Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tuesday, September 25th, & LUNCH PRICE POLL RESULTS!

     What's for lunch Tuesday, September the 25th? Salami hoagie with broccoli salad.

     Here is a breakdown of what I ate for lunch on Tuesday the 25th.
  • 1 salami hoagie with cheese
  • 1/2 cup cut watermelon
  • 1/2 cup apricots
  • 1 can tomato juice-----------30 calories
  • 1/2 cup broccoli salad
  • 1/2 pint 1% low-fat milk-----100 calories
  • Miracle Whip----------------15 calories
     On any day that I don't want or like what is served for the hot entree at school, I can get a sandwich.  I probably eat a sandwich two or three times a week, just because I know what I am getting and know what to expect with it.  In the last couple of weeks, there have been many cucumber, broccoli, and cauliflower salads, all of which are very good.  They almost taste like my grandma made them!  This particular salad had cut broccoli, diced onions, crumbled bacon, white raisins and some sort of mayo based sauce.  I will probably be getting this quite often, when it is available.
     The results from the poll, Lunch Price, which asked the question, "How much does a lunch in your or your child's school cost?" are in!!  With a total of 68 votes over 7 days, here are the results.  

$ 3.25 and above
  5 (7%)
$ 2.75 - $ 3.25
  9 (13%)
$ 2.25 - $ 2.75
  39 (57%)
$ 1.75 - $ 2.25
  10 (14%)
Free - $ 1.75
  5 (7%)

     The price with the biggest number of respondents was $2.25 - $2.75, with 39 votes.  Free to $1.75 and $3.25 and above have the same number of votes, 5.  Do you have a suggestion for the next poll on The School Lunches Suck! Blog? If so, email me or comment below with your idea!! 
     If you are aware of what the High Plains Journal is, Trent Loos wrote an article in his column, The fight against the path to starvation, and he mentioned the blog in it!! How cool!!

-----Thanks to the many readers, The School Lunches Suck! Blog now has over 12,500 page views!! Thanks to you for your support!!  Don't forget to check back often for more posts from The School Lunches Suck! Blog, and to 'share' the blog on Facebook with friends and family!!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

'We Are Hungry' YouTube Video!

     This week, I was told of a very interesting YouTube video titled, 'We Are Hungry'.  If you haven't seen it yet, definitely check it out below!

     Immediately I knew that it would be a hit.  When I first viewed it, it had over 15,000 views in two days, and as I am writing this post, it is just shy of 50,000 views!!  I was so interested in the video, I contacted the person who posted the YouTube video to ask a couple of questions.  The video poster, , was happy to answer my questions.  I was most curious about why blk5348 posted the video, and how the idea was created.

" I am one of the few teachers that still occasionally eats lunch at school. Partially because I have a really short amount of time to eat, so it's just easier to eat there. I'm very active during the day and have a high metabolism and burn through a lot of calories and protein in a day. One day I went through the line and asked why we weren't getting meat. I was told the cheese that was in the breadstick accounted for the protein allotment so they weren't allowed to give us meat in the sauce. I was pretty upset, so I took a picture of my meal and posted it on Facebook with the story. The response and conversation was overwhelming."

With a little help from a fellow teacher, blk5348 was able to come up with the video idea, and with the lyrics from her colleague, they talked to kids to see if they would be interested.  

"From there, we talked to students and parents, got it approved by the administration and the rest is history." 

     What an awesome video!! 

-----There is still time to give your answer in The School Lunches Suck! Blogs poll: Lunch Price, so head over there and vote today!!  Did you know that you can receive The School Lunches Suck! Blog in your email inbox? Just use the 'follow' tool on the right side of the page!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

2nd Guest post from LUKAS!!!

Lukas sent me over another guest post this week, I hope you enjoy reading it!

Hello again,
In the past few weeks I have noticed an increased popularity on the subject of which we are fighting for, school lunches. Many of those fighting are farmers, they understand the importance of a healthy meal, not to mention the fact that what they raise is being used to feed our youth.  Do you think that Mr. Obama is eating 800 calories per meal? My guess is definitely not. One carton of 2% white milk is equal to 100 calories and has 8 fluid ounces of content. A handful of the students at my high school are just getting out of Physical Fitness and are not only hungry, but also thirsty. If you drink 16 ounces of milk you already have 200 calories of your lunch which is equivalent to ¼ of your meal. One baby carrot supplies you with just 5 calories.

On this lunch plate there are 7 carrots shown, with 35 calories for the total. The average sized muffin resting there on my plate has 180 calories, I honestly think my mouth is big enough that I ate it in one bite. The cup of pineapple on my plate has nearly 50 calories, but there interesting part is the potatoes. Now as I’ve said before I have been on a farm all of my life, and I’ll tell you this; we LOVE our mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, buttered bread, and roast lunch! After we eat, we head out the door to continue working in the 100⁰ heat, or the freezing cold snow, and I am yet to gain a pound. But isn’t the main point of being a student, to get an education? How are we supposed to focus with the bare minimum amount of fuel sitting in our tanks? None the less, this portion of mashed potatoes and gravy is packed with 400 calories. 
Let’s add all this up.

Main Course:400

That equals up to a grand total of, 765 calories! I know that on an average practice of 45 minutes I burn 700 calories. That doesn’t include the calories I burn trying to recover, which continues to add up all day long. An teenage boy, who DOES NOT play sports is supposed to attain 3,000 calories per day. If practice is at 6:30 a.m. I burn over 1,500 by 9 o’clock! These meals are outrageous! In the next few days I will be contacting a Senate Representative and a man who writes articles in the High Plains Journal, to speak of this issue and way they could possibly help us win the battle. Until then, find a vending machine.


-----Be sure to give your answer in this weeks poll: Lunch Price, which ends Sunday. After that, I'll make sure to post the results!! Tomorrow, I will be meeting with the food service director at my school, so we can talk about the blog. Be on the look out for a post about that, and soon an interview with some of the people involved in the YouTube video We Are Hungry!!!-----

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Garden City guest poster...Legit Lindy!

I am very excited to announce that The School Lunches Suck! Blog is going to start featuring another guest poster, Lindy! Like me, Lindy is a senior in high school who is not very happy with the new federal guidelines regarding school lunch. Be on the lookout for more posts from Lindy, and later this week another post from Lukas!

My name is Lindy and I am an unhappy and underfed senior at Garden City High School in Garden City, Kansas.  This year, I will be a member of the first graduating class out of our district’s brand new, $97 million high school.  I will also be a member of probably the most underfed senior class that’s ever had the privilege of being a Garden City Buffalo.  Seriously.

Until this year, Garden City’s juniors and seniors had the 

privilege of leaving campus for lunch.  For most, that meant a quick run home for a bite to eat, a walk across the street to Subway, or a mad dash to one of the many nearby fast food restaurants.  But, our new school came with new rules—one of those being that we are now all stuck on campus for lunch.

Honestly, the majority of my school’s 2000+ students weren't really very worried about it.  Although we were being stripped of one of the few privileges of being upperclassmen, we were promised that we would have more lunch options and a higher quality of food coming out of our brand spankin’ new kitchen.  Boy, were we in for a surprise the first day when we walked in the cafeteria and saw what they had to offer!
Everyday, we pretty much have three options: hamburgers, pizza, or some type of Mexican food, and don’t forget a handful of soggy, half-baked French fries.  The quality of the food isn't exactly the greatest, but the portions are even worse.  I don’t participate in sports, but I do lead an active lifestyle.  By the time I get home from work, I’m STARVING.  I can’t even imagine how hungry the football players, volleyball girls, or cheerleaders are after they get done with practice.  When high school students are being fed the same portions as grade school students, you know that you have a problem.

The majority of our school’s athletes survive by eating multiple meals.  It’s not uncommon to see a football player eat three school lunches in one sitting.  With our school lunches ringing in at $2.30, that means that the football players are paying $6.90 every day just so they aren't hungry.  Wouldn't it be more reasonable to feed us one meal that actually fills us up?

What’s on the menu today? 9/18/12
-One Beef Enchilada
-Handful of Tortilla Chips
-Packaged Fruit

My fellow students, it’s time to speak up.  If we don’t tell them that we’re unhappy, nothing will ever change.  We’re the ones eating the meals, we should have a say.  Let’s do something about it!

Until Next Time,

Thanks, Lindy!!!

-----Make sure to share The School Lunches Suck! Blog on Facebook, and to 'Follow' on the right side of the page to receive the blog in your email inbox!!-----

Keep sending in your pictures of your or your childrens lunch, for the post Lunch from Alabama to Wyoming!! Pictures can be sent to teubks@gmail.com

Until next time, stay full!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday, September 17th, & OBP UPDATE!!

     What's for lunch Monday, September 17th?  Pepperoni hoagie with green beans.  
     Here is a breakdown of what I ate for lunch on Monday, September 17th.
  • 1 pepperoni hoagie with cheese
  • 1/2 pint milk.................................100 calories
  • 1/2 cup green beans
  • 1/2  cup mixed fruit
  • 1/2 cup bell peppers
  • 1 juice box...................................100 calories
  • Miracle Whip ..............................15 calories
     Today, a sloppy jo on a bun with french fries was offered for the hot item at lunch.  I do not necessarily like sloppy jo's, so I got something from the hoagie line instead.  The fresh green beans were actually pretty fresh, and much tastier than green beans out of the can.  These are the kind of green beans that I can definitely live with.  The pepperoni hoagie, on the other hand, was something quite different.  I opened up the bun to put on some Miracle Whip, and was shocked at how few pepperoni there were.  I counted six small slices on the sandwich.  With a slice of cheese too, there went my  2 daily ounces of protein.  It seems a bit ridiculous to me that the USDA decided on 10-12 ounces a week for protein at lunch.  What were the deciding factors on the limit anyway?  Hopefully I can address that in a future post.

     Remember last week, when I wrote about Operation: Paper Bag?  Well, Jack and a couple of other students of Allentown High school had a meeting with a few administrators from their school, and representatives of their food service provider, Chartwells.  They came to an agreement, which is not yet 100% final, but a decision nonetheless that is a 'win' for the students of Allentown High.  A post on the Operation: Paper Bag Facebook page updates followers on how the meeting went.  
     ". . . one of the available and best rounded options at the time would be to release ourselves from the government program. What that would mean is that the portions would increase back to the size of lunches last year. However, to make up for the funding that the government *used* to give, Allentown would have to      increase the current prices."
Jack, who I talked to last week, was pleased with the results.  "I feel like it's a good solution, and everyone is happy with it," he told me.  Keep posted on more updates from Jack and OPB!

-----If you are a student in a any school across the country, or a parent of a child in school, take a picture of lunch and send it to me, for our post Lunch from Alabama to Wyoming.   Pictures can be sent to teubks@gmail.com-----

'Share' the School Lunches Suck! Blog on Facebook with your friends and family, and thank-you for your continued support!!

Until next time, stay full!


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Poll: Lunch Price

     For this week's poll on The School Lunches Suck! Blog, we asked the question, "How much does a lunch in your or your child's school cost?"  Answer below!!!

-----The School Lunches Suck! Blog has over 9,000 views, thanks for your support, and keep it up!! Help spread awareness by sharing the blog with your friends and family, and by following the blog with the tool on the right side of the page!-----

     Send in your pictures for our post, Lunch from Alabama to Wyoming, so we can get a picture of lunch from every state in the USA!!! Pictures can be sent to teubks@gmail.com  

How much does a lunch cost in your or your child's school

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Staying Lean vs. the Freshman 15

Photo Credit: pitchburner.com
     In the last week and half, I have been in contact with the Assistant Director of University Dining Services at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Pamela Edwards.  I asked Pam if she could answer a couple of questions about how meals are handled at the University level, and our 15 minute conversation followed.  

     The first thing I wanted to know from Pam was about any regulation governing what the University can serve to students at meals, if there even were regulations.  "No regulations at all, none like the high school level," she told me.  "We can serve whatever, whenever."  Pamela then explained to me that they have the freedom to determine the style of the menu, what they're serving, and that students control the portion size.   There are a couple of things they have to take into consideration, though.  "Budget really mandates what we serve, as well as our diverse student population," Pam said.  After that, our conversation turned to the actual menu.  "There is a menu committee of five people, one from each residence hall," she began, "students can go to these meetings, where they decide the menu."  The menus for all five dining halls are different everyday, but the same menus overall.  "The menu is a pattern that is rotated around the dining halls, pretty much the same meals, but at different times."  Pam told me that about 11,000 meals are bought each day, which can range from someone going and getting orange juice to an actual meal.  "The food cost of a meal usually depends on the hall,"  Pam pointed out, "usually about $2.50 to $3.00."  
     I also wanted to know how healthy choices and good eating habits were communicated to students.  "Right now we are using the MyPlate campaign, and 'nutrition bytes'," Pam explained.  She went into detail about he 'nutrition bytes' which are similar to nutrition facts, in that they show calories, vitamins and nutrients, and sodium content, among other things.  The information they use for the nutrition bytes comes from the food they prepare, but are broken down into individual portions.  I asked Pam how students make good choices on what they eat without the supervision of his or her mom or dad.  "That's part of our [MyPlate] campaign, we are trying to provide information to students."  When I asked a recent Beatrice grad her thought on lunch at the University of Nebraska, she said, "It's awesome.  There are so many choices, and you can get whatever you want.  There are nutrition facts for everything, too."  There are several other ways that students can find help as well.  Students can talk with many of the people in the dining services at UNL if they have questions or need help with their diet.   
     Before I told Pam thank-you and goodbye, I had one final question.  Is the Freshman 15 a real thing, or is it just a myth?  Expecting a funny answer, Pam informed me that the freshman 15 is actually a real thing,  "I don't know if it's actually 15 pounds, but it definitely is a big issue for some students, if they don't recognize it."  She told me than many of the reasons that students may gain the 'freshman 15' is because they are in a new environment, wanting to try all the various foods.  "Some pay no attention to portion control," Pam said.  "Many students also eat outside of meal times, snacking while doing homework, or late night pizza parties.  Those really add up."  Stressing that diet isn't the only part of a healthy lifestyle, Pam told me that, "Exercise is key."  I thanked Pam for her time, and that was the end of our interview.  
     One thing that really stood out to me was that maybe meals are not the main source of our unhealthy eating habits, but instead the mindless snacking or late night eating that many of us are guilty of.  

-----Don't forget to send in your pictures of lunches across America for the project Lunch from Alabama to Wyoming, and to share The School Lunches Suck! Blog on Facebook with your friends and family!-----

Until next time,  stay full!

OPB: Operation Paper Bag.

To everyone who reads The School Lunches Suck! Blog, I have big news.  
We are joining forces with another movement against school lunches in New Jersey, called Operation Paper Bag. 
     Operation Paper Bag started out in Allentown High School, largely by a student named Jack Streppone.  Through a friend of a friend of a friend, I was put into contact with Jack.  Pretty quickly, he and I both realized that we didn't like the new changes to school lunch, and we also decided to do something about it.  
     In Jack's high school of about 1,300 students, there is something going on.  Students aren't buying lunch anymore.  They're bringing it.  Operation Paper Bag (OPB) was started by Jack and a few of his friends, and at the forefront of their movement is a petition, with nearly 900 signatures.  Everyday, Jack brings this petition to school, encouraging students to sign it, and lets them know about OPB.  The petition reads, "School lunch portions have decreased, while the prices, have increased! This is ridiculous! We, as students, need to stand up, be heard and do something about this!"  Jack said the reason for the petition and attention being brought to school lunches has a purpose,  "Ultimately our goal is to boycott meals at school, and hit the company that supplies our cafeteria with food and emyployees, Chartwells, where it hurts--financially."  
     Pretty quickly, the Allentown High School administration realized something was up, so the district superintendent set up a meeting between Jack and Chartwells before the full-fledged boycott was on.  Tomorrow, Thursday September 13th, Jack and the other students that started Operation Paper Bag are meeting with Chartwells representatives, employees, and a couple of school officials to talk about the school lunches.  There, Jack is going to present what he has found this year.  "Our lunch is $2.40," Jack went on,"and it's like finger food, but for raised prices!" 
     So over the coming weeks and months, I will be posting updates about Operation Paper Bag, and how things are going for Jack and his cause.  If you would like to follow OPB on twitter, their page is here, and their Facebook page is here.  This is really exciting news for The School Lunches Suck! Blog, so be sure keep posted for what's coming next!!
-----Don't forget to share The School Lunches Suck! Blog with your friends and family on Facebook with the 'share' button on the right.  Also, send in your pictures of school lunch for our challenge: Lunch from Alabama to Wyoming.  Pictures can be sent to teubks@gmail.com -----

Until next time, stay full!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lunch from Alabama to Wyoming

     This week, someone who reads the blog told me they had a suggestion for a blog post.

O- Hey Travis, you know what you should do for your blog?

Me- What?

O- You should get a picture of a lunch from every state!! It would be cool to see what a lunch from every state looks like!

     We promptly discussed how cool it would be, and what all the different lunches would look like.  So to my readers, I ask you this:  
     If you are a student in any school in any state across America, send me a picture of your lunch!! Parents: if you have a student in school, get them to take a picture of their lunch, and then send it to me!! 
I will post the pictures I get weekly, and when I have every state, from Alabama to Wyoming, I'll write a summary of what I found!

If you send in a picture, please include:

  • First name
  • State
  • Grade level
  • What you ate
  • (Optional) City
Send your pictures to teubks@gmail.com with the subject "Lunch in (your state)"     Encourage your friends, children, grandchildren, ANYONE you know in a different state to send one in!!   Hope to see 50 pictures really soon!!

Until next time, stay full!

Photo Credit: www.daily-quotes.net

Monday, September 10, 2012

Update...School Lunches Suck! Blog on TV!!

     Tomorrow, September the 11th, Channel 8 Eyewitness news from Lincoln, Nebraska will have a spot about The School Lunches Suck Blog on TV!! 
If you live in Nebraska, tune in at 6:00 pm to see what it's about!! If you don't live in Nebraska, or don't get Lincoln's ABC news on channel 8, I'l post a link so you can see it too!!

Here is a link to the spot that was on channel 8 today  http://www.klkntv.com/story/19517487/beatrice-high-seeing-drop-in-students-participating-in-school-lunch-program  Enjoy!

2nd Guest post...LUKAS! Friday, September 7th.

     Here is the first guest post from our second guest poster, Lukas!!  Lukas also attends school in a small rural Kansas community, and is quite the achieved distance runner!  He will probably be posting every two weeks or so, so be on the lookout for more!

     Hello Everyone! My name is Lukas; I attend a school much similar to Shane’s in aspect of size, and community. I live on a farm and understand the importance of healthy diets, which goes for animals and humans. But what is most special about me is my ability to run. I have loved running since grade school, and it has become a key part of my life. In the course of my high school career, I have brought home many titles and awards to my community. So from a true athlete’s perspective, we NEED more food! Like most pre-collegiate students I weigh under 200 lbs. Skin and bones, is probably the most accurate way to describe us. Now I am not saying that the food is gross, because I am by no means a picky eater, but the quantity is not rational at all. The statistics may say that the U.S. is overweight but where I come from we aren’t much more than bean stalks. This is a picture of the lunch that was served on Friday the 7th; I took every possible item of food that was possible.

  • 1-Sloppy Joe
  • 1-Bean Salsa with tortilla chips
  • 1-leaf of Romaine 
  • 2-1/2 slices of tomato
  • 1 pear
  • 1-cup of milk

     As you can see there is not a whole lot on my plate, the sloppy Joe was delicious, but that was the only meaty and filling part of the whole meal. Bean salsa? Come on, that is an appetizer. This lunch, however, was on Friday, and my cross country meet was on Thursday. The day after a race is known as a 'Recovery Day', which means you have to re-nourish all the vital elements your body lost during your race. The average runner (typical high school runner) needs more protein per pound of body weight than a professional body builder. There isn’t enough protein on this plate to recharge a 5th grader after PE and recess. 
     We pay for these lunches, and I don’t believe that gives the government the right to restrict them. If the overweight people want to chow down on Honey Buns and Soda, who are we to judge them, Let alone stop them? It is their body and they can do to it as they please! We are adolescents, our metabolism is peaking. It’s possible to eat a little grub and still keep our low body fat. School lunches aren't the problem, and making them smaller will only encourage indulging in fatty foods after the bell rings. I hope to post again soon, but until then God Bless.


Thanks, Lukas!! 

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Thursday, September 6th, & POLL RESULTS!

     What's for lunch Thursday, September 6th?  Hot dog on a bun with french fries and baked beans.  Again, I opted for a different vegetable than french fries.

    Here is a breakdown of what I ate for lunch on Thursday, September 6.
  • 1 hot dog on a white bun
  • 1/2 cup grapes
  • 1 grape juice box..............100 calories
  • 1/2 pint 1% low-fat milk...100 calories
  • 1/2 cup dark green salad
  • 1/2 cup mixed veggies
  • 1 packet ranch dressing/ketchup.....120 calories
     On Thursday the 6th, a hot dog on a bun with baked beans and french fries was served for lunch.  I love french fries more than you can know, but I like them fried to a golden crisp and am quite fond of the ones served at Runza.  The french fries at school, however, are a different story.  I'm not sure how these french fries are cooked, but I can tell you they are not fried to a golden crisp.  They are thick crinkle cut fries, but not like ones I enjoy at Runza.  When I asked three different students the first word they thought of when I told them to describe school french fries, their response was the same--soggy.  Personally, I would rather get a different vegetable and eat it than let the french fries go to waste.  Otherwise, this lunch wasn't too bad.  

     The results from The School Lunches Suck! Blog poll: How much control? are in!!  This week we asked the question, How much control should the Government have over school lunch?  With a total of  78 votes, we had two responses that both received about 33% of the vote.  The winner was 'None at all' with 30 votes, and 2nd place was 'Half as much' with 26.  
Keep it the same.
  7 (8%)
Half as much.
  26 (33%)
1/3 as much.
  15 (19%)
None at all.
  30 (38%)

     The School Lunches Suck! Blog has been receiving a lot of attention recently, as the story in the Beatrice Daily Sun that mentioned the blog was picked up by The Associated Press this Saturday!  Also, watch out tomorrow (Monday) for a quick update about where you can see the blog mentioned on TV!!

-----Don't forget to share The School Lunches Suck! Blog with your friends on Facebook, and as always, feel free to leave a comment or question below!  If you have a suggestion for a blog post idea, or any question at all, you can email me at teubks@gmail.com -----

Until next time, stay full!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

First guest post...SHANE! Friday, September 9th.

Today on The School Lunches Suck! Blog, we are featuring our first guest poster, Shane!! Shane and I share similar views when it comes to the school lunch program, so I asked him to do a guest post on the blog. Enjoy!!!

My name is Shane and I am a Junior at a small school in rural Northeast Kansas. As an avid reader of this blog, I love what Travis is trying to do and the message he is trying to get across. A problem I noticed though is that Travis, and Beatrice High School, are the only schools getting addressed. I figured this could lead some people to believe this problem is isolated to only his school. So I did the only thing I could think of doing, I contacted him about it. After talking it over, he asked me to write a guest blog on here to show that it is not only the large high schools with the new "healthy" lunches, it is all high schools. My high school has less than 100 people in it overall, and has the same complaints all other schools are having.
In our school, over 80% of students participate in sports of some sort throughout the year. In a school like this, getting enough to eat at lunch is even more important due to the amount of activity we are doing after school. Myself, being in Cross Country, can burn upwards of 1000 calories in a hard practice each day. Our school lunches are supplying around an average of 850 calories, as previously noted in Travis's blog. So where does my energy come from if lunch isn't even supplying enough calories for practice, let alone every day activities? It doesn't come. I have to carry it over from breakfast. By the time practice is done each day I am ready to go home and chow down on whatever I can find, which is normally unhealthy. So how much are the lunches really helping health if we go straight home to eat more unhealthy?
Our lunches have been similar all year to BHS's. The outlaw of salt at tables has started a "BYOS" (Bring Your Own Salt) trend among the students where they bring their own salt shakers from home to bring some taste in to the otherwise bland meals. You know there is a problem if high schoolers are getting that creative in trying to help lunches. Our time is already limited and our creativity could be much better used somewhere else, rather than having to worry about our hunger all day. I diagrammed today's (9/7) lunch for you guys to get a glimpse of what we are eating on a regular basis:
  • 1 Sloppy Jo on whole wheat bread
  • Sweet Potato Fries (unsalted)
  • 1 cup Applesauce
  • 1/2 cup Baked Beans
  • 1 Pear
  • 1 bag sunchips
Big thanks to Travis for letting me do this write up and HUGE shout out to what he's doing. He is putting a huge amount of work in to show that this really is a problem. I hope to be on here more often now to help show everybody how schools in other states and sizes are faring with school lunches. Travis has some big plans for this blog and I hope he keeps it up.This has been Shane posting on behalf of School Lunches Suck!

Thanks, Shane!!

-----A big thanks to the readers, too!! Today, The School Lunches Suck! Blog marked the pass of the 5,000th page view!! -----
-----The School Lunches Suck! Blog Poll: How much control? still has a day left for voting, so go vote!  And as always, don't forget to share The School Lunches Suck! Blog with your friends & family on Facebook with the handy share button on the right side of the page.

Thanks for reading, and until next time, stay full!

Thursday, September 6, 2012


     In many school districts across the country, several students have decided to bring their lunch this year.  Yesterday, I had a link to the Beatrice Daily Sun article explaining that almost 40% fewer students buy lunch at BHS.  But, it seems that it is a growing trend across the country.  For those familiar with Twitter, a trending hashtag (#) in recent days is #BrownBaggingIt.  According to an article from the Huffington Post, "Plum High School student Sean Doyle started it all by going on Twitter, telling everyone to bring their own lunch to avoid purchasing from the school for a day."  He then created the #BrownBaggingIt hashtag, and ever since it has become a trending topic on twitter. 
     Some say that bringing your own lunch to school will die out as the year goes on, but the majority of students I've talked to think that it will continue.  "I bring my lunch now, and plan on bringing it for the rest of the year.  The lunches aren't going to get any better," said senior Shelby.  Another student, senior Dylan said something quite similar, "It's becoming part of my morning routine.  It just fits in, and doesn't even take that much more time."  
     This topic--school lunches--has received a lot of attention in the last few weeks, as parents, students, and teachers get back into the school groove.  Several people, from the West coast to the East, have written about lunch in a similar way that I have--a blog.  One of my favorite posts I have read is School Lunch Soapbox, written by a woman named Annie, a mother of three from South Dakota.  In her post, Annie describes her feelings and a story tied with school lunch when she was a 9th grade teacher.  Make sure to check it out--it's a good read!!
-----This brings me to my next idea......I am going to start featuring guest bloggers, letting them tell you from their point-of-view how the lunch in their school is!! Be on the lookout from posts from Lukas, Shane, and a couple of others!!  If you know someone who would be a good candidate for an interview, let me know!
----- Also coming soon, a Q&A with the Assistant Director of University Dining Services at UNL!
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Until next time, stay full!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wednesday, September 5th.

     What's for lunch Wednesday, September 5th?  Breaded chicken patty on a bun with potatoes.  I chose a different vegetables than potatoes, though.

     Here is a breakdown of what I ate for lunch on Wednesday, September 5th.
  • 1 can pineapple juice..........90 calories
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 peach
  • 1/2 cup pickled beets
  • 1/2 pint white 1% low-fat milk...100 calories
  • 1 chicken patty on a whole wheat bun
  • honey mustard sauce
     Today for lunch, we had breaded chicken patty on a bun with potatoes.  I really enjoy this meal, and the honey mustard sauce we are offered is quite good.  The whole wheat bun, I am not the biggest fan of.  I do understand that whole wheat is much healthier for someone than white bread, but there is something different about the wheat bread at school.  I eat wheat bread at home, and prefer it over white.  I even eat whole grain noodles most of the time, but this wheat bread needed quite a bit of honey mustard sauce to make it less tough.  I have a feeling that people will get more used to the whole grain buns and whole grain products as the school year goes on.  Hopefully, the texture will improve too.  
     I would like everyone that reads this blog to know that I make every effort to make sure that the things I am writing are factual, objective, and backed up by information from credible sources, all of which I post links to when I reference them.  I will also make every effort to correct any misinformation in the blog.  In addition, I would like to remind everyone that this blogs purpose is not to target the cafeteria workers, but to target the regulations and rules they have to abide by.
     Today, my blog was mentioned in a Beatrice Daily Sun article written by Emily Deck, check it out here at  
http://beatricedailysun.com/news/local/education/fewer-bhs-students-participate-in-school-lunch-program/article_6318e478-e25b-5ee5-87f2-33ead7e933f7.html.  Reading the first line of the article, it states, "From Aug. 22 to Aug. 27, lunch program participation at Beatrice High School had dropped nearly 40 percent from 547 students to 339."  Seeing those numbers, I was extremely shocked.  Since there are 3 lunch periods at my school, I only get to see 1 of them.  I didn't realize just exactly how many kids have brought their own lunch.   

-----Don't forget to give your opinion in the School Lunches Suck! Blog poll: How much Control?  And don't forget to use the 'share' button on the right side of the page!! Be sure to check back soon for updated posts!!-----

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Poll: How much control?

     Every two weeks, The School Lunches Suck! Blog will have a poll for the readers to participate in.  The poll for this week is about Government control over school lunch.
----Have a suggestion for a poll I should put on The School Lunches Suck! Blog? Leave a comment below!-----

How much control should the Government have over school lunch?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Thursday, August 30th.

     What's for lunch Thursday, August 30th? Tacos with tater tots.

Here is a breakdown of what I ate for lunch on Thursday the 30th.  
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 cup grapes
  • 1/2 pint 1% low-fat milk......100 calories
  • 1 cup assorted veggies
  • 1 taco bowl
  • 1/2 cup taco meat
  • 1 ounce cheese
  • 1 packet sour cream.........25 calories
     Tacos are one meal that not very many students complain about, I mean, who doesn't like tacos?  We have the choice of 2 soft shells, 2 hard shells, or one bowl.  Tacos are usually served with tater tots, but instead I opted for green peppers and sliced tomatoes.  Last year, I distinctly remember being pretty full on taco day, but this year, after my lunch I wondered why I didn't seem as full. 
     In years past, we were allowed to help ourselves to the cheese, sour cream, and other delicious toppings one puts on a taco.  This year, the cheese was portioned out, and sour cream handed to you when you paid for your meal.  You could still put your choice of vegetables on top, but it just wasn't the same.  It took me only about 10 minutes to eat, leaving me quite a bit of time to talk to my friends at my lunch table.  
     By the time I was leaving school to go to work, at 3:00, I really wondered if I had eaten lunch at all.  I got to work, and thankfully someone brought muffins to share that day.  I disappeared to the break room to eat one, and when I got off work at 6:15, I still wondered if I had eaten lunch.  To me, the portion sizes are just ridiculous.  Oh, and I almost forgot to remind you.  Lunch prices at BHS have increased $.10 from last year, making a 'USDA approved lunch' now $2.50.  And, in order for students receiving free and reduced lunch to get the discounted price, they must follow the new standards. 
     Below, I have links to a couple of interesting reads from the Beatrice Daily Sun regarding the new school lunches.
School lunch gets a makeover
BPS fees, lunch prices to increase

-----Recently, one of my readers suggested that I call someone from the University of Nebraska in the football program, and ask them what kind of diet the football players for the Huskers are on.  It will be quite interesting to compare their diet to that of a high school football player, so watch out in the coming weeks for a post!!!  As always, don't forget to share The School Lunches Suck! Blog with your friends on Facebook, and check back often for updates!!-----

Friday, August 31, 2012

Peanut Butter, Play Better.

This week, I received a very interesting tip from a student in a small town Kansas high school who reads the School Lunches Suck! Blog.  He told me that there were a couple of schools in the towns down the road who were serving peanut butter sandwiches after lunch to the football players, so that they wouldn’t be as hungry during practice.  I asked him to put me in contact with a football player from one of the schools, and before long, I had a story.
    Devin is a sophomore at a small town high school in northeast Kansas, where the only important things this time of year are harvest and football.  I was intrigued by what I was hearing from others about the sandwiches these players were eating; where they were getting them, and who was paying for them. Devin did most of the talking, and had a quick answer for every question I asked him.

Me: Devin, I am writing a blog about school lunches in America, and I heard that you have some information that would make a very interesting blog post.  Your football team gets peanut butter sandwiches before practice?  Whose idea was it?

Devin: Yeah, we do get them.  It was our football coach’s idea, who is also our athletic director.  

Me: Who pays for these sandwiches? Who makes them?

Devin: Every year, the parents donate Gatorade to drink during practice and games, but this year our coach asked them to donate bread and peanut butter so we wouldn’t get hungry during practice.  You just make the sandwich yourself, in the locker room.

Me:  When did you start eating them before practice?  Are they for the players only?

Devin: Last Monday [August 20th] was when we started eating them.  Yeah, they’re only for the players.

Me: How long are they going to continue donating the bread and peanut butter? Has anyone in your school’s food service program said anything about you eating them?

Devin: I guess we’ll eat them until we don’t have anything left to make them with.  Nobody has said anything,  I’m not sure why it would matter to them.  We are allowed to bring snacks to school and eat them so it shouldn't be any different.    

Me: Alright, I have just one last question before I’m done.  Can you tell if it makes any difference on your performance in practice?

Devin: Yeah, I’m just not as hungry, and helps how I feel overall.

    I thanked Devin for his time and input.  I told him that it would probably be a couple of days before I was able to work out a post, and that I would make sure he got to see it finished.
    For most of the interview, which was conducted over the phone, Devin seemed really puzzled as to why I was so interested in ‘just peanut butter sandwiches’.  What really intrigued me, though, was the fact that it was the football coach/athletic director’s idea.  He went as far as asking the parents to donate bread and peanut butter so the players could have a snack before practice; something that had never been done before.
    One other thing also made me very curious about these sandwiches, and that is that there cannot be any competition to the school lunch program unless it meets certain USDA criteria.  From a CDC weekly report titled, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, I uncovered many of the regulations that govern school food sales. One of which was,  “Competitive foods are not subject to any federal nutrition standards unless they are sold inside the food service area during mealtimes.”  I will explain this in easier terms, as I had it explained to me.  It simply states that the only food that can be served during meal times (breakfast and lunch) in a public school must be regulated by standards set forth by the USDA.  This pretty much limits what can be sold during lunch and breakfast hours in a public school, often leaving the school lunch program the only choice.  Since the sandwiches are donated to the football team, and not sold to them, this does not fall under, “sold inside the food service area during mealtimes.,” meaning, to me, that they are doing no wrong.
    This seems like quite an extreme measure to take, just for a snack before football practice.  But after my Interview with an athlete, I soon realized that it was a great solution to what has become somewhat of a problem with the portion size of lunch at school.

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The link below is for the CDC’s weekly report, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly: