Monday, May 21, 2012

Book Review: Fed Up with Lunch by Sarah Wu, A.K. A. Mrs. Q.

If you're interested in the topic of school lunch reform, you'll want to pick up a copy of Fed Up with Lunch: How One Anonymous Teacher Revealed the Truth About School Lunch--And How We Can Change Them! by Sarah Wu, a.k.a. Mrs. Q.

When school teacher Mrs. Q. forgets her lunch one morning, she decides to pick up lunch at the school cafeteria. Shocked by what her students are eating, and dismayed at the short amount of time they have to eat it in, she decides to eat school lunch for an entire year, chronicling her experiences on a blog that captures international attention.

Her identity revealed for the first time in this book, parents can follow Wu's journey to reform America's school lunches.

As I mentioned in my First Chapter Review of this book, I had several reasons for requesting a copy of this book. With two girls in our public school system eating school lunch on a regular basis, I figured what I didn't know could hurt them.

With a sense of humor, Wu shares her surprising finds in the school lunchroom with readers. With entrees like chicken nuggets, hot dogs, and pizza offered with side dishes like tater tots or french fries, she suddenly understands why her students don't have the energy to keep going after lunch. Considering the vast majority of the students at her school receive reduced or free lunch, Wu's feeling is that school lunch might be these kids' one chance at a healthy meal a day.

While I did feel an editor could have polished the book up a bit--tightened it so it didn't ramble in places--overall, I went into this experience knowing the author was not a writer by trade.

I felt Fed Up with Lunch opened my eyes in unexpected ways. I never knew some school districts don't have recess. I can't imagine how my children would manage going through an entire day cooped up inside the school without any chance to run around and blow off steam. In addition, our school district already has the kids going to recess first and eating afterwards, which has been shown to be better for students. We also have a salad bar or at least vegetables and dressing available on a regular basis in our schools too.

The book includes photographs of Wu's lunches. There are also resources for parents, kids, and teachers who wish to get involved with school lunch reform. Perhaps everything Wu would like to see in our public school cafeterias isn't realistic, but overall, what she says makes sense. A quality lunch is important, as is teaching our children early on about healthy eating habits. I enjoyed Fed Up with Lunch and visited her blog as a result. This book proves that one person can make a difference.

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (October 5, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 1452102287
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452102283
  • SRP: $22.95
  • Also available for Kindle

  • I received a free hardcover of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I received no monetary compensation of any kind for this review.

    This is the twenty-fifth book I've read for the following challenge:

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