Whether their school is under a banyan tree, in a dusty tent held up with poles or in a sturdy brick structure in the heart of a bustling city, all children need a healthy lunch to be able to learn and grow. Good food nourishes both our bodies and our brains. It's one of the basic building blocks of life.
As the world has become more interconnected, what we eat has become part of a huge global system. Food is now the biggest industry on Earth. Growing it, processing it, transporting it and selling it have a major impact on people and the planet. Unpack a school lunch, and you'll discover that food is connected to issues that matter to everyone and everything such as climate change, health and inequality.
In What's For Lunch Andrea Curtis reveals the variety and inequality to be found in the food consumed by young people in typical school lunches from thirteen countries around the world, including Japan, Kenya, Russia, United States and Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and Afghanistan. In some countries, the meals are nutritious and well-balanced. In others they barely satisfy basic nutrition standards.
The book includes graphic colour photos of each of the lunches described, and stimulating sidebars that deal with various global food issues. It also provides messages for parents, teachers and kids about the significance of food, and more significantly, a list of ways in which children can reclaim school lunches for themselves by insisting on healthy, nutritious food.
Andrea's critically acclaimed Into the Blue: Family Secrets and The Search for a Great Lakes Shipwreck (Random House) won the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction. Her writing has also appeared in Toronto Life, Chatelaine, Canadian Geographic, Explore, Utne Reader, The Globe & Mail, Today's Parent, www.cbc.ca/arts and others. This is her first work for a younger audience.