Whether their school is under a banyan tree, in a dusty tent held up with poles or in a sturdy brick structure in the heart of a bustling city, all children need a healthy lunch to be able to learn and grow. Good food nourishes both our bodies and our brains. It’s one of the basic building blocks of life.
As the world has become more interconnected, what we eat has become part of a huge global system. Food is now the biggest industry on Earth. Growing it, processing it, transporting it and selling it have a major impact on people and the planet. Unpack a school lunch, and you’ll discover that food is connected to issues that matter to everyone and everything such as climate change, health and inequality.
In What’s For Lunch Andrea Curtis reveals the variety and inequality to be found in the food consumed by young people in typical school lunches from thirteen countries around the world, including Japan, Kenya, Russia, United States and Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and Afghanistan. In some countries, the meals are nutritious and well-balanced. In others they barely satisfy basic nutrition standards.
The book includes graphic colour photos of each of the lunches described, and stimulating sidebars that deal with various global food issues. It also provides messages for parents, teachers and kids about the significance of food, and more significantly, a list of ways in which children can reclaim school lunches for themselves by insisting on healthy, nutritious food.
At RFRK, we choose to serve a large variety of delicious foods from around the world and to celebrate the diverse cultures within Toronto. We are grateful for the access we have to such a wide variety of foods both local and from other nations. Andrea Curtis’ book What’s For Lunch gives us a good perspective on what’s being served on kids plates around the world and that we need to remember how lucky we are to have such variety in our city.
Food helps us bridge cultural gaps and bring people closer. Eating is a political act that concerns us all.
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