It’s Scarier than I Thought

I know a lot of us saw the recent article titled “Photos of School Lunches From around the World”, or maybe you didn’t but let me do a synopsis for you, either way.
Basically, the article took an example picture of a school supplied lunch from several major countries around the world.

Here is a link to the article if you are curious to read it:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/25/school-lunches-around-the-world_n_6746164.html
My interest was instantly peaked, first because of the delicious looking picture of the meal from Greece on the front advertisement and secondly, because I was genuinely intrigued to see how the “richest country in the world” measured up to others. What does our country deem as a “healthy, balanced and nutritionally sound” meal exactly? That’s what they promise, right? Finding the USA’s example in the article, I was embarrassed! (Not really-America has a terrible philosophy on food). In my opinion, the example given of the standard school lunch looked quite terrible in comparison to the others! I don’t understand, (actually I do…but more on that later), why we can’t get on board with these other countries, or at least stop counting French fries as a vegetable is truly beyond me!?!?

The article gave me an idea and I put out an inquiry for a high school student to do a little recon for me.  Every day for one week (we missed a day but made up for it the following week) a student went through the regular school lunch line paying the  $2.30 for lunch.  Every day the student sent me a picture of exactly what was offered with commentary on: food quality, selection, problems running out of food (I found out this happens a lot), weird flavors and more chocolate milk that even they could stand. Now I AM embarrassed. The example picture from the article was bad, no doubt-but I was kind of hoping it was a dramatization. What I found, however? The picture was being NICE, at least it had some peas on the plate!  I then had that students Mom give her opinion on the food from the picture and what her child told her.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and I have 5…. so I will shut up now.

Day 1- Monday

Called "lemongrass chicken" My spys take : "very dry, doesn't taste anything like lemons, no flavor on rice"

Called “lemongrass chicken”
The Students take: “Very dry, doesn’t taste anything like lemons, no flavor on rice.” ————————————————————The Moms Take : ” I asked if this was all that was offered, she said that they had oranges offered but didn’t get one because they taste so weird at the school”

Day 2- Tuesday

Cheeseburger My Students Take:  "enough pepper to fill a small bottle, the cheese was like a piece of plastic, no ketchup, fries were ok, cookie was harder than a rock"

Cheeseburger
My Students Take:
“enough pepper to fill a small bottle, the cheese was like a piece of plastic, no ketchup, fries were ok, cookie was harder than a rock” —————————————————————————————————————————The Moms Take: “Nice to see what I am paying for, wish my older kids would pack a lunch. THIS KIND OF SCARES ME”

Day 3-Wednesday (missed)

Day 4- Thursday

Cheeseburger...again My Students Take: "Meat was really salty and overcooked, fries were bland and some still frozen, brownie tasted like dirt-however we had ketchup today!"

Cheeseburger…again
My Students Take:
“Meat was really salty and overcooked, fries were bland and some still frozen, brownie tasted like dirt-however we had ketchup today!” ————————————————————————————————————————–The Moms take: “I thought they were going to make school meals healthier? This looks like the same crap as last year.”

Day 5 Friday

Chili Dogs My Students Take: " they had fries, but ran out of food before I got to the server. This was the best lunch yet but it tasted ike the SMELL of canned dog food"

Chili Dogs
My Students Take: ” they had fries, but ran out of food before I got to the server. This was the best lunch yet but it tasted ike the SMELL of canned dog food”—————————————————————————— The Moms Take: ” unfortunately, this is probably the best meal some kids get all day, some parents buy junk all the time anyway”

Day 6 Monday (make up day from previous week)

Repeat Offender.  My student's take: "I THINK those are black eyed peas and I bought the Apple extra, I will actually eat that"

Repeat Offender.
My student’s take:
“I THINK those are black eyed peas and I bought the Apple extra, I will actually eat that”————————————————————- The Moms take: “It has definitely opened my eyes to the crap they serve. Ewwww I would ask them what they had for lunch and if they said cheeseburger and fries, it’s not exactly the “healthy eating” that was planned, but what kid doesn’t like a burger and fries, then the pictures came. Gross!!”

So in summary, I hope your kid likes burgers that taste like rubber or are saturated in pepper, doesn’t ever need anything other than sugared up juice and chocolate milk to wash down all the starch (hello tooth decay-yet another can of worms………..), which by the way,you can’t even GET water-unless from a fountain or buying a bottle, O and don’t forget! Heaven forbid they don’t offer the kid a huge cookie or brownie to fill in the gaps of this “whole and balanced meal”.

Do we really have to ask why there is an obesity epidemic in this country!?!?!?!?! We are turning our children… and every other unfortunately misinformed citizen, for that matter, into a nation of MALNOURISHED but overfed weaklings who have no basis for how to properly feed their bodies for optimal health. I understand and appreciate that proper nutrition starts with the HOME table. Education of the masses is needed now more than ever, but the big question still remains, Do people truly care??? Or do they only care when their 8 year old is looking type II diabetes in the face?? Or they themselves are suffering from a massive heart attack or stroke? The person that has to stay “STOP THE MADNESS” is staring right back at us in the mirror, it starts with YOU.

Let me get off on another little tangit before I reign it back in again…..
I have pretty much always packed Grays lunch, but I know that the few times I let him go without it I always regret it. Even at the elementary level (he goes to McCord) the children are only offered Milk to drink (Gray has to bring his own cup to fill-no problem-but what is the big deal of offering water?). It is law that they are given Milk. WHY??? And why is chocolate milk even offered? Kids need the calcium, right? HA… I WISH the government cared about our kids like that! What does the government care about? Big Business and Dairy is one of those things.
I love big business (sarcasm is awesome). Milk is offered (between the lines: REQUIRED) because it keeps dairy on the shelves and $$ in the pocket of the big dogs.
Same thing with all the starch! Breads, buns, cookies, and potatoes, SUGAR, SUGAR, SUGAR… cheap to buy, CHEAP to make, and it keeps BIG business, well… BIG. and Americans growing BIGGER….and I don’t mean taller with extraordinary strong teeth and bones (because of all that calcium, ya know…).

This whole article makes me sad, mad and sorry. I end with the question that has plagued from the first time I saw that original photo article, “WHY cant America get on board with these other countries??  WHY are we allowing our children and ourselves to be fed this way???? WHY WHY WHY??”

What do you think? I am seriously interested to hear what your thoughts are. What would you do to change it?

In Pure Frustration for Your Families Health,

Liz Jackson
j2

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4 thoughts on “It’s Scarier than I Thought

  1. I know James Lankford. Before he got into politics he devoted his time to kids as director of Falls Creek. He needs to read your article. When we allow the feds to dictate to the states how we feed our children by dangling dollars we do a diservice to our kids and become subserviant to a big government. States need to be independent of the Federal government so they have the freedom to provide for the children of their state they see as best. Then our battle is in OKC and not Washington and OKC

    Like

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