I didn’t. But in elementary school we did have hotdog day once a month. You had to fill in your order for the whole year in September. I always got the same thing; two hotdogs. The choices were mustard or no mustard; I got one of each. You could also get a carton of milk, a yogurt, and a cookie.
The cookies were made by my mom and another mom. The weekend before hot dog day she’d make dozens and dozens of these raisin oatmeal cookies and take them into the school. I actually have the recipe. The official hotdog day oatmeal cookie recipe. (Let me tell you, it’s damn good.)
I obviously didn’t think about garbage much back then, but looking back on hotdog day, we were doing pretty good on the garbage front. The hotdogs were prepared by a couple parents in the snack room (good luck doing that these days – parents boiling wieners and getting their hands all over the buns. No hand sanitizer in sight. Someone would be suing someone for something). Anyway, the hotdogs were each wrapped in a napkin (yellow for mustard, white for none), slipped back into the bag the buns came in, and put into big cardboard boxes -one for each class.
Sure, there were a couple plastic bags and wiener packages, but it’s a far cry from the garbage you can get at school these days. Just look at this photo:
Mm, hmm. That’s a school lunch. Looks to me like the the ratio of waste to food is about 1:1. Actually, I don’t know which is more appalling, the amount of packaging or the type of “food” these poor kids have to eat.
Which brings me to the Fed Up With School Lunch blog (where I borrowed the above image from). Over in Illinois, there is a teacher who has decided to eat school lunch for a whole year – just like the kids.
Whether she’s trying to bring attention to nutrition, highlight the evils of over-packaging, or just see how many days in a row you can drink chocolate milk (seriously), it’s pretty scary.
So far, she is choosing to remain anonymous -probably a good idea considering the wrath she’d get from the cafeteria staff and school board – but it’ll be interesting to see if she makes it through the whole year without either a) getting caught with her camera over her food tray or b) passing out from malnutrition.
Watch the horror unfold at fedupwithschoollunch.blogspot.com