Monday, August 16, 2010

On food in school

Mark Bittman is a chef and activist for healthier eating.  He wrote "How to cook everything," which my best friend in college had.  I didn't cook ANYTHING more complex than spaghetti and jarred sauce the entire time we lived together, but I flipped through it once, and it seemed good.  He also wrote "How to cook everything vegetarian," which looks good.

Bittman, like so many others, has been advocating for healthier school lunches and a more sensible approach to free and reduced lunches.  In this blog post, he does a good job of explaining the school lunch reform bill that just passed the Senate, and explains its shortcomings. 

Everything in education is controversial.  We can't keep things the way they are now, but nothing can change in any direction.  This is true for even the most self-evident piece of our school systems--our students don't eat well, including at school, when a lot of them are eating on Uncle Sam's dime.  We're feeding our students blocks of salt, sprinkled with sugar, fried in oil, and sometimes breaded.  Such vegetables as we do manage to sneak into the cafeteria are canned, processed, salted, boiled, and, in the best cases, flavorless.  My wife still tells stories about hiding peas in her milk container so she didn't have to eat them.  That's what school-lunch vegetables are--they serve more as an exercise in stealth than a nutritional supplement.

This bill is an okay answer to a long-overdue question.  Using Marzano's grading rubric, I would give this a 2.5.  Maybe that's the best we can hope for.

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