LA Unified School District Posts Bizarre Video About ‘Food Neutrality’

Los Angeles Unified School District allegedly promoted an odd video on social media about “food neutrality,” food choices and health, obviously marketed at children.

In the video, which is like something out of the freaky Willy Wonka movie with Johnny Depp, bizarre women claim “food choices are based on a false standard of health.”

A very large African American woman says “we are incorrectly taught from a young age that our size and therefore the foods that we eat are markers of our self-worth.”

The short video, by Blair Imani, says “diet culture based on oppression have created false hierarchies of food.”

Outraged parents said they have been told white kids shouldn’t judge poor children for eating processed foods or junk foods.

Imani’s website says she is a “writer, mental health advocate, and historian living at the intersections of Black, Queer, and Muslim identity.”

“Blair Imani (she/her) is the creator of the viral web series Smarter in Seconds. The New York Times praises Blair Imani’s unique ability to create ‘progressive lessons with vibrant visuals and a perky, quirky delivery.’”

Here is the video:

The Globe has questions about the video – specifically its intent promoting the lie that no one food choice is better than another food choice (oppressive food hierarchy). The message, “eat what you want to eat” because there are no “good and bad choices,” is alarming in that there is a direct connection between what we eat and our health.

The Globe was contacted by numerous LAUSD parents with concerns about the video. We contacted the coordinator of the Human Relations, Diversity and Equity at the LAUSD, Judy Chiasson, Ph.D, to ask about the decision by the school district to promote the video. We will report back when she responds.

Here is what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about food and health:

“An eating plan that helps manage your weight includes a variety of healthy foods. Add an array of colors to your plate and think of it as eating the rainbow. Dark, leafy greens, oranges, and tomatoes—even fresh herbs—are loaded with vitamins, fiber, and minerals. Adding frozen peppers, broccoli, or onions to stews and omelets gives them a quick and convenient boost of color and nutrients.”

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020–2025[PDF-30.6MB], a healthy eating plan:

  • Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
  • Includes a variety of protein foods such as seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), soy products, nuts, and seeds.
  • Is low in added sugars, sodium, saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol.
  • Stays within your daily calorie needs

Is Blair Imani a nutritionist? Is she a dietician?

“Her work centers women and girls, global Black communities, and the LGBTQ+ community. As an educator, influencer, and semi-retired organizer, Blair Imani is dedicated to making the world less terrible and amplifying the voices and work of those fighting the good fight.”

Why would LAUSD give this video any credence? Parents are not, and have done their own research on it. This parent claims, “The “nutritionist” they got for this video works for Mondelez International. They make oreos, chips ahoy, and sour patch kids.”

In the land of nanny governments, contradictions abound. In California, lawmakers have banned and taxed smoking, banned plastic bags and polystyrene food containers, regulated the Happy Meal, mandated breaks and vacation time for babysitters, and even ordered fitted sheets in hotels for housekeepers.

In 2010, then-Assemblyman Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), sponsored a bill to ban Gatorade from schools because he said kids drink too many sugary drinks. Soda machines were banned from schools in the state. Citing the increasing problem of obesity, Santa Clara County even banned the McDonald’s Happy Meal.

In 2012, chief nanny, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, ordered the downsizing of supersize sodas.

While many people agree that too much Gatorade, sodas and Happy Meals are not healthy, the nanny state went too far by banning them.

So how have we come full circle with LAUSD telling people they can eat whatever they want and suffer no shame… or health problems? Telling children that being cognizant of food choices,  is “white supremacy” is mind boggling.

UPDATE: Late Wednesday afternoon we heard back from LAUSD asking us to attribute to a Los Angeles Unified spokesperson:

“To our knowledge, the social media content in question did not originate from any employee at Los Angeles Unified. We support the highest nutritional standards for our students and continue to ensure all social media content promotes a safe, welcoming and affirming learning environment for all.”

The email was signed by Sharon Haber at LAUSD, with no departmental identification.