I’ve started reading a pretty interesting book for the BlogHer Book Club (full disclosure–a paid program–opinions are all mine, though). The book is Lunch Wars by Amy Kalafa. I’m not more than 50 pages into it yet, but I’m feeling similar reactions to when I read “Fast Food Nation.” I’ll have more to say about the book itself over the next week or so, but I did want to reminisce with all of you about your own school lunch experiences.
When I started grade school, I ate hot lunch at the school. I still faintly remember standing in line and being too tiny to even see the top of the counter. Our lunch ladies were so sweet, and they were at the cafeteria throughout my entire schooling experience. I cannot imagine how many meals they served over their careers.
Regardless of how sweet and kind they were, the cooks weren’t given much to work with. I’m pretty sure all of our food came out of boxes, mixes and cans. The only fresh foods I can remember are apples, our daily carton of milk, and the occasional slices of oranges. Mainly, I recall the good times (eating ranch dressing as a condiment for nearly everything, pizza day, and getting chocolate milk on Fridays) and the bad times (turkey and noodles, any kind of soup, absolutely disgusting canned vegetables). Then there were the weird moments, like when I discovered that fish sticks are actually pretty palatable if you dip them in chocolate pudding.
I still have some pretty ugly scars on my knees from my junior year in high school, when some friends and I were racing headlong down to the cafeteria (we had to run alongside the parking lot and down two flights of concrete stairs to the grade school area), and I tripped and fell, tearing open my jeans and ripping many layers of skin off my kneecaps. I literally still have gravel in my skin from that incident. We were some kind of excited about pizza day, that’s for sure.
What did you have for lunch when you were in school? Hot lunch? Cold? Did you get healthy food?