another reason to homeschool


Over at Idlewords (where they're celebrating "French Week"), they've provided a telling comparison of two school lunch menus. One from an elementary school near Paris, France; the other from one right here in a suburb of Rochester.

Following the comparison, there's some pretty damning commentary--none of which, as a parent of a child in an American elementary school, I can really argue with.

School administrators (along with many parents) will argue that they have no choice in what they can offer, because kids just won't eat healthy food. But that is Lord of the Flies logic. If you applied it in the classroom, you would be forced to teach English from comic books and math not at all. In fact, some schools do take this line of thinking it to its logical conclusion, and allow fast food franchises to take over their lunch programs. Many more set up vending machines that give kids unrestricted access to candy, soda, and snacks. The dirty fact about American school lunches is that they are a dumping ground for surplus and substandard beef, chicken and dairy products. Many of these foods cannot be served fresh because they would be too dangerous to eat. This is especially true for ground meat, which is at times so contaminated with bacteria that it would not be legal to sell it in a supermarket.


Sure, that American menu is grotesque, but Olivier Travers paints a slightly less rosy picture of French school food.

Have you read Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser? It's awful, I mean, it's awful because it seems convincing but if you believe it the idea of eating beef and hamburgers again just seems utterly disgusting. It certainly makes a strong argument on the school lunches as dumping grounds for surplus and substandard meat front.

Phil, thanks for the link. Notice that my title was not "another reason to send me kids to school in France." ;-) Although, given a choice between lousy school lunches in Rochester, and lousy school lunches in, say, Nice...well...

I too also highly recommend Fast Food Nation. The school lunches here in Rochester are published in the local newspapers. My wife and I decided before we even had our daughter she would be homeschooled. This is one of the many reasons. The educational and political issues of the Rochester area schools make up the rest.




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This page contains a single entry by Liz Lawley published on March 18, 2003 10:47 AM.

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