Human Restoration Project

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59: What's Up With School Lunch? w/ Jennifer E. Gaddis

I’ve always been perplexed by school lunch. It’s sort of taken as a part of school: a fairly bland looking, processed, mess that students deal with during the school day. Michael Moore in Where to Invade Next how ridiculous it was that the United States spends, on average, much more than other countries lunch programs, while not even serving fresh food.


It’s not uncommon to view any school’s lunch menu and see the same questionable offerings: chicken nuggets, french toast sticks, chicken sandwiches, hamburgers. And when I saw an ad for a new book, The Labor of Lunch by Jennifer E. Gaddis - I was thrilled to see an in-depth discussion on why school lunch is the way it is. It’s a chronicle of the history, social issues, and modern movement toward lunch reform.


Gaddis offers an incredibly detailed work. You can read our “book of the month” review here.


GUEST

Jennifer E. Gaddis, an assistant professor of Civil Society and Community Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Gaddis focuses on a feminist perspective of food politics, with a special focus on school lunch programs.


RESOURCES


FURTHER LISTENING

More Episodes

10/17/2020

80: Pandemic Pods, School Choice, and Combating Inequity w/ Dr. Jon Hale

Ep. 80
Today, Chris and I (Nick) are joined by John Hale, whose biography you will hear at the beginning of the interview. John was recently the guest of a Soho Forum debate on the topic of pandemic pods, which you heard excerpts of at the beginning of this episode and confined in its entirety on YouTube.Since the Human Restoration Project has primarily been focused on pedagogy and changing the structures of school, I wanted to have John on to talk more about the history and ramifications of education policy and help us unpack what's really going on in our current conversations about pandemic pods, voucher programs and the recently announced Bezos Academy. How can we simultaneously acknowledge that schools need to change while being critical advocates for the need for public institutions and employee unions? How have market oriented takes on so-called school choice actually subverted the original intent of independent and charter schools? It's a really interesting conversation and it was great to talk to John. I'm sure we'll have him on again to talk education policy, history and organization in the future.GUESTSDr. Joe Hale, professor of educational policy, organization, and leadership at the University of Illinois, Urban-Champaign, and author of the forthcoming book, "The Choice We Face" (working title)RESOURCESJeff Bezos is opening a tuition-free preschool for underserved children (CNN)Savage Inequalities by Jonathan KozolSmall Schools and ChoiceRevisited by Deborah MeierFURTHER LISTENINGAre ‘Pandemic Pods’ a Symptom of the Public School Monopoly? A Soho Forum Debate (YouTube)