+
Food Media

American School Lunch Is Becoming More Diverse, Like It Was in the 1910s

Melanie Wong | Apr 24, 201912:02 PM     1

" . . . There’s a phrase for Dao’s experience: the lunchbox moment. While the food in these stories is diverse, from Filipino lumpia Shanghai to Cameroon peanut sauce, the emotional experience is similar: self-consciousness about cuisine whose supposedly 'stinky' flavors signal racial and cultural difference. In these accounts, school cafeteria meatloaf and tater tots are symbols of a white American culture that rejects immigrant children.

The alienating symbolism of cafeteria food is as old as the National School Lunch Program. But it wasn’t always that way. While the National School Lunch Act was signed in 1946, the country’s first school food programs began decades earlier, in the immigrant tenements of turn-of-the-century cities. In these early lunchrooms, diversity ruled. . ."

American School Lunch Is Becoming More Diverse, Like It Was In The 1910s

The cafeteria program started in immigrant communities.

www.atlasobscura.com
Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

Invite a friend to chime in on this discussion.

Email a Friend

More from Chowhound

Top 10 Tools for the Minimalist Kitchen
Shop

Top 10 Tools for the Minimalist Kitchen

by Melissa Coleman | Welcome to Cookware Week! We're sharing our favorite cookware sets, accessories, and kitchen appliances...

The 8 Best Cookware Sets of 2019
Shop

The 8 Best Cookware Sets of 2019

by Camryn Rabideau | Welcome to Cookware Week! We're sharing our favorite cookware sets, accessories, and kitchen appliances...

The 10 Best Direct-to-Consumer Cookware Brands of 2019
Shop

The 10 Best Direct-to-Consumer Cookware Brands of 2019

by Camryn Rabideau | Welcome to Cookware Week! We're sharing our favorite cookware sets, accessories, and kitchen appliances...

8 Egregious Cookware Sins You Don't Realize You're Committing
Guides

8 Egregious Cookware Sins You Don't Realize You're Committing

by Camryn Rabideau | Welcome to Cookware Week! We're sharing our favorite cookware sets, accessories, and kitchen appliances...

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.