The Reality of School Lunch Reply

Every day, students at BSGE line up, wondering what’s for lunch. Some days it’s chicken, hamburgers or mozzarella sticks. In any case, there is a general consensus that the quality of the food is low, with it being at times undercooked, stale, or even frozen chocolate milk. It’s not just in BSGE though. Schools across the city have students complaining about food quality and the the fact that it can be greatly improved.

The official school food website states, regarding the meals for NYC schools, “nutrition standards always meet, and many times exceed, USDA Nutrition Standards for School Meals.” While this claim may appear impressive to some, the standards are do little to focus on serving food that students are willing to eat. For example, the USDA states that schools should “offer fruits and vegetables as two separate meal components.” This does not discuss what may be done to improve them or make sure that the food served tastes good. Furthermore, there have also been claims from students in NYC that they had found pieces of metal in the chicken tenders, according to CBS news. This report was made recently last month, with the city now removing the option from lunch. Other students have reported moldy pizza and choked on bones where they shouldn’t have been, CBS news continues.

Often, the food can be considered inedible, with meat sometimes being pink on the inside. Melyssa Iazzag ‘20 says that “meats aren’t cooked, cheeses are synthetic, and there aren’t enough veggies and fruits in what we eat.” The foods served at lunch do have chemicals, such as the apples with wax in them. One way to improve the lunch would be to “add more delicious vegetarian options,” as stated by a student who wishes to remain anonymous. Certainly by including more fruits and vegetables that are cooked to a high standard, the food will become higher quality and more edible.

The problem with this is money. Schools across America go to big companies and fast food chains in order to receive funding for the meals served. Erica Lei ‘20 explains that, “ the food served in school is quick, simple, and easy to buy in bulk, that’s why we have it.” One can sometimes see shipments of food being delivered to the cafeteria, as well as brands such as the Auntie Em’s breakfast pancake packages appearing.

Students in the upper grades are allowed to go outside and eat, but for seventh through tenth graders, the school food is often the only option, leading to many complaints about its quality. The city should take into consideration that students want healthy meals that are plentiful and delicious rather, than meals that are inedible and unhealthy.

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