Mr. Ferguson writes:
"One of the most stressful times for me as a teacher in America was lunch time, of all times when I needed peace the most. I hated it because everyday my children got packets of sauce or dressing to slather on their food, which I had to open because their 5 year old hands were too small. I hated cleaning it off of them when they tried to open it by themselves, thinking that nothing about their lunch was made with children in mind. I hated being rushed, often not even finishing my own lunch. And I hated watching trays, plastic cutlery, napkins, milk cartons, and unwanted food thrown away, sometimes twice a day.
He noticed the differences in the lunches immediately after moving to Japan, such as "table cloths, real plates, cups and utensils, children serving each other in their own classrooms, the secular blessing 'Itadakimasu' said always before a meal, eating broccoli and finishing it, and rice, fresh fruit, and tea every day. The only frozen food I’ve eaten at lunch here is a frozen orange served as a dessert."