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Should Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Be Banned in Schools?

I was recently told about how a local hot sauce emporium stayed in business, at least for a while. Seems that much of the local trade in hot sauce was done by school-aged children who were looking, not for the next hot thrill but a way to spike their fellow classmate’s food with some of the hottest hot sauce on the planet. The store has since gone out of business (a few prankish kids were not quite enough to keep it in the black) and there are countless hoards of kids looking for another way to bring heat into their dull existence.

Seems there are other ways for kids to get their fix, albeit this is not about pranks as much as it is about a junk food addiction. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos are the latest morsel of junk food under fire. These fiery cheese nuggets, with the crayon-red dye, are just fat, flame, and sodium delivery systems hell-bent on subverting good nutrition everywhere. One bag packs in a whopping amount of fat and salt—”26 grams of fat and a quarter of the amount of salt that’s recommended for the entire day, and because of this schools from California to Chicago are set to start a school-wide ban of the hugely popular snacks.

But as we know, when you take a flamin’ snack away from a child, you get them flamin’ angry. While reports of the Cheetos ban backlash have yet to hit the wire, you can be sure, with fan videos like the one below created by Flamin’ Hot Cheetos enthusiasts, the fiery snacks will be hitting the proverbial fan:

What is your feeling about such bans? Is this a good place to start the massive clean up that is required to improve school nutrition, or is one neon red snack unfairly being picked on? Should we target some other widely consumed food instead?

Related:
Salt: A Child’s Indulgence That Should Be Checked
School Lunch Reform’s Awkward Phase
Peanuts & Coke, Plus Other Odd Food Combinations

Read more: Appetizers & Snacks, Blogs, Children, Family, Healthy Schools, Parenting at the Crossroads, Teens, , , , ,

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Eric Steinman

Eric Steinman is a freelance writer based in Rhinebeck, NY. He regularly writes about food, music, art, architecture, and culture and is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit among other publications.

53 comments

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4:42AM PST on Feb 21, 2013

I don't think so. They are still exploring what is right and wrong and to ban things like this will only hurt them.

7:29AM PST on Feb 16, 2013

well said, Dale and Cindy

9:07PM PST on Jan 28, 2013

Agree with many others here, banning just creates a curiosity and desire to have something that many would not have even bothered trying. While vending machines selling junk is banned in many schools banning the food outright unless one has allergies...such as peanuts will simply spark rebellion in some who will then try it for the sake of trying a banned food.

7:23PM PST on Dec 1, 2012

I think this video is actually from Minneapolis...near where we live....my wife works in the neighborhood....I really like the video, but do worry about what these kids are eating......however, I think if they were banned, it would only get more interest in the product.....

2:34PM PDT on Oct 28, 2012

no. don't ban foods. that is a parents choice. start banning foods and what type of place will we become? just discourage eating unhealthy foods. i personally LOVE flaming foods, including cheetos and takis. I am 5'6'' active and 110 lbs. healthy. all in moderation.

1:35PM PDT on Oct 26, 2012

banning makes things more popular.

9:17PM PDT on Oct 21, 2012

The fat, calories and salt are bad enough... but the real horror story is in the rest of the ingredients...EVERY BIT of that spiciness is created by chemicals!

Take potato chips (my only guilty pleasure, but I only eat about 9 chips per night): the "regular" chips have about 3 ingredients, potatoes, oil and salt. But the "cool ranch," or the "extra spicy," etc.? 2 paragraphs of chemicals!

"Banning" will only make eating the hot cheetos more adventurous and appealing. We need people with great dog n' pony shows.... people who can explain to the kids why chemicals are SOOOO bad for us in the long run, in a way that kids can pick up on and be moved by.

There are so very few people who can do this.

7:02PM PDT on Oct 20, 2012

While I do not think that the school should ban the kids from bringing the snacks from home, I do think they should ban the vending machines or snack shacks on school property from selling junk food.

5:33AM PDT on Oct 20, 2012

We all know what happens when something is banned though.

7:55PM PDT on Oct 19, 2012

I used to pack my children's lunch with everything healthy. Then I found out, they would
trade their lunch for some other kid's junk food. Now that they are older, they are going
back to eating healthier.
If people would stop buying the junk food, there would be no market for it. Until then,
let's get on the real issues in the public school system.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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