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The Fight For Better School Lunches Continues

The announcement of Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative has re-invigorated the school lunch debate among bloggers and the mainstream media.

a school lunch with a hot dog, fries, pickles, beans and milk.

Photo: john.murden

Food offered in school lunches is often over-processed, packaged and filled with sugars, salts and fats, bereft of nutritional value.

Following the announcement last week of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative, the discussion of the necessity for better school lunches has been re-invigorated among bloggers and the mainstream media.

Foodie blogs are abound with angry dialogue about the current quality (or lack thereof) of food offered in schools: food that is processed, packaged, laden with sugars, salts and fats, and devoid of nutrients.

They remind us that healthier food would offer many benefits to the overall health of the child and to their ability to learn at school.

Free For All: Fixing School Food

Among the bloggers covering this issue, Mark Winne writes an excellent review of Free For All: Fixing School Food In America, the recently published book by sociologist and institutional psychologist Janet Poppendieck, for one of our favorite sustainable food blogs Civil Eats.

The book explores our country’s neurosis about school food. Winne praises Poppendieck’s “jargon-free narrative” that offers readers the historical and political factors that contribute to the staggering state of school lunches today.

Cost The Reason School Lunches Aren’t Better?

No, according to the food blog Better Food, a blog dedicated to the fight for improving the quality of school lunches.

The blog cites a recent study by the University of Minnesota that looked at over 300 Minnesota school districts and found that, not only do school lunch sales not decline when schools offer lunches with nutritional food, but it does not cost the schools more to produce healthier school lunches.

This study contradicts previous research that asserts that school children demand less-healthy food for lunch.

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Laura Bult

Laura Bult is a spring intern with Earth Eats and a senior at Indiana University majoring in International Studies, with minors in English Literature and Spanish.

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