Hate your school lunch? Thank Michelle Obama. And don’t blame the lighting. A Virginia mother snapped a pic of a putrid looking school lunch that was rolled out to her elementary school child and loaded it onto Facebook, where it promptly went viral. The fishy-looking, paltry lunch meets Michelle Obama’s nutritional guidelines, but has been ripped apart on social media. And the response from the school’s food administrator: Although “concerned,” it really just boils down to “poor lighting.”
Writes Fox Nation on April 17: “That’s not really a fish filet with a whole wheat bun resting on top. Nah, your eyes are playing tricks on you. That’s what administrators at Virginia’s Portsmouth Public Schools want parents to believe after a mother took a photo of her child’s paltry school lunch and posted it on social media.”
The lunch was provided to an unnamed student at the James Hurst Elementary School in Portsmouth, Virginia. While the lunch menu posted online for that day (April 14) called for a “spicy Cajun fish with brown rice” along with a number of sides, what this student received was what appears to be a dried out, unseasoned lump of fish, a smushed roll and a side of canned corn.
In fact, the menu uses a number of tempting adjectives to describe their lunches – all of them FLOTUS approved under Michelle Obama’s school lunch overhauling oversight. The subs are “hearty,” the beef stir fry is “flavorful,” the baked fries are “tasty,” and the grilled and baked chicken of course is “zestful” and “enticing,” respectfully.
But schools and students across the country are bellyaching about Obama’s meal plans. Images posted on Twitter with the hashtag #ThanksMichelleObama show an collection of nauseating food choices – a slice of moldy salami, a “wheat” donut, grapes shriveled into near-raisins, a green hotdog and other prison-like slop shop offerings. One photo even shows a maggot that crawled out of some kid’s green beans.
Granted, many of these photos and food choices have more to do with the prep and presentation by ill-trained school cooks and servers, but concerned kids and parents say that Michelle Obama’s federal lunch rules have created dull, calorie-deficient, repulsive looking meals that no person would pay for at a restaurant.
According to Hurst Elementary’s Food Service Coordinator Jim Gehlhoff, the photo of the lunch was “concerning,” but it really may not have been all that bad. In a statement released to the media, Gelhoff said:
We appreciate this parent’s concern about the presentation of this school lunch. Poor lighting and food presentation make this lunch unappealing. Other lunch options on the day this photo was taken included a chef’s salad and turkey sub sandwiches. The meal in this photo and other meals served by Portsmouth Public Schools meet nutritional and USDA requirements. The presentation of the meal pictured concerns us and we plan to address presentation of food items in a training session with all cafeteria managers. Our goal is to provide healthy food options that students will want to eat. We will take actions to ensure that presentation is addressed.
We’re not sure how exactly one could present this meal in a way that would make us want to dig into it with enthusiasm, but here’s to the school for trying.
The School Nutrition Association (SNA) deflected the criticism off of Michelle Obama’s lunch guidelines, and said additional funding is needed to ensure the National School Lunch Program presents meals that are of proper portion, prepared correctly and appealing to eat.
“That will help school food authorities afford the foods that we must serve, but unfortunately that won’t make students consume it,” admitted SNA President Julia Bauscher. “And that’s what we’re also focused on…finding ways to ensure students will eat the healthy foods that we’re making available to them and not throw it in the trash.”
Which is exactly where this miserable lunch ended up.
Would you eat this lunch? What are your thoughts on the so-called “lighting” and other problems with Michelle Obama’s school lunch programs?