Terrific article dated June 16th. For the record, I am nowhere near LA, but my sister-in-law is and snagged a copy of the paper for me.
The article resonated with my because it talks not only about the processed food on the menu, but also the pathetically short amount of time gets actually get to eat. I’ve discussed both of these problems in previous blog posts. In addition to the length of students’ lunch breaks, the article touches on the high quantity of sugar in the food. Too much sugar is a really big problem.
But this quote from the article really gets to the meat of it:
School district food officials say their biggest challenge is to produce healthy food that is both cheap and appealing to students. Healthy meals do no one any good unless they are being eaten.
When did healthy food get expensive and stop being appealing? How did we get to this place? Because people don’t care that much about food. I worry that the United States just doesn’t value food like other countries. I believe our culture is dominated by fast food corporations, which has led to two divergent outcomes. Our culture is experiencing a huge decrease in home cooking and, on the other side of the spectrum, an increased reverance for chefs as people who possess unattainable skills (see: Food Network). Without a doubt chefs are special, but delicious and affordable home cooking is within reach for all of us.
For example, if you drive you probably have seen the billboard ads for the McDonald’s smoothies and I’ve also heard them described on radio ads as containing “exotic fruit.” Are you kidding me? A smoothie is one of the easiest things to make at home and the last time I checked bananas and apples are at my local grocery store. Do you need fancy equipment? Before we got married and registered for a “nice” blender, we “got by” with one my husband found at a garage sale for five bucks. It worked great for many years and my husband even repurposed it into a lamp (I think it’s in a box somewhere now).
My mother-in-law recently made my son some strawberry milk. She took milk and strawberries, put them in a blender, and before our eyes we had pink milk. It’s that easy. Whatever you want to call it — pink milk, a fruit drink, or a smoothie — you can do at home for little money and effort. I’m learning that the worst part is doing the dishes!