In real life, I am a journalist. I work for an alternative weekly newspaper and cover a gamut of stories ranging from local politics, education, courts and crimes. My eyes and ears, however, are perpetually directed at what is happening around the world. I follow Washington politics closely, and since I love food and, almost at equal level, people, legislature that will make fresh, local fruits and vegetable available to children (with a 264 to 157 vote, the House of Representatives passed the Child Nutrition Bill) makes me want to jump for joy and shake my head in disappointment at the same time.
There shouldn’t be the need for laws regulating what goes into people’s months in the first place, especially kids. But in a world reigned by bacon and cheese sandwiches made with two fried chicken patties (hilarious take on the KFC’s Double Down by Joel Stein) and pizza bowls—really? No, I mean…really?—I guess monitoring kids’ school lunches is a good thing.
I, too, had an encounter with the disgusting reality of high school lunches. Before finishing high school in Italy, I moved to Los Angeles. I was 18. In August of that year, I enrolled at Los Angeles High School on Olympic Blvd. I was a senior. Small pizzas from Pizza Hut, fried chicken, tacos, burgers and fries were all lined up, waiting for me to stuff my face with them. And I did, for a while. I thought it was heaven until I began feeling sick, tired and unable to play my usual level of basketball. (And, most importantly at that age, my face was decorated with pimples). It was then that I began bringing panini for lunch…small and made with fresh veggies and good quality prosciutto.
Something is changing, however. Even before the Child Nutrition Bill, a public school system in Charlottesville, Virginia decided to step out in the abyss and try veggies for a change. Here is the tale, written by, well… yours truly. Enjoy and happy healthy lunches!