Book Review- Lunch Wars

Gloppy hot mystery food. Canned peaches or fruit cocktail. Warm cartons of milk. Multi-colored plastic trays. This is what I remember of school lunches when I was in elementary school. Waiting in line with my little blue ticket for food and brown ticket for milk, kind of embarrassed that my mom made me get hot lunch that day. Granted, I didn’t get school lunch that often; my working mom was nice enough to send lunch with me most days. But on those days she (understandably) didn’t want to make it, I got “hot lunch.”
In Lunch Wars: How to Start a School Food Revolution and Win the Battle for Our Children’s Health, author Amy Kalafa outlines her game plan for changing school food in your community. Kalafa has produced films, television shows and articles about health and nutrition. Her latest documentary, “Two Angry Moms” is about exposing school food, and this book is a follow-up to that documentary.
The first third of the book is a fascinating look into what schools are serving and the nutritional (or unnutritional- I know that’s not a word) consequences they have. I’ll have to admit that reading through all her research makes it seem like the only acceptable things to feed your kids are certified organic fruits, vegetables and meats. It’s a little exhausting.
The rest of the book is a (VERY) in-depth plan on how to start a “school food revolution” in your school and community- a step-by-step guide with everything from how to approach your school’s food director, to USDA guidelines and current legislation on school lunches.
My oldest child just started kindergarten this fall and I don’t have plans to purchase school lunches when she’s older, so I’ll admit that this topic is not high on my list. As such, I found the abundance of information tedious, but I can understand how this information could be very valuable to those parents who are concerned about this. After watching Jamie Oliver’s “Food Revolution,” in what is basically my backyard of Los Angeles, it is frightening the lack of nutritional value and the effects that school food has. This book is a great guide for those willing to take on school food, and all the politics that are apparently behind it.
Join the discussion on BlogHer and find out more about the book!
This was a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own
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