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“School lunch” and “healthy”; these two things don’t always go together. Despite numerous doctors and scientists stressing the importance of properly fueling the growing bodies of young children, budget cuts and time constraints (among other excuses) make it extremely difficult to deliver nutritious foods to schools.

When snapshots of American school lunches showed up on Japanese site Naver Matome, many Japanese citizens were horrified by the greasy slop masquerading as food that was strewn about the plastic lunch trays.

In Japan, most school lunches are comprised of healthy fare with lots of vegetables and low-fat foods thrown in. Take a look at a few pictures of lunches I’ve eaten at one of my elementary schools in Shimane, Japan:

School Lunch in Japan (kyuushoku)

School Lunch in Japan (Kyuushoku)

School Lunch in Japan (kyuushoku)

While the students are eating, they are also told what fruits and vegetables are used in the day’s school lunch and why each food is good for them.

Now compare these Japanese school lunches to the food found in American schools:

 American School lunches

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Thinking back to my school days, I remember consuming copious amounts of soggy tater tots, weeping pizza, and mystery meat-filled “taco pockets” (my childhood favorite). The only vegetables present were little white jicama sticks, but no one ate them. The clunky metal schoolyard trashcans were always filled with heaps of half-eaten food and completely untouched jicama sticks.

Has the state of American school lunch changed since I left the playground? Judging from the pictures above, the answer is, “No.” But people of the Internet, please prove me wrong. Are there exceptions to these god-awful concoctions traipsing around school cafeterias? Does a nutritionally balanced, healthy school lunch exist in America? I’m afraid of what the answer might be.

Source: Naver Matome