School lunches: Yummy munch or stomach punch?

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School lunches: Yummy munch or stomach punch?

Marissa Amerine, Guest Reporter

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An age old debate revolves around the quality of school lunches and has been going on longer than time itself.  But the question we should really be asking is, why? In today’s day and age, we have so much information at the tips of our fingers: Whether it is watching calories or simply wanting to see more in depth nutritional labels, many people use  resources to keep a close eye on the food they consume on a daily basis. So, why should we turn a blind eye when it comes to the food being served in schools?

What the people think

In order to find out what the students and staff thought about the school lunches, there was an anonymous poll conducted that questioned the quality of the school lunches and if they should be improved upon. The participants voted unanimously in favor of an improved lunch system. When meeting face to face with students, students read the lunch menu for the month of March, and none of them were able to identify an item off of the monthly menu that they were willing to eat.

A few more students were asked the same question about what they thought of the school’s food or if they had any recommendations, and one source, who felt particularly strong about this subject, responded by saying, “You should just pack a lunch.”

Another Perspective

It is clear that people believe students deserve more when it comes to their food.  However, if someone were to play devil’s advocate, they could easily say that because of the size of the school’s student body, the food will more than likely be bought in bulk at a cheap price from a manufacturer.

One could also consider the amount of food that goes to waste everyday. Because of this, schools are not going to want to pay more money for higher quality food that is just going to be thrown away. These factors can greatly affect the quality of the food being served. Nevertheless, if the school was willing to spend a little extra money on better food, there would be more food going into students’ mouths and less food going into the trash.


It is important for schools to feed the upcoming generations of society while also being able to uphold and maintain the American standards of nutrition. According to the School Nutrition Association, schools are required to offer students all five of the main food groups. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be a standard in place for the quality or taste of the lunches. Students might be provided with everything that they are obligated to have, but that does not mean that the food will be up to par or even good for them.

It is a well known fact that breakfast is arguably the most important meal of the day.  Due to the fact that students are typically already at school by the time people are getting up to have breakfast, schools are responsible for providing proper breakfast options. Breakfast is said to help wake up the brain; however, if the breakfasts being served are unhealthy, a meal that is supposed to give us energy might end up making us more sluggish while also feeding into America’s struggles with childhood obesity.