Last fall we spoke with five high school students in Los Angeles Unified School District to see what they despised most about their so-called “county food.” One young man complained that a commonly found source of nutrition was corn dogs, making the school lunch situation appear ever dire around here. The good news is that corn dogs will reign no more in LAUSD, as the school board is banning fried, breaded, and bad-for-you foodstuffs like chicken nuggets, fried chicken strips, burgers, and peanut butter and jelly pockets. Naturally, a certain animated Briton is getting a little bit of the credit.
But even before Jamie Oliver showed up on its doorstep, LAUSD was not completely above change. It banned the sale of sodas in 2004, The UK Daily Mail reports, and not long afterwards, stamped out the clearance of candy while starting to assess the nutritional contents of what gets served in its schools.
Still, after the British chef became a big thorn in the school board’s side during the second season of his show Food Revolution, big changes started going down. First came word that flavored milk was most likely not going to be invited back for the fall semester. Now, not missing the chance to push a humorous L.A. stereotype, the school board plans to serve spinach tortellini and sushi, along with other “ethnic” foods (hope you like quinoa, kids).
So, even though Jamie’s ratings kind of went into the dumpster this year, his message did not. Big changes are underway for L.A. students’ school lunches that will most likely find them healthier and better tasting than the slop offered in the past. Now the only thing that remains to be seen is whether the kids will actually eat the new food or start screaming for the return of chicken nuggets.
Further Reading: Why Los Angeles Schoolkids Get Lousy Meals [LAW]