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ERIC Number: EJ763291
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1539-9664
What's for Lunch?: A Restaurant Critic Goes to the School Cafeteria
Zanger, Mark
Education Next, v5 n3 p18-25 Sum 2005
In this article, the author reviews school lunches around Boston. He discusses a significant fact about school lunches today, which is the "free" and "reduced" lunch program. The most promising developments he saw came from two opposite directions: (1) from food conglomerates reformulating snack foods to eliminate transfats, cut sugar, or add fiber; and (2) from parent groups intervening to encourage whole foods and healthier recipes. He had selected for schools with good principals, but also noted some positive input from school-lunch directors and central authorities. In picking schools at which to taste lunches, he did not seek out likely losers, since there is nothing to be learned from a bad lunch in a school that does not do anything else right, either. He did not expect school lunches to reach the standard of restaurant food, so he tested them against his own taste memories of the hundreds of school lunches he ate as a kid, growing up in western Massachusetts, and against each other. He was also interested in what schools were "teaching" in the lunchroom, and not just about nutrition. He gave higher service and atmosphere ratings to schools in which children were assigned some clean-up duties, encouraged to recycle utensils, and disciplined to keep lunchrooms orderly and clean. He rated the schools in three categories--food, atmosphere, and service--with four possible stars: from yuck (1-star), blah (2-stars), kinda chill (3-stars), and up to mad flavor (4-stars).
Hoover Institution. Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Tel: 800-935-2882; Fax: 650-723-8626; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts