Leander High School's online student-run newspaper

The Roar

Leander High School's online student-run newspaper

The Roar

Leander High School's online student-run newspaper

The Roar

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New Food Program Lacks Taste, Costs More

One of the constant staples of our school day is lunch. We’ve had school lunches since kindergarten, and for many students, it is one of the only meals they get each day.  Since school began, students have complained about the lower quality food, smaller portions, and higher prices in our cafeteria. At the end of last year, Leander ISD signed over with a new food program called South West Food Serves Excellence (SWFSE), and the students have noticed a huge difference in the way the food tastes this year compared to last year. We have also noticed that the prices of the lunches are now $0.05 higher and we are getting smaller portions of food.

The feedback from the students about the food quality has obviously not been good, and they consistently mention the fact that the food now tastes bland or in other words, like plastic.

“The slushies have no flavor,” said sophomore Mario Reyes. “They lack the flavoring that they had last year, and they are also more icy and less slushie.”

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like cafeteria food has much flavor to begin with, but when you take away ever subtle hint of flavor left, there are definitely going to be complaints. But is it fair that not only has the food lost all flavors, but we are also paying higher prices for it? When we look at last year’s prices compared to this year’s prices there is a difference. I know it doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you are paying that every day the costs start to add up. In fact, it’s $9.35 more for a years’ worth of lunch.

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“I’m definitely not getting my money’s worth,” said 10th grader Chelsey Reagan.

But not everyone is unsatisfied with these changes.

“The salads have gotten better,” said 10th grader, Tori Brown.

But let’s talk about the real controversy at matter; is this food really healthier for us? Just because you cut down carbohydrate and protein levels doesn’t mean that the food is any better for us. Maisie Goodman, representative of the SWFSE, informed me that the USDA have made portions smaller to try to make the food healthier. If they want to try and make the food healthier, they should actually give us fresh food. Instead of giving the schools a monthly supply of frozen food, they should give us food that is more organic. It may not always be the cheapest way to go, but if you are going to argue that the food is now healthier, at least make the argument valid by going with a program that the food is a little fresher. At this point, I don’t care to eat the cafeteria food that is being given to us and I know a lot of people would agree with me.

If I had any say in this decision, I would find a program that actually knows where the food is coming from and what’s in it. We expect the food to be 100% quality and we are paying for something that can be considered healthy but also tastes good. The reason behind trying to make food healthier is to fight childhood obesity, and they have a valid reason for trying to change this, but we all think that maybe this should take a different approach., such as finding a program that has somewhat healthier food without having to slim down the portions of carbohydrates, proteins, or even of the meal itself.

Why is it okay for them to be able to choose what we eat, while also expected to pay more money for it?

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  • T

    TibyOct 6, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    It’s tastes like the idea of “Diet” drinks or food. It may have less calories, but it tastes awful, and doesn’t necessarily mean its actually healthier. Extremely processed food is very unhealthy, you’re better off eating natural whole foods.

  • H

    Hunter RossOct 5, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    School food has always been bad no matter what. No matter what the price is it all is jusr frozen and thawed out. I personally don’t enjoy school food,so i wait to go home and have some REAL food. I mean, if you can get some food that has ACUAL taste to it then you all shouldn’t get complaints all the time!

  • B

    Brianna AcostaOct 5, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I don’t agree with the way school lunches are now but I do agree with America trying to be healthier this just is not the way to do it.

  • T

    Tanner VeseyOct 5, 2012 at 7:58 am

    I would also love to see more fresh food in there. I havent ate lunch here but once, and it was gross.

  • E

    Ely GantOct 5, 2012 at 7:57 am

    I can see where everyone is comming from, paying higher for cheaper food would aggrivate me too. But having a free lunch is worth the portion cuts, for me.
    I mean, can you really, honestly expect much from a school lunch?
    There’s always gross stories and untold tales about how school lunches are the worst, and they’ve been told since forever.
    Why are people just now having higher expectations for a lunch, a school lunch nonetheless?
    I feel that anyone can be healthier if you cut back the portions, even if the food is frozen.
    And maybe being a 4A school, we can’t afford to be “organic”.

    Simply, if you don’t want to pay, and you hate how the food tastes like plastic,
    bring your own lunch to school.

  • E

    Emary GreeneOct 5, 2012 at 7:53 am

    This was very informatuv. I was wondering why the food had gotten so bad, now I know.