Friday, April 19, 2013

Fed Up with Lunch

I have a question. 

Do you know if your child or grandchild's school cafeteria makes their lunch on site? 

I just assumed school lunches were pretty much as I had them way back in the 1960s....
made in big pans in the cafeteria and then scooped on each lunch tray as we walked through the line.
No? Not anymore?

Or is it brought in little individual plastic containers like this? 
picture taken from book below

I think my boys' cafeteria cooked on site.....but now I'm not even sure of that.

Really, I did not know it changed SO much. 

Not until I read this book last week.

I read it because I was curious about this teacher 
who decided to eat in the school cafeteria every day for a year. 

The author claims most school lunches are now heavily processed, full of chemicals
and preservatives that are causing all kinds of health problems from our children.
Hardly anything is fresh anymore. And hardly any schools cook on site.
Did you know that?

If no one responds, then I will realize that you are all in the dark as much as I was about this.
What do you remember about your school lunch?


Karen Mortensen said...

When I was a kid and even in high school lunches were cooked on site. Now they are brought in in little containers and heated up. They really aren't very good. I wish they would bring the old way back.

Richard said...

I remember we had fish sticks on Fridays because the Catholic kids couldn't eat meat on Fri.

Fisher Family Fun said...

Clovis Unified cooks their food in a central location and then delivers the meals to the schools just before lunch. They are kept warm in warmers until they are needed.
Only reason I know this is because Richard was looking at getting a job at Clovis' Campus Catering at one time.
My old high school serves Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, McDonald's etc plus some healthy stuff but you know teenagers, they prefer the junk food!

Anonymous said...

I, and all my friends, brought lunch from home in a sack in elementary school, due to no cafeteria. In junior high and high school it was cooked on site. I remember the huge trays they dished from. Check out Jamie Oliver, the guy from England who was trying to change the school lunches nation-wide by cooking everything fresh and from scratch. He had a heck of a time convincing any schools to do it. He pointed to wide-spread obesity and diabetes in children as the reason to make the change. There was a great series on his valiant efforts on TV about a year ago.

Scrapally said...

more reasons to take lunches from home. doesn't make sense to take sodas out of the machines at school and out of the snack bars for games days because it's unhealthy, and then serve them processed foods everyday. Crazy! One more month and we are done with schools and lunches! (not that Joel eats lunch at school ha ha)

Rebecca said...

I loved school lunch. But that was back in the 60's and we only got to buy it on special occasions, it cost too much. BUT when we did buy it...oh my. Those lunch ladies made every single thing from SCRATCH. They made homemade rolls, homemade cookies, all the food was homemade. These is pretty much "mystery food" as my son puts it.

Nate and Julie said...

I remember helping in the cafeteria in elementary school and it was similar to what "Fisher Family Fun" described. Definitely not cooked on site, but not little pre-packaged things either. Jamie Oliver's show was pretty interesting. I'm sure you can find episodes online somewhere. I think it was called Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution.

Grandma Honey said...

Karen~ You should know, you are right front and center in this. Are the teachers offered the same food? I think the author in this book had to make her way in with the kids to get the food.

Richard~ Dad and Susan's place is apparently carrying on the Catholic tradition because they are served fish every Friday.

Rhonda~ I can't help but wonder where that central location is.

Darlene~ The author refers to Jamie Oliver. She said when he changed to fresh foods in the UK, science grades went up 8%, English grades went up 6%, and attendance even went up 15%. I will google him and see if I can find his documentary.

Scrapally~ You are going to feel so liberated from the public school system very soon!

Rebecca~ Oh yes, I remember the homemade cookies and cinnamon rolls! I can still, all these years later, remember the taste of the PB chocolate bars. :)

Julie~ Thanks for the title of that. I'm going to definitely look into it. I don't know why I had never even heard of him before.

Grandma Honey said...

Also, Julie~ I would imagine that my boys cafeteria experience was similar to yours. But I'm also wondering if they even noticed.

Sue said...

Ours was pretty good and definitely freshly made. Not so sure that my kids' was.


Chris and Cortney Walker said...

I know its different for each district I worked here in Southern Utah as a lunch lady and we cooked on site and transported to smaller schools, BUT... sometimes we would cook from scratch and others it would be heated up from a frozen state and those things are low in salt but high in fat! I know our district was so concerned about the salt intake but for some reason was not worried about the fat... Kinda weird, I know that we made all the baking things from scratch and the breads, they also always had a salad bar and the students had to take either a fruit or a Veggie not on the salad bar. But again I know that it is different for each district.

Grandma Honey said...

Cortney~ I'm impressed how they do things in St George! Your salad bar is a huge plus, and also the encouragement of taking another fruit or vegetable. Funny because it's California that is so plentiful in fresh produce...but something tells me we don't have salad bars in our schools.

Anonymous said...

Jill, please do try to watch Jamie Oliver. It is very entertaining.... even a little suspenseful! He even went into (willing) people's homes and taught them how to cook. These were very overweight people who were getting warnings from their docs that if they didn't do something different they and their children would be in grave danger. They showed how they gave kids choices for healthy food and not at school and what happened. How they went into the classrooms and taught the young ones about healthy foods. I got such a kick out of the scene where Jamie asked young kids the names of the vegetables he held for them to see. It was incredible how few children knew what a potato or a tomato was, for instance.

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

I just ask my grandkids about their lunches just last week and I was shocked over that they have something like you see in the food courts at the malls. They can choose which one they want to eat from.
I remember our meals in school were much like my moms

Heidi Garvin said...

I don't remember if when we were in elementary school Red Bank had meals cooked on site or cooked at a central location then delivered, but we did have those large metal trays of food scooped onto compartmentalized plastic trays. The only other option available for purchase was a carton of milk by itself, for kids who had brought lunch from home to drink with their food.

My dad's grandma was actually a cafeteria cook/lunchlady and back in her day, she had to cook everything in her own kitchen and then bring it over to the school. The school had no kitchen at all. I heard her tell a story one time about how her oven door broke and she had to rig up a way to hold it closed to cook the food, or the kids wouldn't have had lunch that day! She was a one woman operation.

Grandma Honey said...

Maggie~ I know what you mean! I was shocked to read what they are feeding kids in school cafeterias now. I had no idea it was that bad.

Heidi~ Thank you, I'm relieved to know my kids still had a more traditional lunch. I know it seemed that way when I would visit for the Thanksgiving lunch every November....but after reading that book last week I was beginning to think perhaps they just served real food when the parents were coming. That was too funny about your Dad's grandma trying to hold her oven door shut! Such simpler times back then when they could trust someone to cook for the school from her own home.

Darlene...I've been looking around....I did find one video where he is lecturing an audience about how our kids will die 10 years sooner in age than we do. But I haven't found the one where he goes into people's homes. I will continue to look.

Connie said...

I work at an elementary school. I have eaten school lunch a few times. From what I understand, some things are prepared at the junior high school and brought to the elementary school later in the morning. Most everything else is prepared on sight.Every meal has a "fruit ane veggie medley". The children are able to choose from several different kinds of fruits and veggies.
That's all I know. :)

grandmapeg said...

Our schools lunches are brought in by the district trucks. I'm not sure how they are packaged. I wished my grandkids could have the school lunches like I had growing up. My favorite was the chili and scones with honey butter and we only had to pay thirty-five cents.

Lisa said...

Until I saw this post, I never gave it much thought. But after reading, "Eat to Live" I'm not surprised by your findings & saddened by the implications.

This brings a thought about the word of wisdom. I always thought conspiring men were at the core of the tabocco & alcohol addiction, but is it possible the Lord knew the very food we eat would be equally devastating.

After reading, "Eat to Live" I'm convinced that because our food has been stripped of it's nutrient rich content because consumers want fast & easy eats...we are also sicker both physically & mentally because we're mal nourished. I feel bad because I never paid that much attention to nutrient rich foods for my family & I can honestly say that we are suffering in many ways for it. It's a very, very sad & sickening to me. As I learned ffrom you earlier...."If people knew better, they would do better." Thanks again for an enlightening post!

Heidi Garvin said...

Jill - sometimes we even had Turkey Gravy and mashed potatoes NOT on Thanksgiving! That is exactly what the food was like year round, with the occasional pizza day thrown in (that day was a HUGE treat).

Becky Jane said...

School lunches and hospital food are among the least nutritious. Crazy isn't it! My kids have always brown-bagged it and I'm grateful we were too poor to buy school lunch.