I’m blogging anonymously because I like my job and getting a paycheck. But I’m still putting my livelihood on the line by speaking up. Why? Because I want to raise awareness about school lunch. It may not be what every child in this country eats, but I believe the meal that I am showing represents what most children eat at lunch in the US.

This issue is important now because the Child Nutrition Act is being reauthorized and debated in Congress right now. I realize that everyone is strapped for cash right now. Individuals, companies, states, and countries are losing money. No matter what is going on in this world, we can’t forget the kids and the fact that many of them are at the mercy of school districts and corporations for their daily meal(s). It will cost the US more money in the future (healthcare costs) if schools don’t address the big problem that is staring them in the face everyday: childhood obesity. No matter how great a school is, it can’t control what the kids eat outside of school. But still schools can do better for kids while they are in building.

People say “school lunches have always been bad.” But actually I think in a lot of places they have gotten worse as far as quality and variety are concerned. Considering all of the powerful health, wellness, and nutrition research that has come out over the past thirty years, school lunches have not kept up with the latest medical advice.

I’ve been very stressed out about this project recently. I really love my school, the principal and the lunch manager a lot. I respect them. The principal is fair and is a strong leader. The lunch manager is kind to me and to the kids. And then I go home and do this with my limited spare time. I feel a lot of guilt and turmoil about what I’m doing here. I’m waiting for the moment I’m called to the principal’s office and let go. I do believe it’s a matter of “when” not “if” they both find out and it’s curtains for me and then of course the project. I want them to know that the project is not about individuals in one school, but about a country full of children who need better food models.

I’m getting a lot of requests for interviews from major newspapers and other news outlets (I have done other interviews for media with smaller distribution and/or all online). Many assure me of my anonymity, but if I get major attention even without my real name, well, someone is going to put 2 + 2 together. All that is needed is one person sending one email to all lunch room managers and asking, “Who’s eating school lunch every day?” Then they get a short list …and I’ll be carrying a cardboard box to my car.

My husband says, “You’re paranoid! Stop it.” But in a subsequent discussion he said, “You’re not going to lose your job, are you?”

Sweetie, when I decided to do this blog, even though I thought I would not get a comment for a few months (it took just a few days) and that I thought maybe in a few months I might get 5-10 hits per week (I’m averaging 1,000 to 4,000 per day)…. well, it’s not looking good. I’m just hoping to finish out the school year…

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161 thoughts on “Anonymity

  1. Keep it up man. I'm a student in the Anchorage School District and honestly, the food here is shit. It's either really unhealthy and greasy or it tastes like crap. They made these charts saying it's low fat and whatnot, but I have lost weight since not eating that crap and it is SOOOOOOOOO GREASY!!! There is always like a lake of grease on top of anything at school.

    At my old school, in the bush Alaska, we got real meals with like mashed potato and gravy, some kind of meat that was actually good, and I enjoyed eating the food, which was not as expensive considering we have to pay for ea. individual item.

    Keep it up. I'm graduating now so I won't get any of the benefits, but if you can help some kids to not have to eat this crap that we're getting served you'll be doing a major service to America and Americans.

  2. I have been teaching for five years now have in the past four I have only had school lunch when I have absolutely had to. My first year of teaching I ate it almost every day the first semester. I gained close to 30 pounds. August to November 30 POUNDS!!!!! I talked to the school nutritionist and she said out school lunch is around 1000 calories. That is an extreme amount.

  3. Thank god someone is finally speaking out. This is a huge deal and nobody seems to care. Hello…this is the the foundation of our next generation, and Im not quite sure how people are not able to look around and realize what is happening to our country. Im not sure what its like in your area, but in mine they are even removing jungle gyms from the playgrounds and some children don't even have a recess anymore. How are kids supposed to learn to get physical activity? That majority of that has been eliminated even since my generation (and im only in my 20s) with technology. When you put lack of physical activity and horrible lunches together..the result is not good my friends. So THANK YOU anonymous teacher. Props to you and I wish you success, do not give up because someone has to open their eyes..its not about the short term, this will end up costing us billions down the line is healthcare!

  4. Let me say this, I live in another state and actually work in the food service center of our school district, I am disgusted with the food and the lack of nutrition that is provided, We are required to serve certain amounts of certain things and then the rest is messed with. I am like you only an employee and fear the loss of my job if I speak my mind. I have no control over the food served ,I make some of it, I will also add that there is a LOT of food additives to meats, most hamburgers are not meat, and so on, a lot of the things that you assume are real foods are fillers, I see it as the humans dog food at some points. Sadly I am like you and eat it out of guilt.

  5. Thank you for doing this. I know how tough it can be to speak out when it means risking your job. I am a teacher who can sympathize with your situation.

    It is about more than just one school. Having worked in a few schools in different states, this is a national problem. I look at the kids lunch everyday and I am so grossed out. Just last week they had a bag of fritos (split open laying on its side), a scoop of beef, and cheese from a can plopped on top. That is not lunch!

    Our charter school has tried to change our lunch menu. We even organized a group of parents and teachers who were willing to work out the details. After an entire year of planning we discovered the district has made it nearly impossible for us to pull it off. The expense of paying a separate nutritionist, licenses, and food cost was more than we could afford. Even our plans of supplementing meals and snacks with food grown at school were made impossible. Keep doing what your doing and I will keep my fingers crossed for you.

  6. THANK YOU SO MUCH. I can't tell you how many times I have had to beg my parents to walk away from the lunch account registration booth on student orientation days. Somehow the tale of the mac and cheese that never comes off of the school's trays, no matter how long you hold it upside down (the record for my school's mac-n-cheese is 42 minutes and 32 seconds) really gets their attention. And of course the infamous elastic hotdog incident (a kid sitting next to me thought it would be delightful to throw and rupture a hot dog on the walls of the cafeteria; his lunch bounced off of the wall and feebly rolled back to him)persuaded them to spend their money on school spiritwear instead. Long live healthy tastebuds.

  7. I'm also a teacher that is fed up with the lunches we feed our kids. I check what's being served everyday and everyday I am a little more disgusted than the day before. Deep fried corn dogs should not count as protein and I'm pretty sure they're no form of grain.
    Bean and cheese burritos with almost 500 calories alone- and that's just beginning of the calorie count. Who knows are many calories are in those fried tater tots and cup of overly sweetened fruit cocktail.
    Would we make these things for ourselves?
    The majority of us would not for good reason.

    So I applaud your efforts. I couldn't agree more- what we are feeding our students isn't just bad nutrition, it's a bad education about what to put in our bodies and how to be healthy.
    Keep it up and thank you for caring about the kids of our nation. Never underestimate the power one person can have or the change they can enact!

  8. I would like to say that not all school lunches are unhealthy. I work at a private school in the kitchen. We have fresh fruit, salads and do offer fries, but they are oven baked. Our bread is totally made on site with mostly whole wheat flour. I know public school is much different, but there are some schools our there that are trying to give the kids a healthy lunch.

  9. I spent
    33 yrs. watching the students eat corn dogs, nachos and cheese, and pizza. They definately avoided all fruits and vegetables. They would toss apples immediately into the trash.
    Why the fruit wasn't collected and given to the nursing home next door was a sin.

  10. I am a student of Benson high school in Omaha,NE, and let me tell you, the food is disgusting!Two days ago,the lunch ladies served tater tots-STILL FROZEN!Please keep in mind, this is third lunch, well over an hour after the lunch period has started,so that means that the lunch ladies had an hour to cook the food.So,fyi Teacher, Idon't know where you teach, but they are obviously fooling you into thinking they value you or the students

  11. What I dont get is how the school harps on the parents to send in HEALTHY snacks for our children, no cookies,chips,candy etc. please give your child better choices like fruit, yogurt,cottage cheese,crackers, anything nutritious but yet the school feeds my child mozzarella sticks and marinara sauce for lunch. how is this healthy? How is that meal teaching our children to make better choices? How is that meal nutritious for our children? Now i know what your thinking, then why do you allow your child to eat it? I am a single parents who is struggling to make ends meet and finally my child gets reduced lunch, which I can afford. But even if it is reduced, shouldn't the meals be a somewhat healthier choice than mozzarella sticks and hot dogs?

    I commend you for what your doing, we all need to stand together and make our point heard!

  12. I totally agree with the crisis we are in with school lunches. My daughter will be going to a public school for the first time next year and I am dreading exposing her to the fast food model provided by our local school district (hot dogs, pizza, hamburgers) and all kinds of cooked, cooled and re-warmed foods (imagine doing this to a grilled cheese sandwich). Not to mention the environmental waste with all of the disposable packaging. I can impact my own child's food choices but feel badly for those who have no choice than to eat what is provided to them, no matter how unhealthy it may be.

  13. I am a teacher also. Our lunches are terrible. I can't believe the small amount of food they give to high school kids. We are a small district and there is no second line of other choices. You get what you get…the grill cheese sandwich the other day was so dry that you couldn't even bite into it. Our district serves 1000 students maybe a day. The count the tater tots on your plate. Six is what you get no more no less. Breakfast and lunch at school is the only meal many of our kids get and while breakfast is ok..because it is cereal. Lunch not so much.

  14. I'm a senior at high school in south Georgia. Our school lunches are ridiculously gross. They are required to put three items on the plate and often those three items are redundant or simply stupid. One day they gave me a potato, a roll, and a pack of crackers. My counties school food has always been disgusting and I can't wait to never see it again. If I ever send a child to school, they will be taking their lunch, unless positive changes are made.

  15. I worked in the schools as a substitute teacher and am working on getting my license. I ate the school lunches, and in our school not all of the selections were all that horrible but I did GAIN weight. Our school cafeteria tries to do their best and provide healthy meals based on what they have and what their budget will allow them to do. I am also one of those parents where I need to have my children eat in the cafeteria for financial reasons. I do want them to be healthy more than anything but it is ridiculously hard. We do try our best and are always looking for more ways to incorporate a healthy lifestyle. Also, as you mentioned, the time frame these kids have to eat is ridiculous. They are constantly being rushed to eat and this is something they learn to do all of the time. I am constantly having to tell my oldest daughter to slow down. Not only does eating fast create the want to eat even more but it also causes digestive problems. I am all for what you are doing and I do hope and pray that school lunches will become healthier and the kids will have more time to eat.

  16. I'm thinking you work at a catholic school. I went to one for 5 years. I recognise the cartons.
    Anyway that's beside the point. I love what you're doing here. I'ts about time people spoke up on our behalf.

  17. FYI – the bean burritos served at our schools (Fountain Valley School District, California)have 1200mg of salt in each one – RDA = 1600 mg!!! I am so glad you are doing this. Thank you.

  18. Great blog!

    Shake up your blogging tactics and it will be harder to spot you. Reduce the frequency of "live" posts (accumulate them, like for Spring Break, and/or highlight only new meals). Try to find a way to infiltrate the lunch system… is there a district rep who checks in on each school (making sure they get deliveries, checking on the popularity of different menu items)? Are these things reported monthly or quarterly or ever? Do they figure into the selection of what ends up on the kids' trays? Do they consult nutritionists? (Has someone given this menu a green light?) What else goes into the creation of the menus? How long have deliveries been coming from the same companies? When does bidding take place for companies interested in providing the district with food? Who looks over the bids? How long has this person been in this position? Do these people ever eat the food themselves? Do parents have recourse to a board or committee if they would like to petition for changes to the menu? Have parents ever brought up the subject of school lunches with you in parent/teacher conferences? Would it be interesting to the district & the students to add food to their health curriculum, like by studying the way other cultures eat and learning about the foods they like? (I love Mr. Ferguson's contribution to your blog!)

    Just ideas for content to keep it different… keep up the good work, Secret Agent Q!

  19. I didn't believe my teenagers when they said the school food was gross…until I went to lunch with them. I gagged. Literally. The best thing on my plate was a small gob of lettuce. The other thing was a mushy mess that had corn in it. I was told it was yesterday's leftovers with corn mixed in. It was gross, not anything I recognized and one bite was all I could take of the tastless salty mixture. The tiny milk was warmish. There was a gallon-sized plastic pump jar that we held our lettuce under and runny stuff came out. They called it salad dressing. I'm sorry but I'm just about gagging remembering it. Some kids actually ate the lettuce with runny stuff.

    A few years later I became a substitute teacher, going to various schools all over the district. The food is different (all pre-packaged) and not something our children should be eating. As a matter of fact, most kids pushed their food into the trash barrel. During one llunch experience I bit into what I thought was a french fry, but there was no potato in it. It was more than just grease laden, it looked as if it had been a dried fry and was re-hydrated in the grease vat. I'm not exaggerating, I swear.

    One middle school I subbed for actually made their own food. It was no coincidence I subbed at that school on enchalada day and taco salad day. The food was delicious. If only all schools would have cooks that made real food from scratch like when I was a kid. Back then, in the 50s and 60s you could walk into the cafeteria in the morning and find the cafeteria ladies peeling potatoes, making biscuits, meat gravy and fresh cherry cobbler.

    Our kids need good, basic homemade foods for lunch. What they are being fed in most schools is truly appalling. For those of you who think I'm exaggerating, please go have lunch at your neighborhood middle school tomorrow. You won't believe it until you see it with your own eyes.

  20. Good for you! It's silly to think that the food we serve our kids in school, combined with the lack of movement (p.e.) does not affect how they act and learn! I hope that anyone who sees this blog supports you and your efforts to shed more light on this problem in our schools. We should be feeding our children the most healthy food, not the most cost efficient! Thank you!

  21. I'm a mother of a 11 year old & five year old. Am in illinois too. I always wondered & worried of the kind of lunches my daughther was eating. For a while I was sending her with lunch but due to economic problems. I had to let her eat again in school. She gets free lunch and that was a big help. Still I wanted to do something about it. But I figure how much can one person do. I started to talk to parents, some just didn't care others are scared to talk. Still it was on my to do list.
    I really appreciate you fighting for our children's health. To all the mothers I rather invest now on healthy food rather than investing in later in hospital bills and letting my children suffer. Education,values, love etc all starts at our homes. We need to get together and support this wonderful cause. That Mrs. Q is willing to do. It takes guts to make this decision. We will stand by you it you decide to come out. I will start involving parents for our district. The best of luck. Thanks again for you support.

  22. I read this article on yahoo news and I found myself compelled to respond. I am a food service director and registered dietitian for medium sized school district. For the most part I do agree with you. School nutrition and nutrition for children is just as important as their education. Without a proper meal, the students cannot concentrate on their studies. I am writing because I don't want the schools to be targeted. I came into this position thinking I could makeover the school lunch program, although I realized that money is the biggest factor. Organic or homemade foods are expensive whether it be food or labor cost. I try to make steps every day but it is extremely hard with the little money we do get and the food cost always increasing. If everyone following wants to help make a different, you need to start at the state and federal levels who provides funding to the school lunch and breakfast program.

  23. Thank God this is finally coming out. I have always said that the lunch programs are terrible. I have been a brown bag Mom for two years now. For a once in a while treat my kids like to take lunchables. So I let them pick one out and take it for lunch. One teacher told my son that I needed to pack a different lunch because cheese, ham crackers, juice and a candy bar was not enough. I said that it beats tater tots, corndogs, and a slushy.
    Keep up the great work. I know our first lady is behind you so if you lose your job be sure to give her a call. I have a feeling you will get your job back.

  24. You are a hero!! This is such a serious issue that needs the attention your giving it…thank you for being a voice to so many kids every where!

  25. As other people have said, I don't understand why doing this blog would get you fired. You are trying to do something for the benefit of your students, that makes you a great teacher not a bad one.

  26. From the perspective of a student in high school who has consumed more than enough school lunches, I think what you're doing is excellent.

    At my school, the amount of junk food and unhealthy entrees they serve is ridiculous. They have an entire lunch line dedicated to snack foods (chips, cookies, mega-muffins, sodas), and that line is usually longer than the ones for real food. Many of the kids at my table arrive with a stack of 2-4 cookies and nothing else.

    The reason for this is probably because the real food is so unappetizing. Don't even think of lifting the cheese on the pizza (it's one solid mat), because you won't be able to keep eating once you have. Even the salads are disgusting.

    I really hope they change the food. If it was a little less radioactive then I'm sure people would buy more main courses and less snacks at lunch time. Good luck!

  27. I am a student at Heartland Community College in Normal, IL. I saw that you are also located in Illinois. I would like to do a story for my school paper on this. You can contact me through You can remain anonymous, just want the facts and the ability to pass your story along to a broader audience.

  28. I am a freshman at Auburn University and I am very interested in nutrition (recently became a vegetarian) and love children and have considered going into Education.
    When I was in Elementary school I ate lunch at school. Once I got old enough to pack my lunch in middle and high school I started taking it about 70% of the time, and would occasionally eat at school.
    Some school food was good, for example they made homemade yeast rolls to eat chicken patties and hamburger patties on. (While not healthy, very tasty and not processed)
    I am SO surprised by the fact that your school does not have recess at all, and then to only have gym once a week… what in the world?
    Being from the South, I am very surprised by this!
    While the South is known to be more obese, I know that most schools in Alabama have gym every day, and recess depending on the teacher/school at least a few times each nine week period.
    The meat sauce and pasta meal looks the most appetizing.
    Also, is everything at your school microwaved? That is gross! Of course it is going to be all processed if it is all microwaved!
    I will forever be aware of school nutrition for in the future when I have children!
    I think what you are doing is great! Keep it up!

  29. What a wonderful thing you are doing! As a mother I am glad to have come across your project and I have forwarded your site to all my friends and family. This is a very important topic and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being so brave as to take this upon yourself. There are millions of under-nourished kids in America, and I hope things will change for the better, thanks to people like you!

  30. Are you trying to help your school make positive changes with their lunch program? If so, I'm not sure how will this happen by anonymously posting pictures of cafeteria food.

    Suppose the school works toward improvement? It's no secret that schools across the country are buying their meals from the least expensive source. Who should pay the increased costs for better foods? From where should these better foods come?

    Are you trying to get your school (and other schools) to serve more appetizing and nutritious lunches? If so, would you not agree that the time you've spent blogging about the problem could have been used in a far more productive manner?

    Let's assume that every blog post takes you about an hour of your time. Between photos, spell-checking, posting, etc., an hour is a conservative estimate. I don't know how many posts you've written, but I've seen "Day 42: cheese lasagna" which makes me think you've possibly covered 42 lunches – or at least written 42 blogs.

    That's 42 hours of your time. But let's err on the side of caution and cut that time in half. In 21 hours, you could have:

    *attended several board meetings and expressed your concern about school lunches.

    *offered to start, and formed a recycling committee and a school lunch committee to work hand-in-hand with the cafeteria manager to find a solution to the problem.

    *researched lunch options for your school and probably found some possible solutions.

    *presented these options to the school board and started the process of change to improve the current school lunch situation
    and on, and on, and on.

    If you want to improve school lunches, volunteer, attend some board meetings and offer to work with your school to find solutions.

  31. I hope you read my comment. Just in case you can use an example regarding school lunches. AAFES who works with the military communities. Especially for those military installations overseas. They do a great job on a decent food program for our students. I'm a mother of 4 with 2 in the grade schools. Even thought they are eating healthy they always get chocolate milks. Is okay I make up for a better choice at home. I wanted to share their website to you. Maybe our country can look more into this same system. I can tell you our food doesn't look like what you have been displaying here. Which really makes me scare to head back to American now.

  32. I appreciate you writing this blog. I have two small children also and I have thought before about how bad school lunches are. I hope this is an eye opener so that changes can be made! I hope that when you are found out (because you prob will be) that you are not fired but looked to as a key person to make things better. i think you are being very smart about legal things (esp. not photographing the kids). Keep it up even though it's scary, who knows where this road will lead you!

  33. You are conerned about your job for good reason. As an ex school board member, I can say that when teacher is identified as a trouble maker the result is never pretty. I tried on several occassions as a board member to get our program changed. The response from administration was that it was too complicated and we already had the best program available given our kitchen assets. I can tell you for a fact that on some days when the offering is not pizza or pasta most of what is purchased either by the parent, or by the government for those families that qualify for free and reduced lunch is thrown away. There are good programs out there, but the governtment paperwork that has to be filed out is cumbersome, and school administrators feel they have better things to do with their time. Another challenge is the time allotted for lunch. In our district its only 22 minutes for the middle school. Any dietician would agree how bad that is to force down your food in that way. Try standing in line for 5 to 10 minutes minutes then eating your food in the remaining time. We used to talk about properly chewing food. Now it's expected that you know how to inhale it by the time you reach 6th grade.

  34. I am so envious of you! I have listened to my children complain about the lunches and time constraints at lunch and have done nothing about it besides pack their lunches every day.I want to get involved! I commend you for your dedication. Lunch should be an enjoyable experience! Children should be relaxed during a meal. I have personally witnessed children still standing in the lunch line when the 5 minute bell rang! I also watched 75% of the food being thrown out! Sometimes kids stand in line to find there are no meals left! their friends have to give them some of their lunches. this is so unacceptable. If the lunches were more edible and the children had more time to eat, there would be less waste and less stress. Let's make some changes! I'm in Las Vegas, NV. Home of the worst school district in the country!

  35. Disclaimer: this is NOT real legal advice. I'm a California (not Illinois) attorney who represents public employees in labor and employment disputes, so for what it's worth, keep this in mind: you are a public employee and this is a matter of public concern. therefore, your activity on this blog is protected by the 1st amendment. more facts in your favor: you have not named your school and have chosen to blog anonymously. this evidences your lack of intent to bring disrepute to your profession, co-workers and employer. the school/district may discourage you from blogging, but they would be violating your civil rights if they disciplined or fired you solely because of this blog. And the district's counsel surely knows this too.

  36. You are doing a great thing. I understand the way you must feel. We have lived in a rural district for two years and I kept track of what was on the menu every day. Mondays were cheeseburgers and fries, Fridays were pizza days, Wednesdays were "something fried" days, and the other two days were something equally unnutritious. I think that the most nutritious aspect of the meal was the milk 5 days out of every week! Everything else was either filled with artery clogging grease or processed. Our country is overcome with an abundance of cancer. WHY does the FDA not further study what is in the processed foods that we eat? I'll tell you why–Capitolism. The ole mighty buck is worth more to the government than the health of our children! Once you start to see the correlations between what we eat and the dramatic declination of health in our country, it makes you want to raise your own cattle and grow your own garden!

  37. We all know the lunches have been disgusting and unhealthy for years but nothing seems to change. My son's school switched to the healthier lunches, I liked what I read on the calendar, healthy meat choices, baked sides and good vegetable choices, fruit, juice, lowfat milk. My son was coming home hungry everyday. I said honey whey are you so hungry, he said mom the lunch is SO disgusting. I showed up at school to volunteer for lunch and couldn't identify what he was supposed to be eating except the vegetables that were mushy and cold. I was as disgusted by the healthy lunch as much as I was the unhealthy lunch. I now send lunch from home. The state is wasting and INCREDIBLE amount of money since 3 out of 20 kids ate the lunch the day I was there, the rest went into the garbage. I thought the kids who ate that mushy slop must have been pretty desperate. Helen Smith, Queens, NY

  38. You keep doing what your doing! I think it's great that your protesting in something you want to change! And acatually doing something!!!!! Most people would do it for a week then go, ew, gross… and quit. You keep it up and i'm sure before long you would be on national news… make usre you keep really good track of everything and I hope everything turns out for the best!

  39. this is not for posting – suggestion. don't blog the same day you eat lunch. it is very easy to identify your school that way. don't eat in the cafeteria unless other teachers are eating as well. cheat. yes we teach out kids not to do that but change the menu items some days so that one side goes with another meal. as long as you report them all within a month, we get the general idea. Thank you for doing this! You deserve an award, not to be fired!

  40. I would like to commend you for taking a stand against an issue that affects our children-the quality of the food they are eating in their schools. It affects their entire day, their health, and their future.

    I am a nurse and I understand the importance of good nutrition. That being said, I am also a mother who understands the banal task of putting together the school lunch when you're tired, it's midnight, and your child is incessantly complaining about what you might have available in the house. My oldest child complains frequently that her lunches aren't as "fun" as those her friends bring or purchase. I am clearly the not-so-fun nurse mommy who insists on whole grain bread, whole fruits and veggies, and low fat dairy.

    I persist in my efforts to make my daughters' lunches because I have witnessed first hand the lack of nutritional quality and even the nutritional detriments of school food. It is high in saturated fat, high in processed sugar, and low in quality protein, fiber, and vitamins.

    I am fortunate enough that my husband and I make salaries that allot us the ability to purchase quality, usually organic, wholesome foods for our children. I could easily cut my grocery budget in half if I chose to sacrifice the quality of the food that I buy. I am blessed to have the option, therefore I don't.

    My point being that as a nurse I encounter many families where buying high quality lunch food is just not an option. They are limited by finances and perhaps nutritional education. The latter I can help remedy, the former I directly cannot.

    Since our country and our schools recognize that food is a key component to engagement and enrichment of our nation's kids, we need to address the problem of poor nutritional quality school lunches. My children attend a very nice, well-rated public school in a middle to upper class suburb, and they still offer mozzarella sticks as an entre. That's just unacceptable in my opinion.

    In this country there still exists the defunct notion that children are young, they'll "work it off" in regards to being overweight. That is simply not true. Overweight children turn into overweight adults, and being overweight puts you at risk for a myriad of health problems. More and more children are being diagnosed with hypertension and type II diabetes, two conditions that if left unchecked can lead to grave illness and even death. It is no laughing matter that with an epidemic of obesity in our country we are serving our children mozzarella sticks, tater tots, and pizza drowning in grease for lunch.

    To the blogger, whoever you are, you are using your position as a teacher to advocate for students all over the country. I understand your trepidation about losing your job and I don't think I would reveal my identity, either. Until we take all the research and actually apply it to our practice, people like you will help further the cause of creating a more healthful America for those who are going to be its tomorrow.

  41. To Sabra who posted above:

    I would like to point out that in your very narrow-minded post you missed one very integral point-the children did not choose to be brought into this world. Yes, their parents did choose actions that brought them into existence, but do we punish children for choices that their parents made? I find that inhumane. And by the way, I'm a registered Conservative, not some bleeding-heart liberal you might accuse of such ideals. Moreover, I'm a Christian. The Lord wants us to care for our fellow man, especially his children.

    I'd like to point out that taxpayer money goes to much more frivolous and ridiculous stuff…stupid, pointless research, funding for inane programs, and lining the pockets of fat cats who are probably lounging next to you on that beautiful beach.

    I commend you for taking responsibility for yourself and your family, however you cannot penalize an innocent child by denying them nutrition that they might not otherwise get. I'm a nurse and I've worked in a school and believe me, there are some children who don't get food if they don't come to school. You look into a 5 year old's sullen eyes and tell them you're not going to feed them because their parents can't afford it. I daresay you might think twice about your callous attitude.

    Let's get rid of the 25K toilet seats and keep the school lunches, shall we?

  42. Not all schools have horrible lunches – I'm a sophomore in high school, and, because my school is small and more like a community, the lunchladies actually like us. They go out of their way to make us healthier and better-tasting food. The corporation, I think, made a small menu – one main, one side, one potato item, one drink, one desert is a meal.

    However, they should make meals bigger – we're high school students, and when I stand in line for 10 minutes for lunch because people keep cutting in line, I would like to be able to actually stay un-hungry after lunch.

    That being said, lunches should also be longer. We're kids. We can't talk in class and there's little to not time between classes. We talk, we text, we game, AS WE EAT. That doubles or triples the time we need to eat. Students are convinced that the only reason they come to school is to see their friends – so what happens when lunch is too short and you're too busy wolfing down your food so you can go to the bathroom, and then make it to class in time? More truancy. Lunches are integral parts of school society, and they need to be healthier and longer.

    Sorry it was so long. I think what you're doing is awesome. ^_^ They'd best not fire you, or… I don't know yet. I'll tell you when I find out. XP

  43. I am a teacher in New York, and thankfully can say that I have no problems eating our school cafeteria food. I actually look forward to a full meal with a side of fresh fruit or salad, and a drink for $3.00. You can't find that anywhere. Today I had a turkey and cheese pannini, with a fresh salad and lowfat dressing, and cucumber salad. So, I think that it is really important for people to know and pay attention to what their children are eating, but also to know it's not ALL terrible. I also think that it is the district's responsibility to ensure that the students are receiving healthy, fresh meals. Kudos to you for trying to make a change, and perhaps if members of the school board had to eat this, change would come about much quicker.

  44. You are awesome! I taught for many years in the California public school system. I ate from the cafeteria approximately 15 days year when I needed to to save time. But on most days I could not stomach what they served to the kids. It is terrible! The sad part is that they take perfectly good food and ruin it or serve prepackaged junk. Most of the kids do not eat their lunch because it is so bad. I commend you for making a stand. It is time that someone does!

  45. Hi. School lunches vary from state to state. The milk served in Southern California are in plastic pouches. Some people may say it's strange, others may think plastic is a better way to produce less trash compared to cartons.

    I just wrapped up a trailer for a documentary I made. The trailer is a teaser, but I would like to point out that it's also the "outside" high calories snacks and drinks that are brought into the schools. So the question become what are students really eating (or not).

    In my documentary, a student brought in a pink box filled with donuts. The school does not serve donuts. One of the student's friend eats a donut and throws out her school breakfast that was provided to her. (Note, she threw the entire milk and entree away). Maybe she really dislikes the taste of the school breakfast, but at least the school meals do have a to follow a nutritional guideline. Yes, there are still flaws with the guideline (in my opinion).

    One good outcome from my documentary is that the schools no longer serve their version of low-fat cinnamon rolls. Change can happen in school meals!

    Thanks for reading… and please enjoy he video Snack Wars: Food for Thought Documentary Trailer by going to the link below

  46. Thank you for doing this!!! I have attempted to address, in 2 school districts now, the quality of food served…we are in Indiana. I do work in schools. In one district I was told by the district food services manager that they sold these things….french fries, soft pretzels (as your main meal) etc that they sold these things because this is what the kids will buy. I'm sorry but if I had used that logic with my own children they would have been eating fries, hotdogs, hamburgers and tacos every day! If you only provide healthy food, eventually the kids will not only buy it but enjoy it!!! My feeling is comparable to many….if we are, for many children, their main source of food then we have an obligation to feed them well… not just fill their stomachs but actually feed them healthy foods that provide them with energy not cause them to go into a "slump" 30 minutes after eating.

    My own children are not allowed to purchase more than 2 meals a week….and never corn dogs or anything like that! I even have misgivings about the 2 meals but they do enjoy being like the rest of the kids sometimes!

  47. I have great respect for what you are doing. As a Grandmother of two wonderful Granddaughters I also appreciate this. I use to work in a High School Cafeteria. Let Me tell you there were days when I had to close my eye's to serve some of the crap that was prepared for the Kids.Not only was the food crap but the cook didn't know how to prepare anything.Bad cook plus bad food is the worse. I was an assistant.I tried to make healthy Salads,and sides that at least made up for a little of the CRAP.One thing it did teach Me is not to believe that My Granddaughters were getting a healthy meal at School.Now when I pick them up and feed them Dinner I make sure they get a fresh Veggie( Usually baby Carrots with lite Ranch dressing) because they love them.A Fruit and protein .As I feed them Dinner and Mom usually picks them up around 6:00 Pm.Thank You so much for what You are doing.The Government is taking so much away from our Children and I believe that they are not looking at the future of our country as they do so. Whether they want to admit it or not. LIKE THEY WOULD ADMIT TO MISTAKES CHAAAA!I wish I would have thought of this when I was still employed at the school.

  48. I see the childhood obesity epidemic to be more than just what we are eating, and what we are doing physically. Our environment has become polluted with estrogen like substances from plastices, and expelled unmetabolized hormones. These substances cause feminization, which includes deposition of fat. I think we are making it much harder to even keep the weight off by exposing children to the substances with hormone like activity in the environment. Add this on top of the lousy food, and reduced physical activity and it is no wonder we have a problem.

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