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Eating to Learn, Learning to Eat: The Origins of School Lunch in the United States

Eating to Learn, Learning to Eat: The Origins of School Lunch in the United States

by Andrew R. Ruis

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In Eating to Learn, Learning to Eat, historian A. R. Ruis explores the origins of American school meal initiatives to explain why it was (and, to some extent, has continued to be) so difficult to establish meal programs that satisfy the often competing interests of children, parents, schools, health authorities, politicians, and the food industry. Through careful studies of several key contexts and detailed analysis of the policies and politics that governed the creation of school meal programs, Ruis demonstrates how the early history of school meal program development helps us understand contemporary debates over changes to school lunch policies.  

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813584072
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication date: 07/03/2017
Series: Critical Issues in Health and Medicine
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 220
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

A. R. RUIS is a fellow in the department of surgery and department of medical history and bioethics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a researcher in the Wisconsin Center for Education Research.

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations


1 “The Old-Fashioned Lunch Box . . . Seems Likely to Be Extinct”: The Promise of School Meals in the United States

2 (Il)Legal Lunches: School Meals in Chicago

3 Menus for the Melting Pot: School Meals in New York City

4 Food for the Farm Belt: School Meals in Rural America

5 “A Nation Ill-Housed, Ill-Clad, Ill-Nourished”: School Meals under Federal Relief Programs

6 From Aid to Entitlement: Creation of the National School Lunch Program





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