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Thursday 23 May 2002

Junk Food and School Lunch

Perhaps uncharactersitically, I think this is not entirely a bad thing.

When I was a wee tot, school was a radically different place from the rest of the world. There was no commerce other than the occasional book fair. The food in the school cafeteria was its own cuisine, rarely found anywhere else. The school lunch — priced at $0.30 when I started elementary school and $1.05 in high school for substantively the same meal — was, aside from pencils sold by the Pep Club, the only thing for sale in the school. The lunches consisted of that strange rectangular pizza, mashed potatoes with incredibly rich gravy, soggy french fries, Jell-O with things like celery embedded in it, and spaghetti that had been carefully cut into 1-1/2-inch segments, so you had to eat it with a spoon.

Some of this food was bad — some of it incredibly bad, and unhealthy — and some of it very good. Anyone who has attended public school in the United States knows what I’m talking about. What’s important is that it was all roughly the same, and that it was all different from what you got outside the school.

Now, I rather get the impression that, in a lot of schools, the cafeteria sells pretty much what you cen get elsewhere; I’ve even heard of some that have subcontracted their foodservice operations to fast-food outfits, turning the cafeteria into a kind of food court.

I’ve got nothing against Coke and McDonald’s and Taco Bell — frankly, a lot of the traditional school-lunch meals aren’t any better on nutritional grounds. But I am concerned that, if kids don’t get exposed to anything but fast food for lunch and their harried mothers’ microwaved masterpieces for dinner, a lot of them are in danger of growing up thinking that that garbage is all there is.

Banning by statute (or school board policy, or whatever) certain foods and activities in school probably isn’t a good idea, either; it’ll just make them forbidden fruit, and that much more attractive when they are available. Ultimately I believe that it should just be unthinkable that kids should be eating Fritos and drinking Cokes in school as a matter of course. So many of our social regulations these days are regulations of the sort that used to be unspoken, and just understood to be the rule by which society operated. They’re beneficial; but when you need a Bureau of Junk Food to make sure things are up to snuff, well, that’s when you start trying to declare ketchup a vegetable and getting generally silly.

Unless some action is taken, though, a lot of kids might grow up never having learned to use a fork, having eaten everything directly out of a bag or wrapper.

Posted by tino at 15:40 23.05.02
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Myself being a survivor from the same school district and punishing school lunches that Tino here describes, I can attest truth in his statements. However, in my final two years of high school (1988-1990) when most of my friends had decided to take matters into their own hands and drop-out, sleep late + skip 2-3 days a week, or evade the gaze of the Lunch Aides and eat their hand packed PBJ sandwiches and frozen cans of Coke in a back staircase with the burn-outs smoking their lungs out, I often found myself sitting alone eatting the NEW FARE that our high school was offering. The Salad Bar! A spectacular solution in my opinon and a shorter line to wait in for what I was about to receive…and yes it was stocked with a cooler of 2% Homo milks and the local dairy soft serve ice cream cups. The only pitfall was the pricing of the salads. They sold salad by weight at a hefty sum for actual fresh ingredients. While the soy-burger or rectangular-pizza lunch went for $1.05 (even less if your parents qualified for meal discounts, mine did not…) the average styrofoam plate of salad averaged $4.50 with a drink. I estimate spending this much about 2-3 days a week and eatting my brown paperbag lunch brought from home holed up in the stairs the rest of the week with the punks and burnouts! c’est la vie.

Posted by: chris at May 24, 2002 11:35 AM

I also ate from that salad bar pretty often, and I also paid through the nose for it. I’m still looking for the Italian salad dressing they had there. It was at the same time fantastic and horrible — tasty, but loaded with sugar and about the same consistency as hot fudge sauce.

Posted by: Tino at February 26, 2003 01:35 PM

yea i am a 13 year old girl and i am writing an artical about junk food i think that as us being people we should have a choice of what we eat. If the school gives a choice of a healthy meal and we dont like it, it is our choice to eat junk food instead. Thanx

Posted by: Lauren at March 11, 2003 08:56 PM

Hey I am a 13 year old girl at Tulpehocken Jr High school. I am writing an essay on banding junk food from school cafeteria and I don’t think it is right you should get to choose what you want to eat and what you don’t want to eat so I don’t think they should band junk food from school cafeterias.

Posted by: Amber at March 12, 2003 09:23 AM


Posted by: Lauren at March 12, 2003 09:26 AM

ok sorry i pressed the post button umm i am a 13 year old girl in seventh grade my school is thinking about baning junk food which i think is stupid and i think we should be able to eat what ever we want if it healthy or not.and i hate kyle kohler and i love matt shriner !! shout out to matt shriner I LOVE YOU !!!!! I hate YOU KYLE KOHLER!!!!

Posted by: Lauren & amber at March 12, 2003 09:31 AM

Hey its us again well lauren said that she was sorry for writing what she wrote on the note above any way i took a servey to see if the lunch aids at our school thought it was a good idea so here is what we got 4 lunch aids said yes they think that they ban it there names are miss.Kelly the oter 3 would not give names and 2 lunch aids said no they don’t think they should ban it Mrs. Bar Gloria. The 4 who had said yes said that they said that because you need to eat a regular healthy lunch.well we got to go. luv ya ha!ha! ha!

Posted by: amber & lauren at March 12, 2003 12:21 PM

Befor i drink a tall glass of lemonade i like to eat about 147 fluffy puff marshmellows! Fluffy Puffy there the….the….the best!

There fluffity there puffity 12345! Everybody Everybody!

Posted by: Home Star at March 13, 2003 08:31 AM

dont mess with me! lol or i mess you up fo!

Posted by: at March 13, 2003 08:54 AM

hi lauren how are you i am kinda mad at someone you know who write back are you here yet

Posted by: at March 13, 2003 08:59 AM

yo whats up my peps! shout to me if yah get this m,essage

Posted by: Kyle at March 13, 2003 08:59 AM


kiss me ia am a star i love matt shriner

Posted by: CHica at March 13, 2003 09:00 AM

shout to kyle lol there i shouted o better stop i am flirting

Posted by: girl across the room at March 13, 2003 09:01 AM

are you writing back lets go the website we were at the library is amber on this site

Posted by: at March 13, 2003 09:02 AM

look at the bottom look at my name lol

Posted by: girl across the room at March 13, 2003 09:03 AM

Lauren amber you guys there?WTF!

tell me if yah there Amber ok

Posted by: Kyle at March 13, 2003 09:04 AM

hey kyle did you get laurens message

Posted by: me again at March 13, 2003 09:05 AM

what site is this kyle?????

Posted by: girl across the room at March 13, 2003 09:05 AM

ambe this message is to you tell me if you get it ok!Tell me right away!

Posted by: Kyle at March 13, 2003 09:06 AM

ha ha is amber major on this web site who are you mad at are you getting kyles messages he said he is not getting ours

Posted by: at March 13, 2003 09:07 AM

ok ok ok ok ok

Posted by: girl across the room at March 13, 2003 09:07 AM

kyle i am here amber

Posted by: at March 13, 2003 09:08 AM

tell him to go down and look no amber major isnt on

Posted by: girl across the room at March 13, 2003 09:08 AM

kyle are you getting the messages now?

Posted by: girl across the room at March 13, 2003 09:09 AM

lauren i got your message

Posted by: at March 13, 2003 09:09 AM


Posted by: hello at March 13, 2003 09:12 AM

lauren are you here kyle is noot getting any messsages writ to me as soon as you get this

Posted by: other girl across the room at March 13, 2003 09:12 AM

did you get any of kyles

Posted by: other girl acrss the room at March 13, 2003 09:14 AM

oki am not getting messages what the heck

Posted by: girl across the room at March 13, 2003 09:14 AM

now i am getting them i got some of kyles

Posted by: girl across the room at March 13, 2003 09:14 AM

lauren why is sarah mad at you

Posted by: other girl across the room at March 13, 2003 09:15 AM

hello amber write when u get this…kyle left now

Posted by: girl across the room at March 13, 2003 09:16 AM

yea she thinks i am flirting with kyle uhhhh

Posted by: girl across the room at March 13, 2003 09:16 AM

write duh

Posted by: girl across the room at March 13, 2003 09:17 AM

lauren are you here yet i am going to the other site bye to where we write to the editor

Posted by: other girl across the room at March 13, 2003 09:17 AM


Posted by: girl across the room at March 13, 2003 09:19 AM

how are you doing reading our messages

Posted by: at March 13, 2003 09:31 AM

sruy bout the messages sara but you have NO reason to be mad at me ok !!!!! we were just askin if you ere mad at me ok

Posted by: girl across the room at March 13, 2003 09:34 AM

Amber and Lauren I was reading ur guys conversation and I wanted to let you know that I don’t think it’s ryte ur puttin stuf up bout this Amber Major person and Sara I know if it were me I would be mad and I don’t think they should accept your apology U two seem like real spolied brats and I hope thoses girls NEVER speak to you again

Posted by: Tara at March 13, 2003 11:13 PM

I agree with Tara u have no rights to do that U might not know it but a lot of ppl go on this site and it’s not for wut ur using it for if u don’t stop I’ll write a letter to the editor

Posted by: Leann at March 13, 2003 11:22 PM

Lauren and Amber I’n never heard of ne one else as self absorded as you two I mean These people were probably your friends so why would you do that to them have you no pride in your reputation or are you the type that only has eachother and no other friends so you have to post up stuff about other people on the internet for everyone else to read

Posted by: Corana at March 13, 2003 11:26 PM

What the hell is all this? Don’t you people have e-mail? Don’t you have IMs? Isn’t leaving messages here just a bit inconvenient?

I mean, I don’t mind and all, but wouldn’t you all really rather read my opinions on urban planning, and see the photos of the tangles of wires in my basement?

Posted by: Tino at March 13, 2003 11:31 PM

hey Amber n Lauren who eva you guys are why you go disrespecting these girl Amber n Sara wud they evea do to you it just iratates me that you go do that crap wit pple man you guys must b snobs

Posted by: kiki at March 13, 2003 11:32 PM

That Lauren n Amber seem like real bitches you know wut I hope they loose every single one of there friends b/c they are bitches

Posted by: Hali at March 14, 2003 03:27 PM

girls sorry for what i put on this web site i hope you can forgive me

Posted by: amber at March 15, 2003 05:51 PM

Hi I like cheese!!!

Posted by: Hi at March 21, 2003 01:32 PM


Posted by: ME at April 20, 2003 06:03 PM

hi i love him alot also i love you tear

Posted by: at May 15, 2003 12:22 PM

u r slow

Posted by: at May 15, 2003 12:23 PM

i like pizza

wat yas all been doin

Posted by: josh gray at June 18, 2003 10:54 PM


Posted by: at October 13, 2003 07:05 PM

i think we should have junk food in schools because kids should just watch how much they eat and if they are in middle school they should be smart enought to watch how much they eat i mean kids are going to bring it to school anways so why not rise money for the schools like for desks and books and school subiles and stuff we need!

Posted by: at November 12, 2003 01:55 PM

i love junk food … well i love pop so if they banned junk food then they will also banned pop .. that is vilation of human rights and that is a case to fight for

Posted by: nicola mercurio at December 5, 2003 11:01 AM

its insane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

junk food is good and if they ban it from school they would be violating human right because nobody

can force you not to eat what you want.its not the schools problem if you eat 1000000 bags of junkfood a day so there is nothing they can do without violating of human rights

Posted by: sebastian at December 5, 2003 11:07 AM

they should ban it becuase its unhealthy and if your healthy you can be athletic and more active. i think more healthier stuff can taste better too. and junkfood is expensive and can be very harmful. i say ban it you biznatchez

Posted by: Yo Motha at December 5, 2003 11:09 AM

hey i think that junk food should be ban from school if u dont like what me and her were talking about u should im me @ spongie78 kk well gotta go bye peace i am out i am gonna bounce like a ball

Posted by: me at April 19, 2004 01:52 PM

i am dueing a “report” on pros and cons but there is never anything on why it should be in schhol why is that

Posted by: lilbrat at September 23, 2004 03:35 PM

should eliminate foods at school because there are to many fat people at school who should just not eat those kind of foods so this is what will happen no more bad foods at school

Posted by: andy at September 28, 2004 11:05 AM