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School Lunches: Of Course The French Do It Better!

School lunch in a New York cafeteria. SpecialKRB/Flickr hide caption

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School lunch in a New York cafeteria.


There's a teacher somewhere in Illinois who's been getting a lot of attention lately for her cell phone photography — no, not that kind of cell phone pictures. She hides her identity, but every day in 2010, she's eating the same lunch the students eat, and taking pictures of what filled her tray. Then, she blogs about it at Fed Up With Lunch: The School Lunch Project. "Meals" like "chicken nuggets, carrots, corn muffin, fruit jello, milk" inspire commentary like this,

I can't remember how this meal tasted. Even just a couple hours after I consumed it, I have no idea what flavors were present. I don't remember a texture jumping out at me. When I ask my students "What did you think of your lunch?" they give me a blank stare. Now I get it.

The desperate state of school lunches has been getting quite a bit of press lately — due in no small part to First Lady Michelle Obama and Jamie Oliver — but the anonymous teacher blogger has something else interesting, too — guests post on school lunches in other countries. Here's a week's sample menu from Anne, an English teacher married to a Frenchman:

Monday: Potato and leek soup, Salmon cubes in lemon butter, Vegetable galette, Plain organic yogurt, Apple

Tuesday: Green Salad, Roasted organic chicken, French fries and ketchup, Gouda, Mixed fruit salad

Wednesday: Pumpkin soup, Croque Monsieur (a grilled ham and cheese sandwich), Mixed baby greens, Plain organic yogurt, Marble cake

Thursday: Beet salad, Turkey skewers, Organic lentils, Camembert cheese, Kiwi

Friday: Mixed baby greens, Veal stew, Organic pasta with butter, Cantal cheese, Clementine

Here are some words I've never typed before in this order: This school lunch menu is making me hungry!