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Episode

E 18. School Lunch Part 2

In our second episode on School Lunch, we take a hard look at how the metaphor of a Melting Pot to describe the necessary assimilation of American immigrants, might be a little problematic. The school lunchroom is the place where newly immigrated children were (and still are) introduced to the “American diet”. Where classrooms taught U.S. history and civics classes, the lunchroom taught that stew and cow’s milk was what you consumed to fit in. In evaluating these food choices, we look at food sensitivities across nationalities and how dairy specifically does not fit well into most children’s diets.

We also look at some personal stories of the lunchroom drama that immigrant children have had to deal with and the various reaction their parents had when requesting Lunchables over sticky rice.

There is a quick introduction to school lunch and how an American-born, European immigrant began the first lunch program in his German factories.

We end the episode by giving Darryl a short quiz on school lunches across the globe. If you would like to take a similar quiz and see how you do, you can find the same images he was describing at this website: Name The Countries These Lunches Were Served

Sources for E18. School Lunch Part 2

Public Schools in the Twentieth Century: The “Melting Pot” for Immigrants

Dietary Assimilation among Mexican Children in Immigrant Households: Code-switching and Healthy Eating across Social Institutions

Eating while immigrant: The bitter taste of assimilation and the joy of ‘stinky’ food

Being Bullied About My Lunch Made Me a Better Person

Lactose Intolerance by Ethnicity and Region

Categories
Episode

E 17. School Lunch Part 1

Welcome Back to School! (and our podcast) After a much needed break from research, writing, and talking about kind of bummer stuff, we are back and ready to do all these things again. We welcome all of our listeners back with a series about school lunch.

Our series begins with Native American Boarding Schools which parents were forced to send their children to in order to assimilate to White/European culture. From there we examine how the idea of the American Melting Pot used public schools as a tool to assimilate immigrant children. Then we will move on to redlining, integration, the Black Panthers, and the Soul Food movement in schools. Which will bring us to where we are now: the healthy school lunch movement, the Hunger-Free kids act, and COVID’s impact on school lunch.

With our first installment, we follow the history of Native American education by colonists, churches, and the U.S. government. Off-reservation boarding schools became very popular after the Civil War as a way to forcibly assimilate indigenous cultures. We look at how this movement created generational trauma for students and their families, changed their diets in harmful ways, and taught skills that were useless in their own culture.

Students learning to cook at Carlisle Boarding School

We’re glad to be back and excited for this deep dive as we enter our second year of working on this podcast. Thank you to each person who has followed us and continues to support our work. We couldn’t do this without you.

Sources for E 17: School Lunch Part 1

THE BOARDING SCHOOL LEGACY: TEN CONTEMPORARY LAKOTA WOMEN TELL THEIR STORIES by Kathie Marie Bowker

Death By Civilization by Mary Annette Pember

No More “Die Bread”: How Boarding Schools Impacted Native Diet and the Resurgence of Indigenous Food Sovereignty by: Patty Telehongva