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One month ago I came out a Mrs. Q and my book was published. It has been a remarkable experience. All this time I thought I would get fired, but thankfully it didn’t happen. I guess everything you guys said about me being “too paranoid” was right all along.
Many of you have reached out to me to let me know that the book resonated with you. Thank you for telling me that. By the way, if you have read the book and have the time, please consider writing a review of the book on Amazon.com. Some of you have told me that you read the book in a just two days. That was my objective when I was approached about writing a book. I didn’t want to write a dry, depressing paperweight that sat on bedside tables for weeks on end. I wanted you to start reading the book and have trouble putting it down. It sounds cheesy to say but I wanted it to read like a thriller. To me, these issues really are life and death.
The interview question I’m being asked that is the hardest for me to answer is “What’s next?” This past month was not about what was coming next, but instead it was me finally arriving at the reveal. At last I can think about a future that doesn’t involve my termination. What’s my purpose and where do I fit in now that Mrs. Q is me? I get ideas every day. I think it will be an interesting year to come.
Some coverage about me that I didn’t mention before (this is not an exhaustive list):
- Mrs. Q on Healthy School Lunch Ideas (Parenting) — this article appears in the November issue of Parenting magazine.
- Chicago Teacher Gets ‘Fed Up’ (NPR – Here and Now) — listen to the story by clicking on ‘Listen’ under the story headline.
- The unmasking of a school lunch hero: Mrs. Q speaks (Grist)
- Une blogueuse épingle les cantines américaines (French paper)
- Sarah Wu: Fed up with school lunch and with being anonymous (Washington Post)
- School Lunch Crusader Mrs Q Out From Behind The Curtain (Earth Eats)
- What’s in Your Child’s School Lunch? (Motherlode, New York Times)
7 thoughts on “One month as me”
Have arrived here through Serious Eats link. Just looked at the lunch photos at the bottom of the page. Those are the mostly seriously bad school lunches I’ve ever seen. You should be more forcefully appalled than you are. Good luck.
I bought your book last week after following your blog from almost the beginning. It is GREAT! I will definately write a review on Amazon =)
I have been reading your book “Fed Up With Lunch”. I have followed your blog off and on, and have been surprised by the lack of quality and presentation that your school offers. However, in reading your book you make it sound as if the is the normal for the entire USA. It is not, school meals are wonderful here in Utah, we have a fresh fruit or vegetable daily. We do not have a central kitchen, which makes everything appear “pre-packaged”. I think that this blog and book, needs to have a disclaimer that the information included does not reflect all school lunch programs. While I agree change is needed, it is not as dramatic as you make it appear (at least here). I would encourage you to look at other school districts meals before you state things like “School lunch has gotten worse. Much worse”.
@Paul: That’s wonderful that your state is offering healthy lunches for its school children. I agree that not all districts are as bad as others. However, I believe schools like yours are the exception, not the rule, so the author can comfortably stand by her statements. We can all hope that her information is indeed untrue in the new future, but with budget shortfalls in most states and school districts, I can’t imagine it will happen soon. And yes, our children’s nutritional situation is as “dramatic” as she makes it appear.
I disagree, you mention “budget shortfalls” as a reason why school foodservice is poor. This is anything but true. About ALL school districts are a self-sustaining program. This means that if something breaks their funds pay for it, if there is a salary raise their program pays for it. In the school system the school lunch program is the only program that receives real revenue. And, no this is not as dramatic as Mrs Q makes it. While “whole foods”, is the best, it is also not realistic. School cafeterias are not restaurants, and “lunch ladies” are not chefs. I am a chef, I would could not work for a school cafeteria as they only work 180 days a year, and most work under 6 hours a day. Your “whole foods restaurant has far more options.
Processed food is what children know, and what children eat. Put Jamie Oliver’s Squash Ragout in front of them and you will have a school full of hungry children. Also, because it works at home does not mean it works for feeding 300-600 students.
I have just convinced my own book club to read Fed Up With Lunch as our very first “not a novel” book. I’m going to try and do a serious read of the book since I’m the host this month. But I just wanted to say that you are inspiring, and a group of young women who mostly don’t have kids (I have the only kid and he’s 1) are going to dive into your book this coming holiday season. Thank you for writing, and I look forward to how this will go!
I have just read many comments about school lunches. Unfortunately what you are not talking about is the effort of the staff each day. It is the duty of someone that you have probably never bothered to meet, to carefully plan a menu which includes calories that you are not supposed to take in because you are grown. In the school system where I work the market is still playing a game of “catch up”, to get to the new federal standards. Farm fresh food is being added daily (I plan menus, I know), in my particular county. You should probably also mention the type of lunches served, “centeral kitchen, etc.”. As it seems that not all groups will get a fair shake from the commentary on your blog. I feel partially insulted because I work very hard and ask a whole lot of questions to be sure that the “looks good, tastes good and applies to federal guidelines”, is in place. Maybe you should travel outside of your school district before making yourself famous from the misfortune of the cafeteria staff where you are. Did you ever once tell anyone in upper management that you were displeased? I seriously doubt it. Because the whole blog was shady from the get-go until you came out.
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