Bud Kennedy

Should Texas schools remain a no-fry zone?

Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller held a press conference in January to declare “cupcake amnesty.”
Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller held a press conference in January to declare “cupcake amnesty.” Texas Tribune

To Sid Miller, Texas’ new agriculture commissioner and a deep-fried son of Stephenville, children need happy meals more than healthy meals.

Against frying?

Then you hate freedom.

Or so Miller argued in a recent Austin cable TV interview, explaining why he has proposed allowing deep fryers back in school cafeterias.

Restoring fried school food is about “individual responsibility, liberty and freedom,” Miller told Time Warner Cable News’ Capital Tonight.

“That’s what this nation was founded on.”

In his zeal to reject anything that smacks of big-gummint regulation, Miller also appears to have lost some sense of time.

By restoring fryers junked years ago, he said, “We’re gonna back up and take a fresh approach.”

Yes. That’s what he said.

Miller’s idea of a “fresh” approach includes doing away with “meatless Mondays” and encouraging kids to bring cupcakes and set up their own pizzerias, at least as far as federal regulations will allow.

Serving healthy food, he said, “isn’t working.”

He did not say for whom.

But please forgive the commissioner. As the former state representative from Stephenville, he represents one of the most pan-seared and gravy-soaked parts of Texas.

At time-honored Jake & Dorothy’s Cafe, featured on Texas Monthly’s cover for its chicken-fried steak, Kerry Roach said serving fried food in school “is not a bad idea.”

“We’ve been here 67 years because of chicken-fried steak and waffle-fried potatoes,” she said, confessing sheepishly that she ate fried chicken from home for lunch “every single day” in either fourth or fifth grade.

But even she sees limits.

“I’m not saying be extreme,” Roach said.

“Say once a week.”

Wait a minute.

Is she saying adults should make responsible decisions?

That’s not the way we do it in Texas.

Bud Kennedy’s column appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 817-390-7538

Twitter: @BudKennedy

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