Free for All: Fixing School Food in America

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How did our children end up eating nachos, pizza, and Tater Tots for lunch? Taking us on an eye-opening journey into the nation's school kitchens, this superbly researched book is the first to provide a comprehensive assessment of school food in the United States. Janet Poppendieck explores the deep politics of food provision from multiple perspectives--history, policy, nutrition, environmental sustainability, taste, and more. How did we get into the absurd situation in which nutritionally regulated meals compete with fast food items and snack foods loaded with sugar, salt, and fat? What is the nutritional profile of the federal meals? How well are they reaching students who need them? Opening a window onto our culture as a whole, Poppendieck reveals the forces--the financial troubles of schools, the commercialization of childhood, the reliance on market models--that are determining how lunch is served. She concludes with a sweeping vision for change: fresh, healthy food for all children as a regular part of their school day.
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Editorial Reviews

Sarah Halzack
…[Poppendieck] argues convincingly that lunches should be free for all students, a measure that would remove shame from the equation for those who need the program while cutting costs associated with determining who qualifies for free or reduced-price meals. By illuminating how Congress, big agriculture, local school boards and even parents affect what shows up in the cafeteria, this well researched book makes a strong case for retooling school lunch menus nationwide.
—The Washington Post

“Meticulously researched, patiently explicated, potentially groundbreaking. . . . Should be required reading for everyone who eats food, buys food, has kids, or cares about nutrition.”
The Washington Monthly - Michael O'Donnell

“Sophisticated and nuanced.”
Gastronomica - Lisa Sasson

“[An] excellent, informative book. . . . Poppendieck’s research is extensive and meaningful.”
Teaching Sociology - Heather Sullivan-Caitlin

“A masterful work of public sociology that is likely to play an important role.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520243705
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 1/4/2010
  • Series: California Studies in Food and Culture
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 353
  • Sales rank: 1,234,345
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Janet Poppendieck is Professor of Sociology at Hunter College, City University of New York. She is the author of Sweet Charity? Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement and Breadlines Knee Deep in Wheat: Food Assistance in the Great Depression.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: In Search of School Food

1. School Food 101
2. Food Fights: A Brief History
3. Penny Wise, Pound Foolish: What's Driving the Menu?
4. How Nutritious Are School Meals?
5. The Missing Millions: Problems of Participation
6. Hunger in the Classroom: Problems of Access
7. Free, Reduced Price, Paid: Unintended Consequences
8. Local Heroes: Fixing School Food at the Community Level

Conclusion: School Food at the Crossroads

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2014


    Name: Hanon Sakuraba, but L like to be called Hanon Sweet.<p>
    Gender: &female<p>
    Age: 17<p>
    Height: *wittle kitty blush* 4"9<p>
    Appearance: Long deep maroon colored hair, deep gray eyes, and pale-skin.<p>
    Wears: dresses, uniforms, and long shirts. Hmpf.<p>
    Persona: shy at first, then fiery and daring.<p>
    Other: Beware. I hug a lot and have quite the number of pistols in my handbag.<p>
    Crush: Pssh.<p>
    ~Hanon Sweet

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2014

    Diabla, Hawke, and Kitee

    Diabla: she is a tough character who wears a red dress. She has peculiar orange eyes. She has black hair with red tips. She eats mostly potatoes and loves setting off smoke bombs and burning things. She is thirty. <br> Hawke: he is her brother. Hawke has brown hair and blue eyes, he is very queit and his sister, also queit, does most of the talking. He gets very interested in thing like watches, spoons, feathers, and pots. Especially pots. He is twenty-five. <br> Kitee: she has blond hair and is seven years old. She is very shy and loves cats. She never walks. She has at least five cats following her everywhere and talks to cats instead of people, except her older brother and sister. D&H&lil'k &female&star&hearts

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2014


    Skyler Marie her Skyy only.....warning she will punch you if you dont
    /).- im a female
    5'7" and weighs 95-100lbs
    Long straight black hair to her waist. Her bangs hang in her eyes slightly. She is tan. Her eyes are ice blue with black and dark blue flecks. She is slender but still has curves and muscle. She has a nose piercing and a tongue piercing. She has guages. A tattoo on the inside of her wrist and a tattoo on her back
    Meet me to know my persona
    Other ask me

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2014


    Hieght: 6 feet and 7 inches. <p> Weight: 132.4 pounds. <p> Outfit: A black leather jacket, blue jeans and black boots. <p> Other: Crush: none. <p> Eye color: blue. <p> Hair color: Brown. <p> Skin color: White. Any questions, just ask.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2014


    Name: Jace. Gender: Male. Looks: Brown Hair, Green Mischevious Eyes, Tall, Muscular, Tanned. Persona: A New Yorker Guy Who Calls All Men 'Boss' And All Women 'Doll' Or 'Dollface'. Rather Agressive At Times But Can Be Cool. Always Has Cigarettes And Toothpicks And A Comb On Him. Likes: Girls But Hates Relationships. Will Bang A Girl About Twice Then Stop Giving A Crap So Ladies Beware. Other: Meet Me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2012

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