The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
Jobs of the Future—and Healthier School Lunches

The school lunchroom, with its cliquey social divisions, wet trays, and barely edible food, was a huge part of the educational experience for past generations, but for future ones that may be changing. Outside food prep companies are replacing school cafeterias, says the WSJ:

Kid Chow, which husband-and-wife team Rob and Jamie Feuerman, both 48 years old, launched in 2003, started by serving these lunches to one private school in San Francisco. Today, the company has 85 employees and serves 52 schools, takes in annual revenue of about $5 million and is profitable, Ms. Feuerman says. [ . . . ]

Kid Chow is just one of the small prepared-food businesses that are expanding as school districts nationwide try to make student meals healthier. The movement is propelled partly by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which requires a certain amount of fruits and vegetables in school lunches, among other federal programs.

This story is about more than just giving school kids healthier food at a lower cost. The end of the traditional lunchroom is a metaphor for what awaits us beyond blue. The blue model state is your classic school cafeteria: bland, stripped-down, utilitarian fare that appeals to the lowest common denominator of basic need. There’s little flexibility in the system, and you get what’s served—no substitutions, please.

This model kept society running for decades, and it undeniably offered improvements over what came before for the vast majority of people. But now that it’s breaking down, clinging to it is no virtue.

Published on January 31, 2013 5:39 pm