In the wake of the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act and the multiple proposed budget cuts to the National School Lunch Program by the Trump administration, I knew there had to be something fundamentally wrong with our perceptions of lunchtime. I mean, how could our president think that the best way to solve the health problems of the nation’s youth would be to remove a lunchtime fruit and vegetable requirement and increase the daily intake of sodium and saturated fat!? Soon, I discovered the answer: it’s not about health, it’s about the money. Those foods high in salt and fat are just simply easier to store and distribute, so why not just feed it to the masses of children that rely on school lunch? So you understand my frustration, right?
And that’s when I learned about the Japanese school lunch period, and how for them, lunchtime is a period for learning and not just mindlessly eating. In Japan, school lunch is where bodies are nourished and a love for food and each other is cultivated and expressed, and that’s how this project was born. So pull up a chair, get comfy, and listen in to learn about the culture of lunchtime, and how the American school lunch period could learn a thing or two from those kids in Japan!