Today’s menu: pasta with meat sauce, peas and carrots, apple, goldfish crackers (milk not pictured – lactose -intolerant)
So the pasta wasn’t terrible (I have always said that I enjoy pasta). Taste is not the best judge of quality sometimes (do you agree with that statement?). I just wonder, “What am I eating?” If you look closely, you can see that the “beef” is rectangular/square in shape. I’m guessing it’s those beef crumbles with texturized soy flour/protein. Not that appetizing when you think about it. And that’s what I’m doing: thinking about what my students and I eat every day.
Carrots, peas, apple!? Yes! Goldfish? Not my thing, but there’s your second grain (pasta was the first grain).
I still haven’t told too many people about the project. I hope friends don’t hate me when I confess all this to them. I did recently bring in a friend who asked, “Why didn’t you tell me?” I felt bad. I didn’t think it would hurt anyone’s feelings. Thankfully she forgave me.
I have shared things with my dad along the way and that has been funny. When I first told a few family members, the reaction was positive. My dad took it in stride with a “eh?” and went on with his day. He doesn’t understand blogging and doesn’t care about nutrition. Basically he didn’t care one way or another about my project.
But recently he has taken a little more interest. What follows is an excerpted email I got from him today. It made me smile and I knew I had to blog it:
…very interesting. To be the devil’s advocate I think all the children from the poor [sic]…are lucky to be getting what they do!! It is partially a matter of cost that they receive the prepackaged and frozen foods that they do. It would cost me and you and all taxpayers much more to supply fresh stuff year round. The taxpayer is already supporting so many people in so many ways.
Here’s what I’m going to email my dad now that he’s engaging in this debate. I want him on “Team Q:”
I just want you know that part of why I’m advocating for better school lunches. You know, we are already paying for these lunches that aren’t doing much for the kids. There is so much waste in the system. Kids don’t want to eat the food and throw much of it out. I believe if school lunches could be made better, it would end up costing around the same amount. What happened to lower cost items like soup? Doesn’t the packaging cost something too? What about making fresh food onsite that all kids want to buy and eat? Teachers and students from greater means could purchase the lunches instead of packing lunches from home, thereby putting cash into the system. I personally would pay a substantial lunch fee to eat better food with my students and for your grandson to eat a good school lunch with his friends (when he grows up).
If we think strictly about cost, we also have to factor in the costs of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and other serious illnesses that students like mine have a good chance of developing since they have no good food model in their life. If the school doesn’t provide a fresh school lunch, nutrition education or recess, my students learn that food is meaningless and that exercise has no place in school.
So in sum, Dad, we need to toss out the processed food and bring in salad bars. It’s an investment in children and their health. Extend the lunch period, throw in recess, a little nutrition education and we’d be cooking with gas (pun intended)!
Anything you would like to add in my email to my father?