Monday, February 27, 2012

Tempests, Teapots, and School Lunches


a suburban greenmom gets sucked in by media hype…

Sorry, guys, I don’t have much of great interest to post.  I’m overextended, I’m getting over virus number 2, it’s too early to do any gardening around here (I live near Chicago), and I have even run out of cool soup recipes to post.
So, just a news story that caught my attention a few days ago: Did you see this?
Huge tempest, fairly small teapot, as it turns out; Eat Drink Better presents a fairly even-headed look at the whole thing:
I mention this because, until I found this last article, I was all ready to go into a giant indignant uproar. But once I did read it…well, it looks like maybe it’s not as big a deal as it sounds like.  Or a big deal for entirely different reasons. (Take a look at CrunchyThriftyCool’s take on it…very thoughtful…)
So…what do you guys think?
--Jenn the Greenmom

5 comments:

AP said...

This is the first time I've heard of the story. Without feeding into the apparent hysteria this caused (really everyone?), it's a simple case of talking to the parent.

Betsy (Eco-Novice) said...

This story brings up a lot of interesting issues -- child obesity, paternalism, parental rights, food waste. As someone who worked in the public schools for 7 seven years, I just wish we had a decent school lunch program in this country. A great blog about school lunch issues is www.thelunchtray.com. I wrote about my experience with school lunches here:
http://www.eco-novice.com/2011/04/school-lunches-need-food-revolution.html

I dread the day I am faced with this issue (my kids aren't in public school yet).

Laura said...

I'd be pretty upset myself if it were my child. The fact that the parent took the time to put together a meal that shows some thought should have made the agent think twice before declaring it unfit.

That being said, I had a meal taken away from me in first grade because it wasn't appropriate. My mother had sent me to school with my favorite sandwich of her homemade bread, peanut butter and alfalfa sprouts. The lunch monitor thought I was eating grass. My meal was taken away and my mother was called in for a conference. I never packed that lunch again and the next year, I was homeschooled where I could eat my sprouts in peace.

Ignorance and haste go a long way in the making of poor decisions and creation of tempests.

Erin aka Conscious Shopper said...

After two years of sending vegetables in my kids' lunches and finding them uneaten at the end of the day, we gave up on sending vegetables for lunch. Instead we make green smoothies for breakfast and load up on veggies for dinner. Our packed lunches would definitely fail the inspections - generally a cheese sandwich, a piece of fruit, and watered down juice. Our main issue is that their lunch period is way too short. If I send more than the measly amount I send, they don't have time to eat it, and I can't handle wasted food. Instead they get two snacks a day and all they can eat for breakfast and dinner. In fact, looking at what was in that child's lunchbox (which looks great) I have to wonder if any preschooler can eat that much. Maybe my kids just have small appetites?

Brandislee said...

Thanks for the link! I'm glad you posted the link to that last article- I hadn't seen that one, but I did suspect something like that had happened and that the whole deal was blown out of proportion, which is why I made the points I did in my response- the right attacks this, but won't okay any money to fix the system. And the system in particular isn't the USDA (which is in charge of school lunch) but a STATE run program aimed to improving preK outcome, a very admirable pursuit because one huge hurdle to learning in young children is hunger. Sad how blown out of proportion this story was!

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