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Tiaras and Trucks

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Are Your Kids Armed? - Lunch Wars Book Review


Remembering school lunches often means a crinkled nose or a guilty conscience about copious amounts of canned lemonade and peanut butter and wafer cookies.

Amy Kalafa’s Lunch Wars challenges us to rethink school lunches.  She calls on us to advocate for our children, to bring fresh, seasonal produce to schools, to limit our dependence on non-organic animal products and genetically-modified foods.

My emotions went through an entire spectrum while reading Lunch Wars, from ire over our school lunch system and anger about our country’s food culture in general, to slight annoyance and, later, to feeling like there are some great tips for any diet, not just the lunches prepared at school.

I was shocked to read certain facts, like how schools need to order their food eighteen months in advance to take full advantage of government subsidies, a vital source of funding for many school lunch programs.

I was disheartened to read others, such as the dangers of “anything ultra-pasteurized,” since all of the organic milk choices at the grocery stores I frequent are ultra-pasteurized.

That shift, between shocked and disheartened, may cause some readers to dismiss the message Kalafa is sending as too alarmist or unrealistic.  Yet, if you move past the laundry list of foods Kalafa holds up to an unforgiving microscope, you will find a wealth of information about adding whole, naturally grown, local foods to a menu.

Even if you are not interested in school lunch reform, Lunch Wars is worth reading, particularly if you are interested in making conscious, healthy food choices.

What do you think about the food in schools?  Are your kids eating what you ate?  Come over and talk about it at BlogHer!

Nan and Abbey are reading a Tinkerbell book
she's counting on me to make healthy decisions about what she eats

This was a paid review for BlogHer Book Club.  I received a copy of Amy Kalafa's Lunch Wars and compensation for participation in the review campaign, but all opinions expressed are my own.

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8 Comments:

  • At September 28, 2011 at 8:33 AM , Anonymous Nicole Morgan said...

    One of the big perks of homeschool - no packing lunch ;)

     
  • At September 28, 2011 at 1:02 PM , Anonymous Vinobaby said...

    That is why I pack my Kiddo's lunch every day. At least that way I can decide how much garbage to feed him.

    Cheers.

     
  • At September 28, 2011 at 3:31 PM , Anonymous Galit Breen said...

    Great review girlfriend! I *think* that school lunches have actually gotten better- a lot less junk and a lot more fresh choices. We pack from home and pick one hot lunch a week {if there's one that's wanted} and that seems to work for us so far!

     
  • At September 28, 2011 at 11:09 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I don't really know about our districts lunches, since my kids are so little.  I think there are a lot of things about school lunches that can be negative, but there are good choices there.  I just think that some kids have a hard time separating good and bad decisions, but that's why limiting access is good, too :)

     
  • At September 28, 2011 at 11:13 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I'm giggling a little.  I will likely pack for them, at least while they're young.  I don't know if my lunches would pass muster!

     
  • At September 28, 2011 at 11:13 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    It's going to be tough for me when they're both in school. I already pack my husband's lunch LOL. 

     
  • At September 29, 2011 at 2:35 PM , Anonymous Good Day Regular People said...

    Interesting read.

    We have so many food allergies: all my kids lunches are what I need to give them.

    So, I'm safe from all this: but, really, had I not to deal with the allergy stuff: I wonder what I'd do.

    Take the easy way out?

     
  • At September 30, 2011 at 4:55 PM , Anonymous Elena said...

    I hope you don't mind I'm commenting here because for some reason I have trouble logging in at BlogHer. The school lunch program is such a hot button issue and one that truly deserves more attention. I will say, at least at my school, they have made improvements in the 10 years that I've worked there, but it's still not enough. There are some really good, fresh, healthy choices, but there's also still the terrible choices. I can't tell you, from a perspective of someone that has struggled with weight for 20 years now, how much it infuriates me. I would love to read this book, but I'm also a bit afraid to because I might get so worked up. ;)

     

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