Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fruit, Glorious Fruit

I'm standing in the deli sandwich line behind my gym teacher. He grabs a milk and the lunch lady informs him that he needs to grab a fruit or vegetable with his lunch. Being the type of man he is, he declares, "Michelle Obama freakin' sucks! She sucks, man!"
For all that hoopla about whether or not we could use a new president, we could really use a new first lady, politics aside. All first ladies have a pet cause. I can't tell yet what Ann Romney's would be, but she probably won't try to be another Patroness of the Organic Carrot Sticks.
"Why, I seem to have wandered into a kitchen full of Disney Channel icons. And on the other side of the country, too! Why am I here? Preteens can't vote. Oh well, I might as well supervise the preperation of a properly balanced snack. Watch me. parents."
I'm not quite sure Michelle Obama is actually the one behind our school's fruit or nothing policy. Buy a fruit or you don't get lunch. I've heard it's all because of The State or The District or The Obscure Yet Powerful Committee that Makes These Kind of  Decisions.
Today, my deli sandwich included lettuce, olives, onions, cucumbers, and a tomato slice. They had chocolate pudding with whipped cream for once, so I put that on my plate. Chocolate isn't a fruit, so I grabbed some raspberry yogurt to go along with it.
I slide my meal up to the cashier and she tells me, "You have to grab a fruit."
"I did," I told her, holding up the yogurt in case she didn't see it.
"That's not a fruit. You have to grab something from the first tray."
I had four vegetables and one...whatever a tomato is on my plate, but I couldn't argue it out because there was a line behind me. So I swapped the yogurt for some unripe kiwi, paid, and left.
I do like fruit. Just not all cafeteria fruit. The peaches are good when they aren't too hard. Same with the pears. Kiwi's usually good, but I'm never sure how you're supposed to eat it. Fork? Spoon? Teeth?
But some people just want their chicken nuggets with chocolate milk. They grab a fruit at random, keep it on their tray, and throw it away as they walk out the door. The applesauce and oranges are gone and they find themselves left with the sliced tomatoes in a cup. Which also get tossed away. Or this little wilted salad, the kind that comes in a sealed plastic bag and consists solely of lettuce and shredded carrot strips. The lettuce looks like plastic, feels like plastic, and almost smells like plastic. Guess how it tastes.
No doubt the person/persons who make such decisions study them out very well. From behind a clipboard. They look up suggested daily calorie intake for our age group. They calculate exercise time (never mind we don't have recess anymore). They check their budget. They examine the food pyramid or that new revised food chart.
This is the food pyramid I grew up with. Nothing seems to be wrong with it.
But of course, exercise is important as well.
At last, some Harvard has corrected us all. Food comes on plates. Not pyramids.
These  whip up an all inclusive meal plan, congratulate themselves on bettering our little lives, and celebrate by going out to Olive Garden.
They can't be tasting these chicken nuggets (rumored to be 70% filler meat), sweet potato fries (they're healthier. And oranger), or the pathetically small sandwich bread (you can't bite into it without all the lettuce spilling out. Sandwiches shouldn't be a fork food). I showed it to a friend of mine who had never set foot in the cafeteria. She preferred to eat her home lunch out in the hall.
She thought it was a hotdog bun.
I can't be the only one who occasionally feels like this:

But then, I guess I'm just picky. And fat. All teenagers are these days. But can you really blame us? We have whole committees catering to our every need.

1 comment:

  1. I love the Oliver Twist picture!
    "Please sir, I want some more."