School Lunch in the U.S. Love or Avarice?

Topics: Nutrition, Packed lunch, Lunch Pages: 4 (1250 words) Published: January 7, 2013
Christian Tancredi

School Lunch in the U.S. – Love or Avarice?
In the U.S. the debate with regards to school lunches never seems to settle. Advocates for lunch boxes, or brown-bags, argue that school lunches are not healthy enough for the children. Others say that removing school lunch completely would entail graver and more direct problems. This essay will argue for keeping the school lunch and the importance of improving it. The main reason people want to remove school lunches concerns the quality of the food itself. Their charge gets support from a 2009 study, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, showing that 94 percent of school lunches actually fail to meet the regulatory standards set by USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) (Christensen, 2011). Some people go on to say that school meals represent a significant cause for the increasing obesity in the U.S. Their charge is sustained by Whitmore Schanzenbach’s report showing that ”school lunch eaters do experience higher obesity rates than brown baggers” (2005). Yet another element prompting some to opt for removing school lunches is the packaging waste related to it. According to New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation, packed lunch (which is the normal type of lunch in the U.S.) produces 4-8 ounces (113-227 gr.) of garbage per day and person which amounts to 45-90 pounds (20-40 kg.) of garbage every year (2012). In light of the above, it may seem irrational to defend school lunch. Such a standpoint, nonetheless, seems to ignore the serious consequences that come with its substitute: the lunch box. There are in fact several reasons that make lunch box a bad option. Firstly, because it is a waste of time; time that many busy parents do not have. One can but imagine how much more practical and time-saving it is to have meals provided for the children than to let each parent cook for their own children. Secondly, for many children, the school meal is the only regular...


Cited: index.html [Accessed 1 Oct 2012]
GAO, United States General Accounting Office, 2003 School Meal Programs Revenue and Expense Information from Selected States [pdf] Available at: [Accessed 2 Oct 2012]
Schulte Tiffany, 2011 Are School Lunches Really Nutritious? [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Oct 2012]
SNA (School Nutrition Association) School Meals Proven a Healthy Choice [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Oct 2012]
The National Farm to School Network, 2011, statistics [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Oct 2012]
WasteFreeLunches.org, 2011 What is a waste-free lunch program? [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Oct 2012]
Whitmore Schanzenbach Diane, 2005, Do School Lunches Contribute to Childhood Obesity? [pdf] University of Chicago Available at:
[Accessed 2 Oct 2012]
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