Cardboard crust with ketchup and plastic coating disguised as cheese. Maybe a few discolored green beans. The side “vegetable” was the closest thing to food on my plastic tray. This pretty much describes the pizza, and unbalanced meal I was served in middle school. Remember school lunch? Maybe you have kids, and it’s easy to recall just what a “school lunch” is.
I am a parent. My husband’s 13 year old son, Joey keeps us in the loop with what’s going on in public school lunchrooms. As of two years ago, he left the private school; where we prepared his vegetarian, sugar-free lunch each day. Even in the prestigious, cutting edge, Los Altos, Blue Ribbon School system, we’re witnessing discord. Joey’s back in public school where he’s questioning ethics in the lunch room. He tells us that they watched Food, Inc. in health class, yet they’re eating everything with a warning label from the film.
Food has so much to do with the quality of life. If you eat crap, you feel like crap. If you have kids and they eat like crap, they feel it-and you get to feel it too. I’ve experienced this first hand. Joey has lived with us full time in California since 2011. In a few short months of living with us, he lost almost 20 pounds. We fed him exactly what we eat, and he certainly wasn’t starving. I’ll save the story about Joey’s success for a future article, as I am adamant about him telling it himself.
On the plane with Joey, and my husband Joe on our way to New Jersey this summer, I caught a short episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. Bourdain travels to Lyon, France in this episode-in
which the primary focus is food. I was intrigued to learn about how other cultures dine and nourish; but I was particularly intrigued by the scene of a school lunch in my favorite country. As I mentioned just a few weeks ago, what children are fed is a subject I am extremely passionate about. I do remember being so confused by food as a child. Now I’ve had the opportunity to watch Joey’s progression from age 6 to 13.
[Tweet “What if you had a chef who made homemade meals for you every day from scratch, in elementary school?”]
This episode of Parts Unknown, that I just happened to catch on the plane was astounding. I was in awe. I know there are amazing things going on in schools all over the world, but the visual of this was really what got my attention. The kids didn’t walk in a line to get a scoop of mush slopped on their tray. They had real plates, and the chef actually came to them at their table to serve them with love and a big smile. The kids responded with a big smile and what appeared to be genuine gratitude. I was totally giddy watching this. Really though, what if this was your school at eight years old? How might this experience have changed your life?
Being a sensual foodist certainly extends beyond the intimate relationship. I’m really dedicated to improving relationships through food, but the challenge is to consider the bigger picture. The call to action here is for anyone serving others food. The paradigm of the future is conscious meals-like they’re doing in Lyon, France; for the masses. If you’re a lunch room provider (or are part of the public school system), ask for organic! This is the revolution. The time is now, to ask! Are you inspired by the homemade school lunches in Lyon too?
Please do share this article if you want, cardboard flavor free, tastier school lunches for kids! Also, I’d love to hear from anyone who is making an impact on a large scale. If you’re feeding a couple hundred or more-you can reach me through my contact page or email [email protected]