Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Revolution and School Lunch, part 2

Thinking a bit about what I posted yesterday, I started reminiscing about my own school lunch experiences. I went to public school K-12, so I was right there, in the same sort of situation that Jamie finds himself in his show. I'd like to think that things were better way back when, but in all honesty, "way back when" for me isn't all that long ago.

In elementary school, I made my lunch to take to school, everyday. School lunch menus were printed up a month in advance, and handed out. I was allowed to buy lunch at school one day a week, as a treat (the thrill of the purchase? or not having to make my own sandwich, I guess). I don't remember much about lunch during middle school, other than the layout, and the treacherous landscape that was difficult to navigate with a growing body and backpack. In high school, I was given more autonomy when it came to lunch. If I had money, and wanted to buy my lunch, I could. Or I could take it. I'm guessing that I took my lunch more than I bought it. But, I still bought the crap. I bought pizza because pizza wasn't something we had at home.

If I went through the regular lunch line, I did usually get at least one fruit or veggie, but do remember that a lot of offerings were breaded and/or fried. That is just what the choices were. Salads were more expensive, and had cheese on them, plus the salad dressing choices were basically Ranch, Ranch, electric colored French, or Ranch.

Have I mentioned here that I don't like Ranch dressing? The spice rub, sure, but for some reason, once they are combined with sour cream or mayonnaise, it makes me a bit nauseous.

And, here is a blog by a teacher who is eating the school lunch every day this calendar year. She supplements with other information posts. It is quite interesting to read. She takes a picture of her lunch daily, and I've been shocked by the amount of plastic and pre-packaging school lunch has now. I remember getting corn dished out from a large, stainless steel container, directly onto my plastic tray. Also, I'm a bit surprised at the lack of utensils. I shouldn't be though. When I started public school, we still had metal utensils. By the time I had graduated, we were down to plastic, and I think that the knife was being phased out as too dangerous.

What about you? What was your school lunch situation? If you saw the program on Sunday night, how does your school lunch experience compare to what the show portrayed?


Cam said...

In high school, I was given a school allowance to be spent on class ring, prom tickets, lunches etc. I could keep what I didn't spend, so I brought my own lunch a lot.

When I didn't take my own lunch, I bought at the a la cart station...and that mean pizza/garlic bread and an ice cream sandwich. They had a salad bar every Thursday...for half a semester.

I don't think I went through the hot lunch line in high school.

swiggett said...

I did go through the hot lunch line. Even then, I was figuring how to stretch a dollar. On pizza day, you could get a piece of (Papa John's) pizza, two sides, a dessert and a drink for less than one (larger) slice of pizza from the vendor stand.