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Quality vs quantity: the problems with our school food

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Quality vs quantity: the problems with our school food

Jim Weimer, staff writer

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“The milk smelled putrid. It was very thick and chunky,” Julia Funk, sophomore, said about an incident last year involving the milk she purchased in the cafeteria.

Although cafeteria workers say such incidents are rare, the quality of the school food seems to be getting worse and worse. Students should never run into these kinds of problems, which range from expired milk to gray chicken patties.

“I don’t get lunch from the school because the food is bad,” Funk said. “I have frequently gotten expired or extremely stale products from the cafeteria. Last year I got a milk and did not think to check the expiration date before I drank it. When I drank it, it was expired, very clotted, and smelled like rotten eggs.”

Students should be able to feel safe eating the food that the school provides for them. According to Peggy Freund, cafeteria supervisor, the kitchen staff cooks everything fresh every day. Yet Funk says she has experienced problems with the school lunches more than once.

“Last year I got a hamburger from the cafeteria,” Funk said. “The bun was so stale that I literally stabbed it with a fork and the fork bounced off.”

Even if problems with the food only happens “occasionally,” it is still unacceptable. Students should be able to eat a quality and healthy lunch even at school.

Funk believes that one can only speculate the reason for the lack of quality in our lunches. She personally thinks that the food is bad before the school gets it, be it from freezer burn or something else.

“I feel like they need to serve real food, and not just frozen things,” Funk said. “It needs to be more healthy, too. Last year when I was on the free lunch program, the only thing I could get was the pizza or a hamburger, neither of which were healthy options.”

Funk also believes that if students had the option to get healthier food, they would, especially if it is affordable. While many students get lunch from the cafeteria every day, the majority of them will still bring at least one thing from home, according to Lily Eckert, health and PE teacher.

The Washington Post reported one school serving “food that sometimes featured mold, human hair, dangerously under cooked meats, insects and portion sizes fit for a small, starving child.” While our lunches may not be this severe, the problems are still significant.

“When kids have concerns like stale food or expired food, it’s a bigger issue that just ‘I want my money back’ or ‘I want something fresher,’” Eckert said. “Maybe it’s time to ask whether we can’t we do better, or whether it’s time to make some changes.”

But at the same time, the change needs to come from more than just a handful of people for the school to notice, according to Eckert. Students need to stand up and voice their opinions to show the school that it’s time for a change.

If students get expired milk, they need to tell the cafeteria workers about it and bring the issue to the attention of the administration. It is unacceptable for students to have to deal with prison quality food.

“I truly believe the change starts with the students,” Funk said. “When the students take a stand and say they don’t want this food anymore, that’s when change is going to happen.”

To make change, students need to voice their opinions. If the students want a change to happen, they need to tell the school that now is the time for a change.

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About the Writer
Jim Weimer, Staff Writer

The Incredible Jim has been in the journalism program for 4 years and is in his second year on staff. Jim plays guitar and plays for the varsity tennis...

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Quality vs quantity: the problems with our school food