Lunch service passes the healthiness test

Lunch service passes the healthiness test

Janice Chung

The lunch program aims to offer a wide variety of food, but there are still concerns about health.

Maddy Norgard, Junior Opinions Editor

When Blake students walk into the lunch room they see a variety of  tantalizing choices, but how healthy are these choices? Blake’s Taher lunches are made to match the voracious appetites of the school’s student body, and the taste of Blake’s lunches rivals that of other schools. The question that’s left is whether the lunches are healthy.There are a few key things that make our school lunches healthier than other schools’ in general.

The first is our fresh fruit and salad bar,  both offered every day. A wide variety of fruits, fresh yogurt, and salad dressing is prepared fresh daily. At many schools students don’t get to have such a wide variety of fresh, healthy options to support their main courses. Taher’s commitment to making everything in the school’s own kitchen, and to getting as much food as possible locally assures Blake’s lunches stand out from the rest. Only four schools in the Minneapolis Public School District (MPS) currently have programs committed to fresh food and scratch cooking. By having freshly made lunches, students get out of eating the highly processed foods that are offered at many other schools.

Schools in Colorado call this method scratch cooking. The state of Colorado has started a back-to-scratch movement to encourage more schools to eat locally, and apparently it works because Colorado has the lowest obesity rate of any US state, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Blake hasn’t officially endorse d a back-to-scratch policy, but Blake does serve as a model for other schools in the metro in this regard. In fact, MPS recently launched their own scratch lunch program in four of its schools.

Blake’s school lunches really do rival the tastiness and the healthiness of other school’s lunches. However, our lunches’ potential for unhealthiness rises as the amount of food we eat rises. Blake’s all-you-can-eat -buffet style service is different from that of schools where students have to pay for each serving of food they have.On pasta days, when lines extend to the back of the lunchroom, we see that students are heaping piles of pasta on their plate, which amps up the calorie and carbohydrate count of their meals. This, though, is by student choice, and besides, students don’t tend to carbo-load on a daily basis. It also allows the lunch service to account for the different needs of each individual student. A 6’5’’ three sport athlete’s needs are different than others’ needs.

Next time you go to the lunchroom rest assured that Taher is offering you a wide variety of healthy options. You just have to make sure that you make the right choice when it comes to portion size, and you will be eating healthy.