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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Fast food chains are serving food in schools? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

stoneunhinged
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This is the sort of thing that drops my jaw when I hear about it. I moved to Germany in 1995, and had never heard of such a thing. But yesterday I was watching some documentary about food, and they showed that American high schools now have major chains selling fast food right there in the Caféterias. You want McDonalds or Burger King or Subway or Pizza Hut or Taco Bell? Just go to the Caféteria.

I find this to be bizarre on many levels. The most obvious on is that I want to have some kind of control over how much fast food my kids eat. Well, I guess you could throw that out the window. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. I find it to be a bad idea on several levels. It also simply seems strange to me.

My attempt to find more information has been relatively unsuccessful, other than to find that it's Reagan's fault and that the Caféteria ladies are more popular than they used to be. But I'd really like to know the numbers. An old Wall Street Journal article (late 1990's) gave a figure of 30% of the nation's schools served commercial fast food. Surely that figure has grown.

Can anybody (Balducci?) find more up-to-date information?

And what do y'all think about this? Am I crazy for thinking that it's one thing for Taco Bell to sponsor the local football team, but quite another for school kids to eat Taco Bell everyday without even having to leave the campus?
Marlin1894
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I don't think it's as prevalent as it once was, but I'm sure it still exists. I think there has been some backlash in recent years since fast food is, of course, the source of all the nations health woes.

I don't have a really strong opinion on it. In high school we could buy all sorts of "junk food", it just wasn't fast food from a franchise. I do know that a lot of the standards for fast food restaurants, (quality of ingredients, especially meat, amount of testing and inspections, etc) are far higher for a fast food restaurant, even one operating within a school, than they are for school systems. So it may be that "fast food" is actually "healthier" in some cases that what the school lunch program dishes out.

But yeah, it is a little weird.
stoneunhinged
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Yes, we could buy all sorts of junk food. I ate a lot of it. But the Caféteria is different: a lot of kids are getting those lunches for free, and they are at the bottom of the economic ladder, and they're eating crap every day all day long. Shouldn't schools offer something nutritious?

I didn't know about the backlash against fast food. I eat well most of the time, then I indulge now and then. I think it's a good attitude.

But putting fast food in the schools is like an advertisement: "This is real good food, kids! And we REALLY want you as future customers!"

Still, I'm not in the States, so I don't really understand the whole thing. Until yesterday I didn't know it existed. Burger King at school? Strange.
rockwall
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I've never seen it but I'm sure it's around somewhere. Just not that prevalent I would bet.
LobowolfXXX
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Caféterias can "offer" whatever they want, but as I recall, actual consumption is a different story. Circa 1976, IIRC, it was "Eat the tater tots; throw away the green beans."
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Marlin1894
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Quote:
On Sep 22, 2014, stoneunhinged wrote:
Yes, we could buy all sorts of junk food. I ate a lot of it. But the Caféteria is different: a lot of kids are getting those lunches for free, and they are at the bottom of the economic ladder, and they're eating crap every day all day long. Shouldn't schools offer something nutritious?



I was of the understanding that fast food from restaurants were not served as part of the Federally and State funded free lunch/meal programs. Although, I do believe it can be offered as part of a paid lunch program, or as an alternative to the regular Caféteria menu. But in that case people have an option to buy lunch or bring their own.

I definitely think you are right about these businesses trying to get at kids early on and developing lifelong customers. That's a serious problem in itself. I remember hearing a woman speak about that issue and she said that in the mid eighties companies spent around 100 million dollars a year marketing directly to children, mostly on TV. Nowadays it's in the range of 15-20 billion dollars a year.

Frankly I'm surprised that this kind of thing doesn't happen more often. There has to be money in it for the schools or they wouldn't do it. I'm surprised we don't hear of more partnerships like this. The school bookstore being run in conjunction with Office Depot and things like that.
Marlin1894
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Quote:
On Sep 22, 2014, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Caféterias can "offer" whatever they want, but as I recall, actual consumption is a different story. Circa 1976, IIRC, it was "Eat the tater tots; throw away the green beans."


And the old saw about "mystery meat" apparently still exists. Like I said earlier I know there was a big to do a few years back about how schools serve meat and other food items that would be unfit for sale to any commercial restaurant. And they sometimes operate under sanitary conditions that would get a fast food joint shut down in a flash.
stoneunhinged
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On Sep 22, 2014, rockwall wrote:
I've never seen it but I'm sure it's around somewhere. Just not that prevalent I would bet.


As I wrote, in the late 90's 30% of America's schools used fast food chains to supply school lunches.

How prevalent it is today requires someone with Balducci's Google skills to find out.
rockwall
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Well, you also said that surely that number has grown. If the number was accurate, (which I kinda doubt), I doubt even more that it has grown. But I could be wrong. Awaiting googler extraordinaire Balducci to properly inform us.
balducci
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Too ambiguous a question for me to want to get much into it. Fast food gets into schools in a variety of ways (through a franchisee, through reselling, through promotional programs, etc.). I don't know who would or could keep track of it all. Here are a couple of bits of related info though:

http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.......=1812294

"Overall, exposure to school-based commercialism increased significantly with grade level. For 63.7% of elementary school students, the most frequent type of commercialism was food coupons used as incentives. For secondary students, the type of commercialism most prevalent in schools was exclusive beverage contracts, which were in place in schools attended by 49.5% of middle school students and 69.8% of high school students."

http://blog.heart.org/study-shows-that-f......schools/

"[T]wo-thirds of elementary schools sampled in this study provided fast food coupons to students."
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landmark
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In NYC, Bloomberg, the mayor, gave a sweetheart deal to Snapple, making it the only soft drink allowed in vending machines in schools. I believe that has since been rescinded.
rockwall
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I'm curious. Has anyone ever seen an actual fast food 'kiosk' in a school Caféteria. You know, like the ones in a shopping malls food court, with the logo and everything? Or is it a bit more subtle than that?
balducci
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Make America Great Again! - Trump in 2020 ... "We're a capitalistic society. I go into business, I don't make it, I go bankrupt. They're not going to bail me out. I've been on welfare and food stamps. Did anyone help me? No." - Craig T. Nelson, actor.
tommy
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Luxury! We used to dream of getting Rickets when we were kids.
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landmark
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Pfft. We chiseled our ABCs on rocks and we loved it. Then we ate them.
Marlin1894
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Our hot lunch was a bowl of steam.
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