We're in a recession. Everyone's tightening their belts. Debt permeates most political discussions. So what does Texas do? Create a TWO MILLION dollar program in which cameras are installed in a school to monitor what children eat.
Do you know what else Texas has 2 million of? Children living in poverty.
I'm not even gonna broach the Orwellian argument. Or how this information could be used to screw your health insurance. Or how it's schools' jobs to educate our youth, not ensure life-long health. Or how fifty years ago, kids went off-campus for lunch, and the world didn't explode.
Let's just look at the basics here. The school wants data about kids' diets, and they plan to use said data to create healthy program bullshit. The camera system is linked to lunch trays. Lunch trays on which school employees put food. You go through the line, you get your food. If you brown bag it (if this is a school that still allows you to opt out of paying the school to feed you), you don't get a tray. So they aren't really getting a sample of what the kids are eating. Just what school food they are eating.
Which brings me to my second point. The school gives the kids food. THE SCHOOL ALREADY KNOWS WHAT THE KIDS ARE EATING. What, is there some other cafeteria service that is functioning in the school who refuses to release this data?
Sure, you can't know everything that's eaten/not-eaten, not down to the gram. But a few pairs of eyes taking notes about what's being thrown in the garbage could give you decent numbers for this incredible Important Study.
You could also redirect that money to food banks and other programs that have to do with food being eaten, not monitoring food that's being thrown away. Or, at the very least, buy each of those two million dollars a hot pocket. Hey, you'll be able to know what they had for lunch that day!