The lunchroom at my old high school was a depressing place. The walls were painted a drab Army green and the trays were a sickening cracked pink. I got my first case of serious food poisoning there. It actually turned me “green around the gills.”
And of course we had the typical lunch lady with the wart on her chin with a big hair growing out of it. And there was the mystery meat that nobody knew what it was. On Friday we had fish with a kind of red sauce that tasted like French dressing. It was the only thing on the whole week’s menu that actually tasted any good.
The other thing was that there were three lunch periods of a half an hour each. When the bell rang you had to scramble down the stairs with a whole mass of humanity behind you pushing. It was a miracle that you didn’t fall and break your neck. If you stopped to buy lunch tokens or got there a few minutes late, there wasn’t much left to eat.
I’m not sure how nutritious the cafeteria food was at our school, but it sure looked like it had the life cooked out of it. I heard about some schools that actually had a McDonald’s in them and I longed for the taste of a Big Mac. But that wouldn’t be very healthy would it?
There has been a lot of talk lately in the news about how lacking in nutrition the typical school lunch is. According to the Healthy Planet Magazine: “A profound oxymoron in most minds these days. Budgetary cuts have reduced most school lunch programs and health/nutrition education classes to next to nothing yet the school are still obligated to provide something — .”
Let’s face it, we have the most obese children in the world in this country. The adults are as well. With the extra weight comes increased incidences of hypertension, diabetes, allergies, and asthma. We as a nation have grown up on processed foods and fast foods. As soon as I got my first car, I skipped lunch at the school and drove to a neighboring McDonald’s.
One of the problems in today’s world is that fresh, wholesome, nutritious, and organic have all been used to mass market products that aren’t really good for you. That tomato may have been grown organically without any fertilizers or pesticides, but then sprayed with a chemical to give it color. But it still can be labeled “organic.”
It is up to parents to educate our children about the dangers of processed and fast food. One good way to do this is to teach them how to cook. Then you can get together several times a week and prepare your own healthy meals. At least that way you know they are getting some food that is nutritious.