Food News and Lunch Literature Book Club

Whenever I read the blog of someone I admire, I often wonder what they are reading. So I’m going to share various things I found interesting in the blogosphere and beyond this past week:

Regarding Japan

I made a donation to the Red Cross this weekend. It felt small, but I needed to do something. Some other bloggers have been thinking about Japan too and I found both of these posts to be interesting as they both mention disaster preparedness:

School Food News

Mesquite Mom went and talked to her representative and guess what? Her representative introduced a bill for mandatory recess. Blog post here: hey texas! mandatory recess has a new name: HB 3770 (Just a mom in Mesquite). I’m so impressed by what she did and I’m taking notes.

Food and Eating

  • Diana had a great post regarding seasonal food. Seriously, I needed this: Seasonal Eating: What Food is in Season When? (Dianasaur Dishes). 
  • Ed, the master gardener, had a terrific post: Best Vegetables to Grow in D.C.–with Recipes (The Slow Cook). I don’t live in DC, but I think it’s great to hear about which plants do well in which areas and climates. I really want to learn how do some gardening this summer. We’re going to be getting that half-CSA and if I have a little success growing something, this will be an exciting summer indeed.
  • How about an entire blog devoted to salad? Salad Pride (via Steamy Kitchen)


I thought the video was really cute and I hope they are working on more of them with cameos by famous athletes. Although I’m not sure my students would know who Agassi and Graf are!

Lunch Literature Book Club

I feel terrible about how slow I have been getting through the book! I just don’t have much time for reading. This week I’m going to leave you with one question:

Is there a stigma attached to getting free lunch? (p 190)

Please nominate a book for our next selection for book club (starting April) in the comments (please make it food-related)! Then I’ll put up a poll so we can all vote. Thanks!

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9 thoughts on “Food News and Lunch Literature Book Club

  1. I, too, have really struggled to get through this book–and I have plenty of time for reading!!!! It is heavy but interesting. I will hang in there though. One suggestion for the next book club selection is Fast Food Nation. It is an older book and many have probably already read it. I have read it twice and would gladly read it again. It is the book that got me started thinking about the food that is going into my body, the inhumane treatment of animals raised for food, and the chemicals and artificial additives going into our food. Another great book is Animal, Vegetable, Miracle–all about seasonal eating

    To answer the question about stigma, I think it could be a problem as kids get older. I worked in an elementary school and it was handled pretty discreetly. I don't think the kids really were aware of who received free/reduced lunch and who paid full price.

  2. When I was in school, my family qualified for reduced lunches. I think my lunches were .40 or around there. I was a bit embarrassed, but in my school everyone pretty much sent in checks which would be added to your lunch account. Then, when you went through the line, you just punched in your pin number and it would be taken off. No one saw how much it cost because no money was exchanged. And just about every kid did this, so I never had to feel different.

  3. I went to a parochial school, so I am not sure if they had to participate in the free/reduced lunch program. I rarely bought the cafeteria food in school. In fact, in middle school, the only kids who bought lunch were the ones who just forgot to bring a sack lunch. Seriously – the food was that bad. Not unhealthy, just bland. I would say that the vast majority of my classmates had a stay-at-home parent, so that might have influenced how many sack lunches there were. In high school (in a different city and different economic situation, though still parochial), we didn't even have a cafeteria at first (new school). Lunches were $5.50 – brought in from McDonald's, Subway, Godfather's, etc. Though most families had 2 working parents here, the dual incomes made $5.50 affordable. I always brought lunch or bought junk from the vending machines IF I had money. I don't remember there being any stigma whatsoever with eating school lunch, I think it was just personal preference. I qualify that with the fact that I always went to a school where parents were at least affluent enough to pay tuition, so I am not sure how much need was really there.

    I would think that debit cards or some other method of charging food could be established, so like projectanime described, no money is exchanged.

  4. My family qualified for free/reduced lunch when I was in school (some years free, later reduced). In elementary school we had tickets that they would punch every day, and free lunch tickets were a different color. I started wishing that that weren't true around 5th grade. Happily, in junior high the school system moved to a pin pad system like projectanime describes, and I was very relieved!

  5. I remember growing up that many folks had free/reduced lunch–in elementary school, nobody really paid any attention or cared, but by middle and high school there was definitely a stigma. Of course by then you also knew who had enough money to buy certain shoes and clothes, but I suppose that was easier to fake than lunch? And I remember full lunch price was only $1, and then you could buy add-ons. I never had money for add-ons and got no stigma from that, at least!

  6. I had free lunches as a kid but I was always too embarassed so I used any money I had to buy a cookie or pretzel at the snack counter instead. Very unhealthy.

  7. My son is on free lunch. At his school, each kid is given a 5 digit PIN for their lunches. Parents can load up the account online from home- even sign up for "automatic bill pay", but the free lunch just works as an open account (1 lunch, 1 breakfast per day).

    No one knows who pays, gets reduced, or has free, because all the kids just type in their number. No money changes hands usually (there is a till for the few who pay cash or for parents who come to visit for lunch and buy something.)

  8. On a Dollar a Day: One Couple's Unlikely Adventures in Eating in America
    By Christopher Greenslate and Kerri Leonard

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