Lately there has been a lot of media attention on childhood obesity and the lack of nutrition in school lunches. I vividly remember the sour cardboard taste of the French bread pizza, the sticky gum consistency of the mashed “potatoes” and the ubiquitous joy of the first day of middle school when the lunch ladies didn’t force you to buy a whole meal (you mean I can buy French fries, a bottle of Fruitopia, and Hostess cupcakes for lunch?! Sold!).
So while I will never preach nutrition on this blog, I do know the distinct sensation of craving fruits and vegetables after a particularly burger-ice-cream-nacho filled weekend. And I love anything freshly, organically, locally prepared. A girl can not live on bacon grease alone.
When I read about Fed Up With Lunch: The School Lunch Project in the Daily News, I was fascinated. I know a lot of kids love pizza and French fries. But kids also like apples with peanut butter, ants on a log, and even (gasp!) salad if it’s prepared correctly. I have to give the anonymous teacher behind Fed Up With Lunch a huge hand: you couldn’t pay me to eat these lunches as an adult.
Okay, maybe you could pay me.
But it would have to be a lot.
A sample lunch – bringing a whole new meaning to “mystery meat” (photo c/o Fed Up with School Lunch)
In related news, watch Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, premiering this Friday, March 26 on ABC. These kids don’t know what a tomato is. I wish I was kidding.
Tuesday night I attended a roundtable discussion at NYU with John DeLucie, co-owner of The Waverly Inn. DeLucie graciously gave up over two hours of his time to sit with a room of about thirty NYU students and alums to talk about how he got into food, his path through the gauntlet of New York City restaurants, and finally what it’s like to own one of the most sought-after restaurants in the country. “Brangelina hasn’t showed up yet,” he quipped. While the DeLucie discussion definitely stirred the “I want to be in food” feelings in me, it also taught me a couple things.
- Restaurants are the only businesses in the world where your boss can spit on you and burn you. And you just have to take it.
- Graydon Carter is another co-owner of The Waverly Inn and because of this, if you’re on the cover of VF, you get a meal at the WI. Sometimes I think my chances are better at being on the cover than getting a rez…
- “Food can change the world.” Apparently this had to do with sustainability, global warming, etcetera, etcetera… I like to believe he meant that if we all ate cupcakes daily we’d be a much happier planet.
- Servers at The Waverly Inn sign confidentiality agreements. The way he described the business actually gave me a greater respect for a bourgie, exclusive, celebs-only kind of place.
- John DeLucie thinks food blogs are dumb and diminish the effect that real food critics actually have on the masses. I thought that was… well… lame.
- Will Smith once asked a server at The Waverly Inn to sit down and join him. While this was frowned upon, let’s recap: homeboy sat down with the Fresh Prince and that is awesome.
- They are accepting applications.
Also check out John DeLucie’s book, The Hunger.