Lilian Min
February 19, 2015 2:36 pm

School cafeterias have a reputation as culinary letdowns, but they don’t have to be. Recent initiatives have pushed for healthier lunches in American school cafeterias, but what about the rest of the world. As it turns out, in some countries, school lunches look positively delicious.

Scottish student Martha Payne, who reviews her and other students’ school lunches on her blog NeverSeconds (a totally brilliant take on school blogging), wanted to see how her school lunch stacked up against others from around the world. With some help from her dad and the restaurant chain Sweetgreen, she put together an average school meal from a variety of countries, and some of the photos are downright droolworthy.

As for the U.S.? Well…

It’s not bad, but it’s no Italy. While most of the pictured countries have multiple fruit and vegetable sides, the US has a smattering of boiled peas and preserved fruit in a cup — not exactly fulfilling the USDA’s portioning guidelines. And while these lunches aren’t indicative of all the school lunches in those countries, speaking from experience, the US lunch is pretty accurate; all that’s missing is a carton of milk.

You can see more international school lunches on NeverSeconds, but even just looking at the ones we’ve posted, it’s pretty incredible how cultural and economical forces play out in something as regular and accepted as cafeteria food. While we’re certainly paying more attention to what we’re serving our future generations in the States, some countries have clearly already figured it out.

(Images via.)

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