|Vivi & her prized cider donut. Everything in moderation, right?|
What were they thinking? Wait, that's not what I meant, I know what they were thinking. How dare they!
As I mentioned on the blog a while back, both the food bill and the Food Revolution have gotten me riled up. We've got a child on the cusp of entering school, and Nate and I are committed to embracing public school for our kids and using the money saved on education for their extracurricular activities like music and foreign language education. I would love to feel confident that my kids could occasionally eat the school lunch and get the nutrition they need, rather than packing a lunch from home every day. Having said all that, have you seen these lunch boxes from Planet Box? Pretty sweet.
Ever the studious learner, I began my quest for knowledge on school lunches by reading up on its history. I had a hunch the topic was connected to the farm bill and commodities subsidies, but I didn't know just how intertwined they are. Did you know that the current school lunch program was begun as a way to use up surplus commodities? Me neither! Oh, how the plot thickens.
NPR's Here and Now radio program focused on school lunches one day last month. The guest was Sarah Wu, a public schoolteacher and the author of a book about her undercover year spent eating the lunches at her cafeteria. When asked to pick the worst lunch of the year, Wu selected the "bagel dog," which was soggy and served with jello and tater tots.
Can you imagine?
I want there to be a day in the not so distant future where counting tater tots and ketchup as two servings of vegetables would be as foreign to my kids' generation as the concept of segregated water fountains is to mine.
Is that too much to ask?
I think not. This goal is possible to achieve, but not without the will of the people behind it. Together, we can make a difference. Cheesy, but true. Signing this petition is a positive first step.
But where do we go from here? For those of you with kids in school, how are you handling the dreaded cafeteria lunch? Or are you one of the few lucky families with a great lunch program? I would love to hear all about it, the good, bad, and even the ugly.