Schools have supposedly made a huge effort in the past few years to offer healthier food options, but one little food critic says that effort is failing miserably. Eleven-year-old Zachary Maxwell, a fourth grader in New York City, who sounds like a combination of Morgan Spurlock and Jamie Oliver, made a 20-minute documentary highlighting his school's woeful lack of nutritious meals -- and even accused the school of false advertising. After his parents told him that they wanted him to eat school lunches -- considering how great they looked on the school's website -- Zachary argued that the online menus did not depict reality. Then he did what any precocious kid would do these days. He got out his video camera.
Zachary snuck a camera into his school lunchroom and began secretly videotaping the lunches. Some of them look pretty gross, that's for sure. The resultant grossness was made into the appropriately titled film, Yuck.
Perhaps Zachary's expectations are a tad high -- he notes that the school system consulted famous chefs like Rachael Ray and Ellie Krieger for food ideas, only to not take them. But can a school really be expected to offer up celebrity cuisine on a daily basis?
Zachary did get into some trouble for his efforts though -- at one point a teacher caught him with his secret yuck-cam and he was told to delete the footage. He pretended to do it but didn't really. Hey, this kid might have a future in politics if the filmmaker thing doesn't work out.
Between this doc and the "pink slime" being served up at schools, it sounds like a disaster. I don't blame kids like Zachary who want to eat healthy for being disappointed and yucked out. Where's Michelle Obama when you need her? Still ... kids these days have so many health issues -- allergies, diabetes, obesity. We should be more mindful about what we're feeding them.
Anyway, you won't believe how this ends. The undercover operation resulted in Zachary not only getting his documentary picked up by the Manhattan Film Festival and awards at numerous other festivals, but he's been named advisor to the New York City Department of Education’s Office of School Food. Seriously?!! If all these bureaucrats are asking an 11-year-old how to do their job, they should all be fired! I'll take my tax money back, thanks!
What are your kid's school lunches like?
Image via YouTube/Yuckmovie.com