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Topic: School Lunches

  1. #1
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    Default School Lunches

    A recent news article reports that a 9 year old Scottish girl took pictures of her school lunches and graded them, posting the results on her blog, "Neverseconds".

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/16/world/europe/girl-9-gives-school-lunch-failing-grade.html

    I don't have any 9 year olds in my family anymore to assess the quality of school food. So how's Bloomington's lunches stack up? Any young reporters around here?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: School Lunches

    I wouldn't eat them. They are gross. Like hospital food. And I believe they are like they were when we were kids: cheap USDA surplus. It is very frustrating: we feed the boy organic food and little meat at home, and at school they give him all the things that we try to avoid--hormone filled meat, pesticide filled vegetables, etc. It is almost like they want to get him hooked on this 'typical American diet.' Sort of criminal, if you ask me, given the long and short term health affects. (He doesn't like to take packed lunches--doesn't want to feel 'different,' etc. ) And with a little more money it could be all different. I've heard that at the charter school downtown they use the restaurant next door to provide meals. I think that changing the 'menu' and source of foods at the local schools should be a top priority.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4051 View Post
    A recent news article reports that a 9 year old Scottish girl took pictures of her school lunches and graded them, posting the results on her blog, "Neverseconds".

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/16/world/europe/girl-9-gives-school-lunch-failing-grade.html

    I don't have any 9 year olds in my family anymore to assess the quality of school food. So how's Bloomington's lunches stack up? Any young reporters around here?

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	image.jpg 
Views:	84 
Size:	32.4 KB 
ID:	673

  3. #3
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    Default Re: School Lunches

    Saw the original article and thought it was great!!!

    However, Day_Ro, I'm not sure your description is correct. Schools are serving fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and have reduced fried foods.

    It's not perfect, but we are constantly looking for ways to improve and to still keep our lunches affordable for all children.

    Please email me at suewanzer@comcast.net and I would be happy to talk more with you or schdule an appointment with our Food Service Director.

    I have also sponsored a "caferteria crawl" where I have taken local folks and media through our cafeterias for lunch, so they can actually sample a lunch, talk to kids and talk to staff.

    I would love to have you or anyone else join me this fall for a "crawl"

    Sue
    Board of Trustees, District 2
    Precincts: Salt Creek; Polk; Clear Creek 1,2,3; Perry 7,8,9,10,20,27,30

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    Default Re: School Lunches

    I'm sorry--I didn't mean to insult the people who work on this. Perhaps it is just different standards. I have seen the lunches that are served at Child's--to my standards, they are unappealing. I'm sure that they are much better than they were. Still, I wouldn't eat them. It is hard enough for us as a family to serve foods free of pesticides, hormones, and BPA. The problem of affordability is a real problem--both at home and at the school district. But, we've made the decision at home that this is rather a top priority. I am sure, that like everything else, the people at MCCS do their very best with what they have (and we do appreciate this very much). But, we live in a country where the FDA refuses to ban BPA in foods, where pesticide use with vegetables is the norm, and where hormones and antibiotics are the basis for factory farming of meats (and where meat is the center of most, if not all, meals). It is great that schools are finally getting back to moving away from having the coke machines in schools and such and are more concerned with making available fresh fruits (which was the norm, anyway, in the 70s where I grew up), but this country gives a lot of lip service to how important kids are and then hand feeds them barriers to their development and health. The food infrastructure that public schools depend upon, 25-30 kids in a classroom, classes beginning so early that they aren't getting enough sleep...no matter how hard the personnel try (and, honestly, I think that they are noble and dedicated beyond belief), these are, IMHO, structural barriers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Wanzer View Post
    Saw the original article and thought it was great!!!

    However, Day_Ro, I'm not sure your description is correct. Schools are serving fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and have reduced fried foods.

    It's not perfect, but we are constantly looking for ways to improve and to still keep our lunches affordable for all children.

    Please email me at suewanzer@comcast.net and I would be happy to talk more with you or schdule an appointment with our Food Service Director.

    I have also sponsored a "caferteria crawl" where I have taken local folks and media through our cafeterias for lunch, so they can actually sample a lunch, talk to kids and talk to staff.

    I would love to have you or anyone else join me this fall for a "crawl"

    Sue

  5. #5
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    Default Re: School Lunches

    Quote Originally Posted by Day_Ro View Post
    I'm sorry--I didn't mean to insult the people who work on this. Perhaps it is just different standards. I have seen the lunches that are served at Child's--to my standards, they are unappealing. I'm sure that they are much better than they were. Still, I wouldn't eat them. It is hard enough for us as a family to serve foods free of pesticides, hormones, and BPA. The problem of affordability is a real problem--both at home and at the school district. But, we've made the decision at home that this is rather a top priority. I am sure, that like everything else, the people at MCCS do their very best with what they have (and we do appreciate this very much). But, we live in a country where the FDA refuses to ban BPA in foods, where pesticide use with vegetables is the norm, and where hormones and antibiotics are the basis for factory farming of meats (and where meat is the center of most, if not all, meals). It is great that schools are finally getting back to moving away from having the coke machines in schools and such and are more concerned with making available fresh fruits (which was the norm, anyway, in the 70s where I grew up), but this country gives a lot of lip service to how important kids are and then hand feeds them barriers to their development and health. The food infrastructure that public schools depend upon, 25-30 kids in a classroom, classes beginning so early that they aren't getting enough sleep...no matter how hard the personnel try (and, honestly, I think that they are noble and dedicated beyond belief), these are, IMHO, structural barriers.
    Day_Ro...I don't disagree with your assessment of health and nutrition. We need your input and feedback. MCCSC has a Comprehensive Health Issues Committee that explores all things from health and nutrition, to fitness to emotional well-being. You might want to get involved. We could use your insights.

    I hope you will keep offering your information and help us find ways to improve.

    Hattie Johnson is our Food Services Director, and because of her, we've seen the vast improvments with fresh produce and lean protein. You might enjoy talking to her...330-7700.

    thanks again for your information...Sue Wanzer
    Board of Trustees, District 2
    Precincts: Salt Creek; Polk; Clear Creek 1,2,3; Perry 7,8,9,10,20,27,30

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    Default Re: School Lunches

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Wanzer View Post
    Day_Ro...I don't disagree with your assessment of health and nutrition. We need your input and feedback. MCCSC has a Comprehensive Health Issues Committee that explores all things from health and nutrition, to fitness to emotional well-being. You might want to get involved. We could use your insights.

    I hope you will keep offering your information and help us find ways to improve.

    Hattie Johnson is our Food Services Director, and because of her, we've seen the vast improvments with fresh produce and lean protein. You might enjoy talking to her...330-7700.

    thanks again for your information...Sue Wanzer
    Sue, I wonder if the Comprehensive Health Issues Committee could take a look at the use of candy and treats in the classrooms. My middle-schooler receives candy as a reward for right answers and good behavior, sometimes from several teachers on the same day. All that sugar adds up. I asked the principal about it, and his advice was to tell her not to eat it. She doesn't intend to eat too much sugar, but when she is tired and hungry and someone is waving a candy bar in front of her, it's hard for her to resist. (It's hard for me to resist in those circumstances, too!) It seems cruel to tempt them with candy and then say they shouldn't be eating it. Is there any chance teachers could be encouraged to think of other rewards that don't cause cavities and diabetes?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: School Lunches

    Quote Originally Posted by Lives_Je View Post
    Sue, I wonder if the Comprehensive Health Issues Committee could take a look at the use of candy and treats in the classrooms. My middle-schooler receives candy as a reward for right answers and good behavior, sometimes from several teachers on the same day. All that sugar adds up. I asked the principal about it, and his advice was to tell her not to eat it. She doesn't intend to eat too much sugar, but when she is tired and hungry and someone is waving a candy bar in front of her, it's hard for her to resist. (It's hard for me to resist in those circumstances, too!) It seems cruel to tempt them with candy and then say they shouldn't be eating it. Is there any chance teachers could be encouraged to think of other rewards that don't cause cavities and diabetes?
    I know you have mentioned this before and I need to follow up on this again. I hope it can be addressed.
    Board of Trustees, District 2
    Precincts: Salt Creek; Polk; Clear Creek 1,2,3; Perry 7,8,9,10,20,27,30

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    Default Re: School Lunches

    Here, here! And, as always, thanks to Sue for following up and responding. I appreciate her willingness to engage in these discussions and to always keep it civil.

    I want to second Day-Ro's comments below, and add that my oldest son (who is now 13 and entering Tri-North as an 8th grader in the fall) decided ON HIS OWN to stop eating the meat served in school (UES at the time, but I'm sure it's the same throughout the district and state) when he saw "Tyson" on a label. He saw the movie Food, Inc. and witnessed Tyson's treatment of the southern farmers who raise their chickens. His comment to me, as a 5th grader, was, "If they're serving Tyson, how can I trust any of the meat?" He also complained of having to drink "tortured milk" and having no other free options for a filling beverage. Soy milk cost extra. So...he often was very, very hungry. He ASKED THE LUNCH LADIES for peanut butter sandwiches (or pb&j) but they often refused, and he got nothing for lunch but side dishes. When I spoke to them, I was informed that they were told not to give the kids peanut butter sandwiches very often because of the obesity problem. I asked how a vegetarian child was supposed to eat at school, and pointed out that my son was clearly underweight and that I had no concern at all about his consumption of healthy fat found in peanut butter! They agreed to give him this alternative because he is a vegetarian (although this is only true at school). Sheesh!

    This past year he took a pb&j to school with him every day to supplement his lunch, for which we pay, so that he doesn't have to fight the lunch staff for a suitable meal.

    My youngest is met with distain and disrespectful comments from the UES lunch staff when he tries to negotiate a pb&j.

    Quote Originally Posted by Day_Ro View Post
    I'm sorry--I didn't mean to insult the people who work on this. Perhaps it is just different standards. I have seen the lunches that are served at Child's--to my standards, they are unappealing. I'm sure that they are much better than they were. Still, I wouldn't eat them. It is hard enough for us as a family to serve foods free of pesticides, hormones, and BPA. The problem of affordability is a real problem--both at home and at the school district. But, we've made the decision at home that this is rather a top priority. I am sure, that like everything else, the people at MCCS do their very best with what they have (and we do appreciate this very much). But, we live in a country where the FDA refuses to ban BPA in foods, where pesticide use with vegetables is the norm, and where hormones and antibiotics are the basis for factory farming of meats (and where meat is the center of most, if not all, meals). It is great that schools are finally getting back to moving away from having the coke machines in schools and such and are more concerned with making available fresh fruits (which was the norm, anyway, in the 70s where I grew up), but this country gives a lot of lip service to how important kids are and then hand feeds them barriers to their development and health. The food infrastructure that public schools depend upon, 25-30 kids in a classroom, classes beginning so early that they aren't getting enough sleep...no matter how hard the personnel try (and, honestly, I think that they are noble and dedicated beyond belief), these are, IMHO, structural barriers.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: School Lunches

    wow, Hannah...sorry...I will ask some questions and hopefully get some info for you.
    Board of Trustees, District 2
    Precincts: Salt Creek; Polk; Clear Creek 1,2,3; Perry 7,8,9,10,20,27,30

  10. #10
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    Default Re: School Lunches

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Wanzer View Post
    wow, Hannah...sorry...I will ask some questions and hopefully get some info for you.
    the vegeterian issue as well as candy and cookies used as rewards are being looked into...thanks for the input...I will keep you posted.

    sue
    Board of Trustees, District 2
    Precincts: Salt Creek; Polk; Clear Creek 1,2,3; Perry 7,8,9,10,20,27,30

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