This isn’t the first time I’ve written about school lunch (April 1, 2009; August 23, 2010). As a public school teacher in a district where many of the students are on free or reduced lunch and as a person who is fairly picky about what I put in my body, it’s an issue I naturally gravitate towards, though I’m not nearly as knowledgeable as I’d like to be. The topic of school lunch was once again in the news this week and I thought it would be appropriate to bring it to the forefront once again.
I bring my lunch to school every day. My very wonderful husband packs it for me. Often we bring yogurt, crackers or pretzels, carrot sticks, nuts and whatever other nibbles we’ve got stocked in the pantry. Lately I’ve been trying to mix things up and make rice and beans or something on Sundays. How do I get my lunch to school? I love love love my Built Gourmet Getaway lunch bag which I received from Brian’s brother and sister-in-law for a college graduation present. I’ve used it to carry my lunch to work every day since May 2007, including summer jobs, and it still looks brand new. Those bags are amazing, no joke. And washable. I also love my Intak water bottle, which looks like basic plastic, but has been dropped many times and hasn’t busted yet.
The big school lunch news this week centered on a school in Chicago that has banned students from bringing in their own lunches (Slashfood). On one hand, I’m sure there are plenty of kids bringing junk to school-we’ve got them at my school too-but I’m not sure that banning bag lunches is the solution, especially when most school lunch programs aren’t that great either. It’ll be interesting to see how it all turns out.
CNN’s Eatoacracy blog ran a story about the issue in Chicago, along with a poll asking whether the school was right to enact the policy. The opinion of the voters is pretty clear-cut and I think I’m with them.
I was pleasantly surprised by Mrs. Q’s positive reaction on Fed Up With Lunch. She advocates that we “try to channel that emotion to change school lunch so that being forced to eat it is not a punishment”. The comments are pretty interesting too.
Marion Nestle posted a great list of ways to get involved with school food initiatives on her Food Politics blog.
The Kitchn had a number of lunch related posts this week including ideas for eating more fruit, reusable snack and sandwich bags (I really need to get some of those!) and asking about school lunch memories. I remember distinctly bringing turkey sandwiches on rye bread with mayonnaise and curry powder for lunch (its good, try it!). Mom often included sliced cucumber or green pepper as a side. I also remember some of my schoolmates giving me a hard time for eating meat during Lent, which my family didn’t practice.
If that wasn’t enough controversy for the week, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Season 2 also started this week. If you missed it, you can watch it on Hulu and Slashfood had a recap of the show. The episode was pretty much what I expected and didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know, but I still think the work that Jamie is doing is awesome.
Anyone have any lunch tips? Favorite lunches? School lunch memories?