What schools feed children in Paris

We're in Paris. We're wandering around the Montmartre neighborhood near our hostel. Its dusk and chilly and extremely lovely. We climb hundreds of steps up to the Basilica of Sacre-Coeur and take in the views. Its the highest elevation in the city. 

On our way down, we pass a school. It's a public elementary school. Now, as a teacher, I am always curious about the schools we encounter while traveling. I stopped to glance at the bulletin board and was completely amazed by what I saw.  

Look at what these children are eating for lunch on Tuesday. Look!

And forgive the crappy iTouch photo.


I don't read French, but I can decipher enough to know that this menu is seasonal, balanced, and oh so French!

Now think of the endless plastic wrapped cinnamon buns, tater tots, hot dogs, and chocolate milk we feed our kids in NYC. What culture do these school lunches reflect? Whose interests do they serve?

On the street in Paris, I immediately thought of an inspirational TED Talk by Ann Cooper, head of nutrition for Berkeley, CA schools. She correctly frames school lunch as a social justice issue.

Unrelated to brewing? Not really. It all connects to bigger issues of food production and distribution. Yes, beer is food.

During our 24 hours in Paris, I was impressed by the architecture and energy of the city, the countless boulangeries and patisseries, the wine selection in the grocery store. But perhaps I was most impressed by the school lunch menu.