Courtney Farmer calls her school’s cafeteria a “food desert”, lacking in healthy and fresh options.
When I walk through my school’s cafeteria doors and reach the food counter, I’m usually disappointed: To me, the salad is a little too wilted, the tuna fish looks a bit too brown and the apples feel mushy. I simply lose my appetite.
Normally, people use the term “food desert” when they’re talking about a neighborhood without access to fresh fruits or vegetables. But I call my school a food desert.
Unfortunately, congress recently blocked a proposal that would have required more fruits & vegetables in school lunches. To legislators, tomato paste on pizza still counts as a vegetable, which is ridiculous, and not just because tomatoes are fruits! Sure, I know it would probably cost more money to serve healthier foods, but there is also a cost to eating processed foods.
Rather than go hungry, I bring my own lunch to school. I try to pack things that are nutritious, like a bag of grapes and a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. It’s hard to believe simple food options like these can’t be done on a big scale, especially now with studies showing the increase in students depending on free or reduced lunch meals.