Hitting a wall

I’m just worn out. I don’t want to eat any more school lunches. I’ve lost the pleasure of eating lunch, the little respite in the middle of the day. I’m tired of the food. I wish I had more control over what I’m eating….

The first month of the project it was “fun” thinking about trying a new menu item. “What am I going to eat today?” I might think. But now that’s gone. I just hope it’s not PB&J again, or worse, cheese lasagna.

When I first started the project I didn’t want to check the menu so that I didn’t “spoil the surprise” of what was for lunch. Now I glance at the menu a couple times per day, but conveniently forget what is coming next even within the same day. I’m in lunch denial.

But I am still moving forward. I can make it until summer…. summer…. I can’t imagine doing this for 12 months. But 10, with a two month break? Ok. Three down (almost), seven to go!

I can do this, I can do this, I can do this…

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59 Responses to Hitting a wall

  1. Ansa82 March 29, 2010 at 10:50 pm #

    KEEP UP THE FIGHT!! At my daughters school they serve PIZZA with FRENCH FRIES! Its awful. Why on earth are schools happy to give our kids such bad food? I am appalled.

  2. teachj March 29, 2010 at 11:38 pm #

    Wow, the sheer volume of comments is awesome. Hang in there, I think you are doing something worthwhile.

    A couple of years ago, my newspaper students interviewed the cafeteria staff and found out how the lunch menu was assembled. And one of the biggest student complaints is the constant repetition. The staff acknowledged it and said that often their hands are tied by the amount of money and time available to make and serve the large number of lunches in my Title I school.

  3. MJS March 30, 2010 at 3:59 pm #

    "There was mention of how the kids might think in another comment… I think it's quite different. They didn't walk into this as a whistle blowers. They don't understand just how bad the food is."

    Survey your local school population and I'm sure you'll find students who are keenly aware of the problems with school lunches.

    My older child's peers can speak quite articulately about the poor quality and how bad they feel for their friends who have to eat hot lunch due to family finances – they bring extra fruit & veggies in their lunch boxes for them. My younger child reports a group of kids who brown bag it with him all year long because they don't like school food.

    When the district's food service contract was up for renewal last spring, it was reported that the number of full pay students had declined dramatically in the last few years, I believe due to the declining taste and quality. You wouldn't see so much waste in the cafeterias if the kids didn't know it was bad and you'd have larger participation from full pay students (who help subsidize costs to run the program according to our district).

    Mrs. Q, I am sorry you are feeling this way. I think this post drives home the fact that this is an educational issue as well as a nutritional one. If an adult's mind & body reacts so poorly to this quality of food, imagine how hard it must be for students to concentrate and do well in classes after lunch. The fact you feel the need to post this blog anonymously makes me sad. I wish more teachers felt they could advocate for their students without fear of reprisals.

  4. Heather March 30, 2010 at 4:33 pm #

    You can do it, Mrs. Q! I don't have children, but I think what you're doing, and the issues you're bringing to light, are very important endeavors that should be pursued by all of us interested in food health and wellness, for right now and for well into the future. When I was in high school, I often brought a packed lunch from home, but I remember the standard daily menu was pizza and french fries. Students deserve better quality and choice!

  5. Anonymous March 30, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

    Girl! I cannot imagine the constitution it must take to stomach this everyday!

    What you are doing is so very important.

    If this question has been asked earlier, forgive me, but did you consider doing a physical and bloodwork before you began this experiment? It might have an even bigger impact to see the "before" and "after" numbers!

    I hope you are flushing your system with real food during the times you are not at school!

    Good luck and keep up the good work!

  6. Anonymous March 30, 2010 at 4:46 pm #

    You can do it! Just think "pizza Friday" is just around the corner!

  7. Anonymous March 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm #

    Thank you Mrs. Q!!!!

  8. Abby March 31, 2010 at 3:35 am #

    The popularity of this blog and the rate at which it has become known and followed is a testament to how many people are interested in and concerned about this issue! You have accomplished so much in such a short time. Be sure to take extra-good care of yourself during those meals that you do have control over, and remember the reason you're doing this. You ARE making a difference!

  9. Charlotte March 31, 2010 at 10:17 am #

    Being a student who packs their lunch, I don't know what it's like to eat the school lunches. I know what they look like, but I don't know what they taste like. They look a bit like yours. What your doing is… Inspiring, Mrs. Q. This makes people (especially students like me) want to do something about what the students eat every day of the school year. It's not healthy and basically not even humane. Some of these lunches look palatable and I know some of our are (from my friends who do eat lunch), but 9 out of 10 times, the food is unhealthy and gross. Thank you for doing this. I know how challenging this must be. I know we need to do something now.

    Oh, and our school only has 21 minutes to eat. Most students wait 5-7 minutes in line, so then they have less than 15 minutes to eat. Shoving all this unhealthy, foul stuff in their mouths to then sit in their stomachs can't be good either. This is a truly great thing you're doing. Keep it up! It will be rewarding in the end if people do what I want to do. Now how to do it? Not sure about that one yet, but I will find a way to try and change what goes on in the cafeteria every day of the 180 day school year. 180 days of this. No wonder all the kids are obese.

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