Today's Unappetizing School Lunch
By Karen Salazar
Schools last year provided students with access to a variety of affordable and appealing foods for lunch. However, this year they have modified the lunch menu in order to meet the health and nutrition needs of students. Yet it is completely stomach-churning. The schools that changed the lunch menu truly have little to no interest in the health of the students because they know the food is not appealing, therefore the students will choose not to eat it. Most students skip breakfast, and now they will also be skipping lunch. It is essential for the meals and beverages to meet the federal requirements based on the USDA Dietary Guidelines, however it is necessary that not all of the menu is altered. First, there should be regular food, such as pizza and mac n’ cheese. Secondly, there should also be healthy food and beverages, for example the whole wheat gold-fish or the Bai5 antioxidant infusion drinks. The students need to decide for themselves if they’d like to lead a healthy diet or not.
Next, the strict rules, passed in 2010, limit the amount of fat, calories, sugar, and sodium served in school meals. A lot of students choose to get a quick snack versus the disgusting meal which is served. Then, the snacks like Doritos and graham crackers are low-fat. The flavor is not the same, and personally I do not like them. I am positive that the rest of the students would at least like to have a good snack if they will not be eating the lunch food. Not having an appropriate meal nor good snacks will make the students any healthier.
A regular school day is about seven hours, and most students are so tired and sleepy that at times they do not have time to eat. Many students have extracurricular activities, a part-time job, and homework. With all of these things teens may even forget to eat. Although, breakfast is the most important meal of the day many people do not eat anything because they would rather snooze their alarm for fifteen more minutes than grab a bowl of cereal. The school cafeteria may be the only place where students actually have time to eat something, however the food is not at all appetizing. Eating well is necessary for students to do well in school, and it allows them to be better focused in their classes. I believe that the school menu should consist of delicious food because it may be the only meal of the day for some teens.
Next, it is understandable that the legislature has the authority of what schools are feeding their students. However, the school is able to give the students the ability to leave to grab lunch. There should be various requirements for this huge privilege such as perfect attendance, good grades, and good behavior conduct. In fact, I believe that the students will be eating better and having a better attitude about school. Giving the students privileges motivates them to try harder, and I believe it would make them feel so much better about school in general.
The years prior to this school year many schools had vendors such as Chick fil a, Panda, and Hungry Howie’s. These vendors weren’t a lunch meal every day, but they were specifically on a certain day and most students looked forward to these options. The chicken from Chick fil a is very tasteful, as well as Panda’s chow mien. These are not unhealthy foods, and I cannot seem to understand why our school no longer allows vendors. I would frequently see people order seconds because of how hungry they were, and now I don’t see many people eating. I am one of the many in the schools who misses the vendors.
There are so many students who try to eat the school lunch simply because they are very hungry. However, after trying the new meals they realize that they do not like it and all of the food goes to the trash. Instead of wasting all of this food, Mrs. Obama should feed the needy, and let schools and students decide what is best for them. Eventually, many schools will end up lowering the lunch budget since the students aren’t eating. School districts will be losing money due to the new food and snacks regulations.
This food is far worse than what we had in previous years. I believe that the food is all canned, therefore not healthy at all. Just because something is a fruit or a vegetable doesn’t mean it is good or healthy, these foods are not fresh they are canned. Most have been pumped with irrigation water, and they later become tasteless. At times, I have put sugar on my strawberries so they would at least taste a little better. The food is prepared at a tasteless factory where it is not checked to see if it healthy or not. Good food is a work of art, and not a product of an assembly line. I wish adults, and people with the same beliefs as Michelle Obama would try the food they are forcing the students to eat. I am certain that they would not like it one bit. They literally give us no choice when it comes to our lunch food, and it is completely unfair.
Next, I think that parents are wasting their money on the food that their children are not eating. It is a waste of their money and hard work if their children do not like the school lunch. I also do not believe that it is fair for the school lunch employees to try so hard in providing us lunch. They are always so friendly and hardworking. If legislature and the USDA Dietary Guidelines continue to force schools to have a strict lunch menu I can foresee many schools losing a lot of money. It will be up to the point that they will no longer have much money for extracurricular activities and most importantly, education.
In conclusion, I believe that Legislature, Obama, and the USDA Dietary Guidelines should have no say in what schools provide to their students. Schools should have lunch venders, good vending machines, and delicious lunch menus once again. After all, the students do not like what is being served today. I am sure that if Obama and her followers tasted the meals that they call healthy they would also choose not to eat. It is better to eat Panda, Chick fil a, Hungry Howie’s, and regular food than have whole-grain wheat and antioxidant beverages. For crying out loud, these students are working hard inside and outside of school. Their main priority is to become successful, it isn’t being concerned about being on a diet. Also, so much money, food, and labor is going to be wasted. Schools and parents are losing tons of money because the children are not eating. A lot of food is going to waste because the kids are throwing more than half of the food in the trash. The parents of these children work hard to pay for their meals at school, and many of the school employees do too to provide so called healthy lunches. It is a waste of money for the school as well, and I believe that students and their parents have the right to decide what they desire to eat.