really care about the Team Blue vs Team Red game of the redistricting process?

        It’s about as relevant as grade schoolers playing Risk.

      2. So, perjury doesn’t get you fired from the DOJ?

        I have no recollection.

      3. She should get the Martha Stewart treatment.

    2. A woman who engages in political attacks on the Bush justice department sounds like a hero that should be celebrated, not a suspect to be tried.

      1. The ends (attacking Bush) justifies the means(perjury), eh, comrade?

  12. In first grade in the 60’s, I traded a bag of Frito’s for a toy gun. There is SO much wrong with that story — and by “wrong” I mean, boy I wish my kids could have grown up in that world.

  13. So this proves that black markets will arise anywhere and everywhere regulation attempts to subvert basic supply and demand, right? Because many of these nannies seem to miss that part. You can’t stop people from exercising choice, so maybe you should just, I don’t know, quit trying.


  14. Poor Kids in LA.

    The next bag of Chetos they get will be sold by the nickle-bag.

  15. But this is a classic study in the unintended consequences for “for your own good” policies.

    No, the obvious lesson here is that the consequences for non-compliance have not been made severe enough. Those little fuckers will learn to eat what we feed them when they are getting 3 hots a day (to go with their cot and 30 minutes in the exercise yard).

  16. What, kids don’t want to do what they’re told and are getting their parents to help them get around rules that are only in place for their benefit?

    Methinks its time to lockdown the school entrances and do bag searches and patdowns to get inside.

    That’ll stop it.

    At least until the faculty and staff get into the smuggling game.

  17. This really is stupid. You can go and make wholesale drastic change to the diets of self absorbed, ignorant teenagers. You’ve got to start young and work your way up from there. I don’t buy the BS about “If you had kids you’d know that kids just won’t eat this or that.” Kids in Veitnam eat crazy stuff, and kids in Kenya, even crazier. So it’s not about “Kids don’t like it.” It’s that they haven’t learned to yet.

    1. And I imagine that you know just the bureaucrat to do it. You know, as opposed to allowing parents raise their own children AS THEY FUCKING SEE FIT rather than some asshole like you determining what is best for them.

    2. DRINK!

  18. Sorry, but 5 meals a day for 180 days a year is not the cause of rampant childhood obesity. Try looking more into what they are fed outside of school and a little harder at the people that are forming the children’s eating habits.

  19. I’m guessing this is brought to us by the same crowd that believes pre-teen girls should be able to get abortions without parental notification.

  20. The “healthier” schools attempt to make meals, with limited budgets, fast-food level cooks, and low food standards, the shittier the result will be. Schools are not five star restaurants. They are not even Applebees. They are prisons, with pretty much the same suppliers and methods for serving food.

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