As commentator Dana Woldow writes, the movie “Cafeteria Man” was fun and inspiring to view at SPUR the other evening. On the other hand, the film is padded with lots of filler that’s interesting but not directly connected with improving school food.As Woldow’s commentary notes, a confused member of the audience was misled into believing that the Baltimore school farm provides the produce for school meals. By the way, Berkeley’s famed school gardens do not provide produce for the school meals either. Only in the land of magical thinking is it actually feasible for a district-run farm to provide the produce for school meals. “Cafeteria Man” showed students in an impressive culinary career program, students meeting high-level chefs on field trips, and brave students compellingly testifying before a Congressional committee for increased school meal funding. But these scenes also had nothing to do with improvements in Baltimore school food. In fact, it was left unclear whether improvements in Baltimore school meals had been sustained and whether meals had improved in all schools districtwide, and how all that had been achieved, if so.Unfortunately, a substantial increase in funding is the only way to improve school food — and not by just the 6 cents per meal recently added by Congress. A diet of hype is entertaining, but it’s not nutritionally sound.
This feedback was sent by:Caroline Grannan from San Francisco, CALetters to the Editor