Food Cops Exploit Valentine’s Day (Where is the Love?)

It was just a matter of time. Elementary school administrators in Silverthorne, Colorado have banned children from sharing Valentine's Day greetings with classmates today. Instead, kids are writing down positive affirmations about their friends to be retrieved at random from a "Friendship Day" bucket.

And thanks to the school’s "wellness team," Silverthorne children can forget about enjoying their beloved Valentine-themed candy and cupcakes. School officials told parents this year that Friendship Day will shun the "usual focus" on Valentine's Day sweets by promoting "heart-healthy" snacks like strawberries and yogurt.

“I didn't know Valentine's Day was such a bad thing they had to replace it,” one parent told the Summit Daily News. “It seemed like one of those political moves; I just thought it was unnecessary.”

Responsible adults are also being warned not to indulge their sweet tooth today. A Tampa Tribune editorial warns that “a lot can go wrong” on Valentine’s Day:

On this, the most heart-shaped day of the year, put down that box of chocolates for a moment and consider the mighty organ nestled in the middle of your chest. Today, your heart will beat about 100,000 times, pumping roughly 2,000 gallons of blood. Just a bit bigger than your fist, your heart is designed to keep on beating for a lifetime. But a lot can go wrong … Here is a Valentine's Day look at some of the good and bad news on heart health in America, and a list of risk factors to help you see where you stand …

Here we go again: Overzealous food cops have found yet another convenient excuse for banning cupcakes in the classroom, and for assuming our once-a-year Valentine's day indulgences will turn into (or have already become) everyday habits.

It’s not very romantic, but maybe next year on Valentine's Day we can all can put the emphasis back on common sense, moderation, and actually enjoying a treat now and again.

Then again, why wait until next year?

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