Apples for Better or for Worse?

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When you’re buying lunch in the Ipswich High School cafeteria you are required to buy an apple or an additional fruit with your meal. There tends to be a limited selection of other fruits, such as bananas or oranges. The apples are usually bruised and unappealing. The kids who are made to buy apples tend to throw them out and waste them. This is a massive squandering of food to just toss out that many apples each day. Instead of having the students just throw the apples we should have a box to put them in and then donate them to someone who needs them, like the food pantry. Another idea would be to make the apples more appealing by getting higher quality fruit that don’t have bruises. The cafeteria could also sell fruit cups or juices along with the fruit to add more variety. They could also offer kiwis or other more interesting fruit options.

When asked what other fruits the cafeteria should offer, senior Heather Monroe said, “Watermelon would be a really nice change, and I think everyone would really like it and actually eat it.” As you walk through the lunch lines and see all of the mushy and gross looking fruit, you aren’t really enticed to eat them. Some of the school’s budget should go to providing higher quality lunch foods for the students. After lunch, students are lethargic and seem to fall asleep in their last classes. If the students were provided a healthier, and higher quality lunch they would have more energy for their classes and therefore do better in school. Many kids will buy a lunch but then refuse to eat it because it is unappealing. These students will be hungry throughout the rest of the day and not be able to focus at all. This not only affects high school students, but also middle school students. The middle schoolers are also greatly affected because they eat the same lunches as the high schoolers do. Kids in middle school and high school are still growing and they need decent nutrition to mature properly. Some may argue that it’s only one meal so it doesn’t really matter that much, right? Wrong. Students go to school nine months out of the year so that “one meal a day” can actually make a huge difference.

Why are the students even forced to buy apples anyway? It’s “healthier” for them. However, the truth is that since the apples are bruised and unappealing the students aren’t eating them, and therefore not getting the intended nutrition. When asked what he does with an apple he doesn’t want to eat, senior John Gayton said, “I would probably throw it away because even if I brought it home or something I still wouldn’t eat it.” Even just adding in a few more fruit options would be a great leap in the right direction for getting the students to eat better and not waste the food. If the students still refuse to eat the fruit the school should donate the unused fruit to the food pantry or some similar organization.