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Hey! Food Police!! Leave Them Kids Alone! January 25, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.

Those poor, frustrated, food Nazis:

The revamped school lunches at Los Angeles Unified School District have won awards, commending them for improving the menu at the second largest school district in the nation. Too bad the students don’t agree.

Rejecting healthful alternatives like vegetarian curries and tamales, quinoa salads and pad Thai noodles, students are throwing them in the trash by the thousands, bringing junk food from home and buying instant noodles and other decidedly unhealthy fare from the “black markets” that have begun to thrive at campuses across the district, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Not only is the healthy food initiative failing, but it’s leading to wasted food and malnourished students:

Participation in the school lunch program has dropped by thousands of students, who are ditching lunch and are suffering from hunger-related ailments.

Fortunately, wiser heads are now prevailing:

The complaints have been heard and LAUSD is planning changes to the menu, the Times reports. Burgers and (healthy) pizza are coming back, and dishes like quinoa salads and brown rice cutlets are out.

Actual LAUSD lunch shown below (photo from here).

Yeah, I'd probably toss that, too.


1. geoff - January 25, 2012

Just wanted to point out that we have only 3 posts to go before we hit 5000. I’m also very close to 1000 posts at Uncommon Misconceptions. Seems like we could time it so both blogs hit their milestones on the same day.


2. geoff - January 25, 2012

My blog is actually at 999 right now, so it’s just a matter of waiting for IB.

3. geoff - January 25, 2012

Timely news about Michelle Obama:

First Lady Eats With Elementary Students to Tout New School Lunch Standards

This is a huge milestone for the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act that President Obama signed into law last year. The new standards will ensure that students receive healthy meals at school. Schoolchildren will receive more fruits and vegetables, increased amounts of whole-grain-rich foods, and fat-free or low-fat milk options.

Vilsack called today a “red letter day for America’s children” because this is the first time in a generation that the nation improved the standards of nutrition in school meals for children. “That’s what this is about,” e said. ”It’s about improving the quality of the meals that are served to 32 million American children.”

I do think that school lunches are atrocious, which amazes me because they’ve been atrocious since I was a tyke. But I think Michelle Obama’s arm-twisting is the wrong way to improve them.

4. Mitchell - January 25, 2012

Yes, school lunches were usually not good. The rectangle of cheese pizza we got from time to time were the most popular. The sloppy joe sandwich was probably second. But, then when I got to high school in California we could get cheeseburgers. Oh the patties were those terrible grey things fished out of a pan of hot water and slapped on a cold bun with a slice of processed cheese food. Maybe a pickle? And you could slather on ketchup & mustard from the little packets yourself if you wanted to. Absolutely horrible as a cheeseburger…but actually really quite amazing as…something else. I LOVED them. You had to not think of them as burgers and not compare them to real burgers. It’s like they went beyond the boundaries of horrible and came out the other side as another food thing utterly unlike anything else. Unburgers perhaps. We moved away from California half way through high school in 1986 and no other school I’ve been to had those unburgers.

5. xbradtc - January 26, 2012

Mitchell, we had those up in Washington State. And they WERE awesome.

Our greasy sausage/cheese pizza rectangles were awful/awesome in the same way.

6. skinbad - January 26, 2012

Our elementary and (I think) junior high food was cooked off-site and brought on a truck each day. Not honeybadger nasty, but not very good. In high school, they cooked it on-site and it was really good. You could give them an extra dime or whatever if you wanted another roll or extra mashed potatoes. If you didn’t like what they were serving you always had a salad bar option. No complaints from me.

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