Here's to School Lunch
Updated: Aug 14
Through my travels I have had various opportunities to work with amazing cooks, cutting edge technology, and ideas of food beyond common knowledge. Cook for America is an organization that has spearheaded the need to reboot school food programs.
Wait, you say someone in the system cares what our kids eat while they are at school? Cook for America is not a governmental agency, but a group of like-minded chefs that have taken their craft to levels that effects everyday families. WOW, real chefs sharing trade secrets and training the people that feed our kids. How cool is that!
Let’s start at the beginning; remembering that the school lunch program was conceptualized in the early 1900’s but came to fruition in the midst of the Great Depression. Gee, thanks for the history lesson LJ! But I say, this is an important fact. Think about…if the country was in rations and only surplus food was available; it only makes sense that the idea of feeding our youth was based off of a need not just as a bonus to the educational process.
Very recently I was talking with an amazing woman that I happily call a friend, who was in junior high school when the school lunch program began. When I asked her what was served for lunch, she responded with a full body shiver. She said “Spanish Rice!” Spanish rice did not sound too horrible although her continued description was amusing; it was also scary in the detail and emotion that were still there. As she giggled and cringed at the same time, I was entertained and completely engaged. When finished I asked “what else did they serve you?” and she answered “I can’t remember?” Her response and animated description of her experience shows that “school lunch” has had a major impact on our lives; 70 years later it still makes her nauseas.
When it comes to our kids, there should be no question on the importance and value they receive from the actual food, as well as the experience. There needs to be complete balance between health standards, nutritional value, and variety of all food groups. Yes, there is a difference of between health standards, nutritional value, and balanced food group. If you questioned this, then reevaluate your plight in the human food consumption as a home cook or professional. There is a need to understand the importance of safe and healthy food to the populous, your family, and self.
Ah, you have noticed The LJ IS ON ANOTHER RANT! Hell yes I am.
Believe me as a professional foodie I know that the world is filled with pitfalls and haters. Pitfalls from laziness, lack of knowledge, and worse lack of care. No one needs to be an expert on Classic French Cuisine based on the 10,000 plus recipes written by Escoffier, but you must be knowledgeable on the proper care and preparation of the food you eat and the food you serve.
Cook for America is dedicated to training our great countries foodservice employees that serve the youth of today. With childhood obesity on the rise, sickness outbreaks, and the understanding of food that the curriculum has been developed to assist these unsung heroes of the lunchroom.
The healthiness of the food is not only about nutrition, but food safety and the understanding of needing to balance it all when it comes to food served in a school lunchroom. With the help and concerns of organization like Cook for America maybe our youth can escape the stigma of being Fat and Lazy Americans!