Putting Flik into Perspective—We Are Lucky to Have Them

Ella Katz I think it is fair to say that every member in the Latin community has been guilty at times of complaining of the cafeteria’s cookies being too chewy or the hamburgers being overcooked. One privilege that many Latin students, including myself, take for granted is that our school emphasizes freedom of opinions and expressing those opinions is encouraged amongst students and teachers alike. We are lucky to have this power in our hands on a day-to-day basis, as most high school students don’t have the freedom to change something in their school when they feel that it is immoral or wrong. Sophomore Lauren Salzman said, “It often frustrates me when Latin students speak negatively about our cafeteria food without realizing how fortunate they are just to have a daily nutritional food supply, in addition to the fact that our food tastes really good. That being said, part of me also thinks that it should be ok for people to voice their opinions as long as it is in a respectful manner.” At Latin, the student body plays a large part in how the school runs, whether that is through student government, honor council, or other similar groups and student unions. It is extremely important that we remember to step back at times and realize that most high school students are not as fortunate as we are in their high school education experience. The ability to acknowledge our good fortune when it comes to our food service, Flik, is extremely important considering all they have done for the Latin community over the past two years. Other food services at high schools across the city do not provide nearly as tasty and nutritious food as what Flik makes for us on a daily basis. Not only is fresh food cooked for us on the daily, but there are a large variety of options ranging in prices as well as health. Students are allowed to make their own choices but they are guided through weekly stands in the center of the cafeteria about healthy foods and how to make healthy choices. Furthermore, Flik offers committee meetings, taste testings, and many more events that encourage Latin school students to focus on eating a balanced and nutritious diet. Flick’s website states, “We feature organic, local and Fair Trade fruits and vegetables as availability & pricing allows…We prepare our foods from whole fresh ingredients, limiting the use of processed foods and avoiding products containing artificial colors, flavorings, M.S.G., preservatives, and high levels of sodium.” If it is not clear from this excerpt, through its many board members, committed chefs, and organic produce, Flik truly cares about providing good, healthy food. At Latin, the Flik employees have helped establish incredible food life. They strive to make sure that no kids go “hungry”  just because they do not like any cafeteria option. This commitment to excellence in our community’s food through the various options and other methods have been a success at Latin. Sophomore El Buchanan said, “The food at Latin is like no other. You just simply cannot compare it to any other school. Most importantly, I think the chocolate chip cookies are delicious.” Unfortunately, this is not the case at the majority of high schools throughout the US. Schools do not have anywhere close to the funding that Flik has to provide nutritious yet tasty meals for their schools. What ends up happening is what you would imagine: schools buy the most inexpensive food for their weekly (or sometimes even monthly) cafeteria supply. Obviously this food has close to no nutritional value, is unappetizing and most importantly, not good for the students to be consuming on a daily basis. According to a New York Times article from three years ago, “Under guidelines published in January 2012, school lunches are to include more fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads and less sodium.” Many schools complied with the new set of rules but 10% of schools weren’t able to fulfill the requirements and therefore couldn’t do anything but keep supplying the unhealthy and overly process to their high school cafeterias.   Today, many schools across America and even other countries are still questioning whether they should spend more money on healthy lunches for the students—who might dislike them—or, rather, keep providing inexpensive, non nutritious meals, which is more cost-effective but extremely poor for the health of the student body. The question is one that is being contemplated and discussed today and will still be in discussion in future years. The moral of the story is, even though the salad bar sometimes doesn’t have a good cheese selection, or the action line isn’t pasta bar, we should really be grateful for the nutritious, organic food supply we have at our school, as it is one that is rare to find in any high school cafeteria. ]]>