Mother Earth News Blogs > Real Food

Real Food

Savor the flavors of everyday real food, fresh from the garden or stored on your pantry shelves.

Do You Know Where Your Child's Food Comes From?

By Tabitha Alterman

Tags: school lunch, question to readers,

Have you participated in efforts to bring healthier food to kids' lunches?

Do you work with a school garden or participate in a Farm to School program? Does the PTA have anything to do with providing better food in your child's school? Are you involved in efforts to improve the upcoming Child Nutrition Program Re-Authorization? Please share your experiences with each other in our comments section below.

rachael warrington_1
8/16/2010 10:25:38 AM

I am a "lunch lady". And I have to say I do resent be painted with a very broad stroke. Food Service Managers can only do what is allowed, and let me tell you in the past that has been very limited. But having done this now for 10 years things are slowly getting better; namely because parents are demanding it. With that kind of real support we can do a lot. When I took over at our school they were being feed bottom of the barrel food because the service was a for profit. We are now non-profit, part of the NSLP, and I am feeding our students tons of fresh veggies and fruits-daily. We also do our salads from romaine and spinach only. We are slowly changing our entrees, but until parents stop feeding their children chicken nuggets, that item will always be on the menu. But I can choose a better quality, real meat only, better breaded item, and I do. So if you don't like the lunches then get involved-if you are not involved then be quiet about it. Most of us "lunch ladies" take our jobs very seriously and choose to feed our students food we would eat ourselves. And I do.

9/28/2009 6:05:22 PM

I know where my kid's food comes from, and it makes me want to puke. They carry on about how they're broke... ...and then they pay to bring trash in on the back of a truck... ...and gripe at the kids when they don't eat it... ...while we live right in the middle of farm country... ...and then they pay for a computer program that teaches the kids about how plants grow!!!! What's really sad??? Our school is one of the better I've seen in the "wild wild world" of public education.

madie murray
9/28/2009 6:05:14 PM

Our little island is blessed with organic farms, enthusiastic farmers and a public school embracing an ambitious a newly-reformed, active farm to cafeteria program. We have had a school garden for several years, thanks to some involved teachers’ insight to viewing a garden as an effective, fun “classroom.” Local farmers visit our classrooms to bring the lessons of growing things to our kids’ hands and bodies, and our cafeteria staff is working daily to incorporate more local produce into the salad bar and more scratch cooking of local foods to the school lunch menu. We have come a long way with a lot more to go, but the enthusiasm of all those involved (teachers, administration, community, farmers, kids) is small but powerful testimony to the fact that there is a world of good germinating from this incredible national movement to feed our kids better and educate them about good nutrition, sustainability and their role in making themselves and this world a better place. Madie Murray, Orcas Island, WA

lura g
9/27/2009 3:25:59 PM

When I was in the 4th and fifth grade a cafiteria manager named Ms. Sounnie used to sell the food the government sent to the local farmers to feed their Pigs in exchange for Fresh fruits and vegetables. We were eating farm fresh until a do good er decided to rat her out! She was fired and lost her pension of 47 years just because she wanted us to eat good. I'll never forget her and what she sacrificed so we didn't have to eat hard yellow grits that became Frisbee like when cold, or greasy sausages that made us gag - hot dogs that had so much red die it stained the tray or cookies so hard one broke my braces.