Day 55: chicken nuggets

Today’s menu: chicken nuggets, carrots, corn muffin, fruit jello, milk

I can’t remember how this meal tasted. Even just a couple hours after I consumed it, I have no idea what flavors were present. I don’t remember a texture jumping out at me. When I ask my students “What did you think of your lunch?” they give me a blank stare. Now I get it.

I don’t remember eating the corn muffin. It’s like I blocked it out. The other day I ate the fruit jello and I thought it was fabulous. Today I took a couple sporkfuls and that was it. Could my taste buds have amnesia? Or worse have they deserted me? Whatever the case the little buds that remain in my mouth may need therapy.

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28 thoughts on “Day 55: chicken nuggets

  1. Maybe I missed it since I haven't been following you since the beginning – have you talked about the amount of garbage generated in a school cafeteria (and I mean not counting all the food that gets thrown away).

    Our kids eat everything off a styrofoam tray with plastic utensils. On that tray are various other cardboard and plastic containers. This is a (relatively) recent thing. When I first started working there less than 10 years ago, they had plastic trays and things that did not get thrown away. Can it really be less expensive to do things this way? It certainly isn't environmentally friendly. We don't even have any recycling stations.

  2. When my son ate school lunch and I would ask him what he had & how it was every day after school, he would always reply "um, I don't remember" now I understand him, too.

    side note: thanks to that episode of Food Revolution, I will never EVER be able to eat a chicken nugget again. Never.

  3. SO much carbs!! the muffin, the nuggest, the jello, the carrots…wow!
    so, thankful i pack i child's lunch everyday. no complaining about the daily task here!

    you are amazing and i hope all your efforts bring about change! thank you!

  4. I'm surpised the corn muffin came pre-cooked in a package; well, no I'm not. I do wonder how many ingredients are in those chicken nuggets, especially if there are 90+ in the school pizza.

  5. Seriously, what the H E double hockeysticks happened to the color GREEN??????????

  6. Back when I ate FF I seriously did loose my taste buds. Once I got off that legalized crack they finally came back

  7. Back when I ate FF I seriously did loose my taste buds. Once I got off that legalized crack they finally came back

  8. They must have a serious aversion to the color green. Why must it all be in the same color family? I feel for you, Mrs. Q, on days like this. Viewing that photo makes me want a big ol' salad for dinner!

    1. No it doesn’t. Stop trying to act like you never eat anything. You aren’t fooling anyone but yourself.

      Besides, it isn’t about you. It’s about the kids in the school. And what kid is going to eat kale when it’s put in front of them?? Calm down.

  9. Did you eat the barbecue sauce I see on the tray? Did that have any flavor? I hope your taste buds come back soon.

  10. not really relevant, but do your co-workers find it odd that you photography your lunch daily?

  11. Hi Mrs Q,

    Thankyou so much for doing this.

    I have been a canteen manager in Perth Western Ausrtalia for 10 years. I saw your story in an article about Jamie Oliver's visit to the US and have been following you ever since.

    We do things a bit differently in Australia. Canteens are generally run by the Parents & Citizens groups as small businesses and are expected to break even or ideally turn a small profit.There are no subsidies or free lunches.

    Consequently canteens have traditionally stocked a lot of junk food to get the dollars rolling in, which was starting to cause a lot of concern.

    About 5 years ago the State Government, in conjunction with our industry peak body, engaged in a complete overhaul of the nutritional criteria for all public schools.

    We now have to comply with a minimum 60% "green " food set standard for menus. No soft drink, no confectionary, no deep fried food, all low sodium, low fat.

    This is how we do it across Australia now, in general, although there is still a LONG way to go. But it has been a huge shakeup.

    A lot of canteens have found the going very rough in terms of a drop in profit but it can be done.

    Those of us who have done the right thing and persevered have found that you can make healthy cheap food that the kids will eat – I am talking about things like salad sandwiches, real chicken rolls, real fruit salad, homemade soup,PLAIN WATER, vegetable sticks, sushi, etc.

    We have hot dogs once a week, meat pies once a week, hamburgers on wholegrain rolls with LOTS of salad once a week. And NO over the top packaging!!!!

    I decide what to cook based on what is fresh, cheap and in season.
    If you don't have the junk food in their faces kids will eat whatever is there because they get hungry. We ignore parents who say " oh, no, he won't eat veges". Yes he will and yes he does.

    I am very saddened at what I am seeing on your site. But you do know that it all comes down to money…….

    I looked up what the US defense budget is – somewhere form $786 billion – $1 trillion. The junk food industry spent something like $1.6billion in 2006.

    Guess how much was spent on healthy eating intiatives? Around $50 million.

    It is much the same here. If only someone could utilise some common sense and take even 1 measly percent of those big budgets and direct to these kids…….

    By not looking after the kids, the governments are going to end up paying out SO MUCH MORE in health care that is just beggars belief that it is not a priority.

    There…I feel better now having got that rant out. Again, thankyou thankyou thankyou. You are very brave, clever and special, and don't think you are not being noticed.

  12. Is the government thinning the heard? Are they trying to weed out the weak? Is the government trying to make us unhealthy and fat so we spend billions on health care? I know it's a grim way to look at it, but like the above comment said, America spends trillions on everything except our health. We used to be a great country, now we are truly messing up. Our health, more importantly, our youths health should be a top priority!

  13. "I don't remember eating the corn muffin. It's like I blocked it out." – hilarious! I commend you for persistently striving for your goal. I know, just from reading your blog, that you are helping to make a difference. I hope that my children will have a healthier lunch served to them in public school than I did. Bravo, Mrs. Q!

  14. You know I look forward to your daily lunch postings so much that I check a couple of times a day to see if you've updated. Then I'm always so depressed at what you post.

  15. Lots of sugar there. I bet the corn muffin is one of those that's hard to distinguish from a yellow cupcake (I like my cornbread course, savory, and cooked in a cast iron skillet… maybe with some jalapenos mixed in).

    BBQ sauce and jello is also full of sugar. And who knows, maybe the chicken nuggets have sugar too. And all that sugar is probably HFCS.

    Though the carrots are a nice touch (albeit one of the more sugary vegetables to go with all that other sugar), every time I see actual, non-potato vegetables in your lunches, they always look like they've been cooked completely to death. Maybe this is why so many kids hate vegetables. If this is what I thought vegetables were like, I'd hate them too.

  16. This is not necessarily about the lunch but about the ads. Today's ad was for BJ's brewhouse where the children's menu featured corn dogs, a quarter rack of ribs, crispy fries and sundaes and cookies. I am sure this ad was put there to help the blog subsidize its costs.

    Well, in school food service it is the same issue isn't it? It's about the money and even our dar Mrs. Q is not immune to trading nutrtion for cash 🙁

  17. Mrs. Q is NOT "trading nutrition for cash." Blogs cost money- the more popular a blog is, the more the hosting company charges for it. Mrs. Q is a school teacher, and teachers are sadly underpaid in the U.S. She shouldn't have to pay for this useful blog out of her own pocket. If the advertisers want to pay for this revolutionary blog, I say let 'em!

  18. Hey There,

    I've been following your blog for awhile now. Great job!

    Im actually an American living overseas in Kuwait. My children were born here and have no idea what a hot lunch is. I showed them your photos and they were like YUM!

    In Kuwait, there is no school lunch, period. And I pay for my kids to go to a private school which has super high tuition fees. But no lunch is served.

    Instead I send my kids to school with packed lunches…sandwhiches, fruit, and veggies.

    Reading your blog brings so many memories back from when I was in school and the lunches were awesome! Fresh pepperoni rolls served with a big hunk of cheddar cheese, grilled cheese served with tomato soup, a big scoop of white rice covered in gravy with piece of real chicken bits.

    I don't envy your lunches at all!! But my kids do!:-) Happy lunching! xox

  19. I agree with anon's comment that it would be good to see Mrs. Q set an example by screening the content of the ads.

    I imagine that right now she has little control over what is being advertised – it is probably randomly generated based on words used in the post. Therefore, a sentence like "I hate how many burgers they serve!" will be flagged for the buzz word "burger" and voila! you get BJ's Brewhouse.

    There must be a way to filter for ad content. I imagine a blog about parenting that says "Children are not young adults" might get flagged for the buzz words "young" and "adults" and suddenly find itself inundated with ads for "barely-legal teens". That would highly inappropriate, and this concern has probably been raised by someone before in the history of blogging.

    Can we help Mrs. Q out? Has anyone encountered this problem before, and what was the solution? Just like with the school lunch problem, the solution lies with all of us!

  20. The ads are dependent on the reader's location and other factors.

    For example, I see usually see an ad for a fruit basket company and a delicious (and nutritious) plate of sushi. You can screen google ads for content but it's a little tricky because you usually have to do it by domain and it's hard to know what ads are being served to your readers and from what domain. I have to screen car companies from my site or I am overrun with "Toyota Tacoma" ads.

    Mrs. Q: you might want to contact Blogher Ads. I'm not sure they are taking sign ups right now but maybe they'd make an exception for such a worthwhile project. You can give Blogher specific industries you don't want represented.

  21. Regarding the ads, they are local to your IP address. I didn't realize that when I signed up for ads. I really went back and forth about having Google Adsense on the blog. When I polled my readers back in January about putting ads on the blog, 80% of you guys said I should go for it. So I put the ads up in March. Part of the reason I decided to put ads on is that running this blog is turning into a part-time job. It is all I do when I get home.

    Additionally I'd really like to make a donation to an organization like Farm-to-School or even to my own school potentially. My own personal funds don't allow for large impact gift giving, only small donations. Maybe that's a way that I can make a difference.

    So I don't have control over what is advertised. Sorry about that. It's based on the general content of the blog and so the blog is "food themed" so we get food ads. Even PIZZA! Crazy.

    I contacted both BlogAds and Blogher weeks ago and they have not contacted me back. Those ad companies offer more specific ads and more control.

  22. The chicken nuggets don't have to have a taste, that is what BBQ sauce and honey mustard sauce is made for, to make bland cheap crap taste good! For those of you who have been watching Jamie Oliver, did you notice him pointing out what most kids did eat on their trays? The condiments of coarse!

  23. I've wanted to contact you but I don't see a place to do that. I teach in a small rural school. We're pretty lucky; our cooks cook most of the food themselves. The other day we had homemade chili, raw celery and carrots, pickles, fresh orange, and a cinnamon roll. Some days we have processed foods, but compared to what you have to eat, we have a lot more actual food than you do.

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