YOUR HEALTH » CAFETERIA FOOD
Cafeteria confidential: Students
take aim at food choices
Broadcast: January 2, 2005
“I’ve often wondered why high schools, a place
that helps shape the rest of our lives, have such bad quality
food,” says Allison.
Allison Elwell is a grade 11 student.
She’s a little
sad to be nearly done with high school – she’s
learned a lot and made a lot of friends.
But Allison says
there are a few things she won’t miss: early morning
classes, homework, and cafeteria food.
“I’ve often wondered why
high schools, a place that helps shape the rest of our
lives, have such bad quality food,” says Allison.
“When you consider good food is
proven to help students learn, what are adults thinking
when they stock our cafeterias? Maybe they should eat a
little more brain food.”
Take a quick glance around a high school cafeteria. The
first thing you might notice is the pop machine, packed with
sugary, caffeinated goodness.
Allison wonders: "When
you consider good food is proven to help students learn,
what are adults thinking when they stock our cafeterias?"
Allison spent her entire Grade 10 year trying to get those
machines out of schools, but failed (Coke has moved on, but
Pepsi got the contract to put vending machines in Toronto
District School Board schools).
And while she was down after losing
the battle with the soft drink companies, Allison was not
out – far from
it. Allison has decided to come back for more.
“This time I’m taking on cafeteria food,” she
says. “I’m convinced most of the food is not
only unhealthy, and doesn’t taste great.”
With the help of a group called FoodShare,
Allison convened a group of like-minded students who were
concerned about what students are being offered at cafeterias.
“This time I’m
taking on cafeteria food," says Allison.
The group, whose members hail from schools
across Toronto, meet in secret at an undisclosed basement
location and discuss their plight:
“I haven’t been to my high
school cafeteria since grade nine,” remarks one of
the posse, Zoe. “I
remember the first day … the food was so bad, I haven’t
really been back since.”
“The only healthy choices in my
school right now are vegetables with dip and sandwiches,” laments
After the talking was over, it was time
to act. The group decides it's time to collect the evidence:
high school cafeteria food.