Monday, December 14, 2009

A Waist is a Terrible Thing to Mind

Last week, blogs of all stripes bemoaned the recent announcement that meat unsuitable for McDonald's has been making its way into school lunches. That's old news, really. The book Fast Food Nation, which I read several years ago, stated that when McDonald's demanded higher quality beef, the drek it had previously served was moved straight to school lunch programs. This should give you some small idea of the regard government really has for public school children.

Of course, it's not only kids who eat this stuff. In New York City, teachers pay 3 or 4 times the price the kids do to eat the same crap the kids eat. Plates of pasta with sides of french fries and rice. If that doesn't make you fat, I don't think anything will. But you just taught three classes, you have two hundred papers to correct, and you're hungry. Who has time to leave the building and buy real food?

In my school, we're being threatened with the closure of cafeteria service for teachers. Apparently too few people in our school buy lunch, and if Mayor Bloomberg didn't have to keep our teacher cafe open, he could build more seats at sports stadiums and make more profit for his billionaire buddies. I have mixed feelings about this.

On the one hand, we'd be better off not eating that crap. I always gain weight if I eat school lunch on any regular basis. Now, I bring a wrap or sandwich from home and buy coffee in the cafeteria. The lunch lady sometimes chides me for not supporting the cause, and gives me a hard time about refills. Actually, I could buy coffee in an office for a third of the price, so I feel like I'm doing her a favor.

On the other hand, we really need a place where we can get food and drink. After all, food is an important component of a balanced diet. So what is a semi-health-conscious teacher to do?
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