When I think back to cafeteria lunches, it’s with a healthy mix of nostalgia and utter disgust. As a kid, I relished pizza day and tater tot day best of all. But as an adult, I now realize that 99 percent of what I was served in the cafeteria — including the plastic-wrapped pizza topped with unidentifiable bits of meat, and the greasy tater tots made even soggier by the canned fruit salad syrup leaking over from the next tray section — was likely full of polysyllabic ingredients that have no business in anyone’s food, let alone a growing kid.
As a new documentary reveals, the same kinds of unhealthy lunches are still all too common at schools around the country. Lunch Hour shines the spotlight on America’s national school lunch program and how it has contributed to the growing obesity rate and subsequent health problems among our nation’s youth. Check out the trailer and prepare to take an eye-opening trip down cafeteria-memory lane:
“When I go down there and we’re serving it, I know that I don’t want to eat it, and I don’t think that it’s healthy, but yet, I’m serving it to 600 kids,” one school official says in an interview. “I don’t think parents really understand what they’re being served. I do think that if they knew, they’d be upset.”
The trailer alone is full of even more scary statistics and quotes that will make you feel queasier than 10-year-old you on “Tuna Surprise” day:
“There’s a recall for meat, for example, that goes all around the country. No one bothers to tell the schools.”
“Schools typically have no idea where most of the food that they’re serving children comes from.”
“50 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 15 have fatty streaks in their arteries, and this is literally the beginning stages of heart disease.”
“We have no budgets and no concern about what we’re pumping into our kids, and then we wonder why they don’t like food. We dumb down their palettes.”
You can purchase the film through Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, Google play, and other streaming platforms. Find the full list, as well as more information on this thought-provoking documentary, at the Lunch Hour movie website.