Improve School Lunch? Follow the French

by Halmon Lui
Class of 2015

Humans are basic creatures of survival. Everybody needs to have food, water, shelter, and clothing. Everything else is just a luxury. That being said, food plays a major role in everyones’ lives, especially during the lives of a growing teenager. The effects of puberty still proceed through high school which means more food and calories must be consumed to grow more healthily. Therefore, the foods served at school are vital towards the students who buy lunch since those who bring can bring sufficient food to meet their hunger.

Lunch at Braintree High School is not exactly filling. Many students leave the cafeteria still hungry after lunch because the lunch was not sufficient enough to feed them. Students are hungry especially during pizza day or any form of nugget day be it chicken or fish. For the basic lunch on pizza day, it is a single pizza slice with a side of fruit and vegetable. The average person at home would eat multiple slices in addition to other sides which could be fruits and vegetables. Therefore, people are left deprived of enough nutrients which is unhealthy. On top of that, the school rarely has decent pizza. Normally there is a “personal pizza” or some random brand of pizza which is not favorable to the taste buds in comparison to pizzas from fast food restaurants such as Pizza Hut or Domino’s although there is the occasional exception of Domino’s. Even with Domino’s the school orders the old recipe of the pizza instead of the newer version of Domino’s pizza. This should not be.

For any nugget day, the basic lunch contains four, maybe five nuggets. This is a high school lunch. In a “kid’s meal” at McDonalds, the nuggets they serve are four nuggets and kid’s meals are meant for children. This clearly shows the lack of food provided to students every day. Many times there are sides of baked beans or grass. Baked beans do not look appetizing at all and their flavor is not too pleasing either. Therefore, the students tend to stray away from eating or having the baked beans for a side. In addition to the baked beans, grass was served to the students on a styrofoam plate. Visually, it appeared to be the remnants of the freshly mowed lawn outside of the school. Olfactorily, it smelled of freshly mowed lawn outside of the school. Orally, one could taste the weed grazing the tip of the tongue as this disgruntling aroma glided into an equally awful aftertaste. Quite frankly, Braintree High School would be better without this grass that has infested our lunchtime. This explanation of the grass was by no means sarcasm for several times it was literally served to the students here.

Braintree High has sufficient money to spend yearly provided by donations and taxes. It is evident that spending is there since the school has been repainting every room and the entire exterior as well. In addition to this, the bathrooms have been renovated and new tiles have been added. Needless to say, money is not the issue; where the money is being spent is the issue. New tennis courts have been made, a new track field has been created, a new lacrosse field has been constructed and all of these require great sums of money. If a small percentage of these large projects were shed onto the school’s lunch program, the food could be much better.

Michelle Obama is fighting for a healthy lifestyle for Americans and to reduce obesity in America yet school lunches still bring miserable looks onto the student’s faces. As a result, Braintree High has replaced all sandwich buns with a whole-wheat alternative, all pastas with a whole-wheat alternative, all bread rolls with a whole-wheat alternative. Although this does make lunch healthier, but it also makes the lunch more displeasing than before. These miniscule replacements would not affect the student’s health much either since the most food intake is taken place at the students’ homes. Schools in France, as portrayed by Jeff Roberts, a writer for Collective Evolution, have extremely appealing lunches every day. They do not use prepackaged food or frozen food. All of their food is freshly prepared in the school itself including soups and the main dish. Most processed or pre-packaged foods contain poisonous preservatives or additives which contribute to obesity and other health issues. If Michelle Obama truly wants to challenge the unhealthy lifestyle for American children, she should attempt copying the French since they are successful at it and their food is also beautiful in comparison to Braintree food.

French School Lunch

Halmon Lui is a student in Advanced Placement English Language and Composition