Suppressing snacks

Schools are trying to ban candy. Writing on Slate, economist Tim Harford doubts schools can stop children from snacking.

My school used to offer two varieties of food. There was cafeteria food, which was inedible, and there were chocolate bars from the snack shop. For two years, I had four chocolate bars for lunch every day.

These days schools are trying to outlaw the unhealthy options, but some markets are irrepressible. William Guntrip is a 13-year-old boy whose central England school banished vending machines and snack-shop food in favor of nutritious offerings at the cafeteria. Guntrip spotted a market opportunity and has been buying soft drinks and candy and reselling them in his school playground. The school is trying to stop him and claims that most students are happy with the new regime, although if that was true then Guntrip wouldn’t be making nearly $100 a day.

For my last three years of high school, I never set foot in the cafeteria, which was dirty and noisy. Some days, I brought a sandwich, which I had to eat surreptitiously in the student lounge or a study room. Many days, I lunched on two packs of M&Ms and a Tab.

About Joanne


  1. Hunter McDaniel says:

    I’m sure the Tab kept you from getting fat from the M&Ms. A balanced diet!

  2. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Joints across the street did it for me. Burgers, spaghetti, other crap, and noise. The Juke box, old Wailing Wurlitzer.

  3. Up until high school, the cafeteria food was actually good. We even had popcorn shrimp on some days, and I still believe the Tulsa schools sells the recipes to its Bean Chowder and cinnamon rolls. In high school, we had open campus, until some idiot opened fire at a burger joint during lunch time and the parents were rightfully terrified.

    Our schools banned gum, and so of course, we chewed away more than a caravan of camels. Enterprising sorts back then would buy packs of gum, and then sell each piece for a quarter. Kids will always find a way.

    I find it bizarre that many schools have banned whole milk.