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School lunches taste like cardboard, barely have more nutrition


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Let’s all admit it. School lunch is a disaster. The variety of mystery meat and the cardboard posing as “bread” has been a bane to kids too lazy to pack their own lunch since forever.
Hundreds of kids eat school lunch every day, but do students actually enjoy it?

The immediate and overwhelming answer is no. Many students don’t really like school lunch, but still eat it because of its availability.

Sophomore Colin Mcnees says, “it’s ok the days I’ve had it, but the milk dude. It gets kinda gross.” Students’ problems don’t stop with the milk. Mcnees also says, “it’s disgusting, I remember one time the chicken I had in a breaded chicken sandwich was really tough and chewy, and it was just gross.”

There have also been complaints about healthy food, or the lack of it. Junior Maxwell Sherman states, “What’s the point of forcing us to get a vegetable (which most of the time is very ripe) if you have pizza and junk available every day?” It’s a general consensus that a majority of the options in the cafeteria won’t be giving anyone a surplus of vitamins anytime soon.

But what if some people have problems with neither the flavor or the quality of it? Sherman states, “the price is ridiculous. I mean look, I got 3 chicken nuggets and a bag of chips for $3.10.” According to the School Nutrition Association, the price of most school lunches in America is $2.60. Without the additional cost of the extra bag of chips, the school lunch was $2.25. While it is thirty five cents under the national average, is it fair to be charging $2.25 for three chicken tenders and a milk?

Students want change in our cafeterias. Colin Mcnees adds,  “We need freshly cooked food. They pretty much just heat it up and it’s not really appetizing.” But is cooking food for that many students even a realistic option? According to mindbodygreen.com, most schools in France prepare freshly cooked food for their students to eat. “We have an hour to two hours for lunch, so a lot of students will have time to go home,” said sophomore Margaux Gendre, who moved here from France. “They serve us fresh food that they cook themselves. They’re given the ingredients, but the chefs cook it. At least once a week, we also get a special meal from local farmers,” she said. Gendre explains that the lunch is also more substantial in France: every plate has an appetizer, an entree, cheese with bread, and then a dessert.

We definitely need change in the lunchroom. Food is delivered on trays, warmed up and then given to students. The milk is sometimes frozen, the chicken is occasionally chewy, the fruit is often very ripe and the list goes on and on. I think the students would benefit from having healthier, fresher options available in the lunchroom.

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The student news site of Portage Northern High School
School lunches taste like cardboard, barely have more nutrition