There’s this new blog that everyone (okay, really the media and dietitians) love. A teacher in Chicago is eating the school lunch every day, posting pictures of what she eats, and describing the food–lots of pizza and chili, and fruit cups.
Outrage from every news outlet. Journalists are so baffled that this is the junk our public schools serve that they never really describe why they’re outraged. An example of the unbridled shock? Here’s a quote from a Chicago newspaper…
“Recent meals include an absolutely horrifying bowl of chili, a sad hot dog, and green beansthat will make you want to cry.”
Mentioned in almost every one of these posts is the The Child Nutrition Act that Congress just passed–an additional 4.5 billion dollars of our taxpayers’ money to “better school lunch.” Who are these people and how can fruit cups and pizza be so offensive? Kids like pizza and fruit cups. And even though I sound as “horrifying” and “sad” as that chili and hot dog, there are a lot better ways to spend 4.5 million dollars.
I’m not still living in the ’80s here about nutrition (a decade, by the way, when meals like the Chicago lunch showed up on dinner tables every night with pride–blame it on my generation’s fascination with the microwave). I get that fruit is better fresh than infloating in syrup for six months, and that there are healthier versions of pizza than those covered with greasy cheese.
But kids, for the most part, like this stuff. It’s the politically-incorrect truth. And these adults who are so appalled by that fact? When was the last time they prepared three meals (plus a dozen or so snacks a day) for a group of kids? They would see that kids are different than adults. Kids aren’t that interested in food. Yes. How politically incorrect of them.
Adults–especially women my age–are very interested in food. They talk about it ad nauseum. They obsess. Go to dinner with a group of them and right after ordering water with lemon, interogating the waiter about gluten on the menu, and asking for seperate checks, they’ll each name what they’ve eaten that day–and tell how guilty they feel about it. Ugh. Kids have the rest of their lives for conversations like this–let them eat the chili dogs (the three bites they’ll be interested enough for) in peace.