A few months ago, my daughter came home from school crying hysterically. A little boy in her class had tried to steal her lunch. Upon further investigation, we discovered that it was because his parents were making him buy and eat school lunch, and he decided that he wasn’t having anything to do with that, so he sought to raid my daughter’s carefully packed lunch box.
While I don’t support his actions, I can’t say that I blame him. Lunches at my daughter’s public school are appalling (and reflective of many school lunches in our country). Individually packed in plastic, they are heated in steam tables and both look and taste horrid.
When I received Alice Waters’ Edible Schoolyard in the mail, I resisted reading it. I thought it would just make me resentful. Instead, I found myself inspired.
Waters, arguably the most influential American chef and originator of California cusine and the slow food movement, worked alongside a motivated principal to overhaul the school lunches at her local middle school. The garden they planted feeds the entire school, with freshly laid eggs, fresh vegetables and lesson plans that make the science classes come to life. The photos and stories in this book are both beautiful and tear-jerking, and my first grader was as enthralled as I was. –Danielle