I watched a small blip on the news (the news isn’t TV, right?) about a movement for the reform of school lunches, spurred by Michelle Obama. Flashback to 1990-something and memories of cheese globs, Cheetos, and fake pizza runs through my mind. Lunch came with a main dish, two sides, chips, a drink and dessert. I mean, seriously? The chips and dessert alone were enough to quiver at, let alone the “side” choices (i.e. fries, Ranch-drenched salad…you get the idea). Do you really think I chose the heated canned peas? Um….I’ll pass. I literally still cringe when I think about how I ate a bag of Cheetos every.single.day! This foundation of childhood obesity not only carries a red flag, it features flashing red lights, glows in the dark and bellows at decibels that can be heard across the country.
Jump ahead a few years to an angst-ridden college student with weight problems faced with all-you-can-eat buffet-style cafeteria food. I can’t even go there because the memories are too painful. Obviously, Houston, we have a mightily enlarged problem.
Needless to say, I whole-heartedly back this healthy school lunch movement. In fact, my mind also rolls back to the greenhouse in my high school and the surrounding school grounds–aka, fertile grounds for vegetable planting accompanied by horticulture, botany, and biology lessons. A huge money-saving win-win! I mean there’s something so meaningful about a student growing tomatoes with their own hands and seeing them being served in their very own cafeteria, tasting them with each bite of said salad and developing healthy habits that will hopefully stick with them for a lifetime. Perhaps healthcare costs would be reduced by a much-healthier upcoming generation. Why haven’t we thought of this/done something sooner?