Food Revolution Friday – Cafeteria Chat

I made, what has turned into, my weekly visit to my son’s cafeteria for a lunchtime visit several days ago. We call it bonding time, but it has turned into an opportunity for some great “tableside” chats about food and what kids in this age group think about food.  By the way, my son loves that my husband and I make this visit, but his friends seem to cower as I walk in their direction. I have no idea why!?
On this particular day,  we no more than sat down and practically all of the kids at once started to tell us about a conversation they had in social studies.  About food.  Yeah, I thought this was a bit strange, but since I needed material for a blog post love having interesting conversations with these boys I let them explain.  Basically, they had discussed with their social studies teacher what was in hot dogs and Slim Jims.  Of course, if you know me, you know that the first thing I said was, “you all know that hot dogs and Slim Jims aren’t really food, right?”  I think they all wanted to disappear to the bathroom until the end of the lunch period, but they stayed and tried to debate the issue with me.  We talked about what goes into these things for ingredients and they didn’t even blink. 
All that kids know for sure at this age, is if it tastes good, who cares about anything else!
The truly eye-opening comment came from W, one of Nick’s closest friends and a really great kid.  He looked directly at me and in the most matter-of-fact voice said, “well, it doesn’t kill you so it’s okay to eat it.”  
My jaw dropped.  This is really what the child believes.  I am sure it is what many children, and adults for that matter, believe too. 
I proceeded to share, with the entire table, the sobering statistic about how they are all among the first generation of children who will die before their parents.  If my husband could have reached, I am sure he would have kicked me under the table.
What?!  You want to kick me, too?  Are you kidding me?!  These kids hear profanity all day long, play violent video games, have access to disturbing content on the internet, and people are worried because I shared a real fact with them.  I won’t and don’t apologize for that.  I welcome a phone call from a concerned parent.  I also welcome your comments.  As a matter of fact, I would love your comments on this topic.


  1. Mooreganics says

    Keep up the good work! You have touched those children, and though they may cringed now they have been told the truth. And once you know the truth about something it is hard to forget. They may go years down the road eating bad "food", but they will remember the mom that sat down with them and spoke the truth about the foods put in front of them. Kudos to you!

  2. cecedon says

    I love this post. It is amazing that people believe if it won't kill you eating it then it's ok. *crazy* It's equally amazing that people let their kids watch violet shows, video games and computer stuff but don't like when you tell them the truth about something food related.

  3. Soapnutter says

    Nice one! You may just have made these kids think about the slow poisons they're eating and thinking that it doesn't matter because it doesn't kill them straight away.

  4. smilinggreenmom says

    Oh Cathy – wow! You go girl ๐Ÿ™‚ I think it is courageous of you to debate this with them – have you had any phone calls yet lol? Sometimes I feel like I am so absorbed with so many awesome green people that I forget that there are so many "out there" who do not share these beliefs that our family really treasure. It can be shocking and sad all at once. I really think it is great that you do weekly lunch dates too – that is probably something your kids will always remember and look back on with a grin…even if it does make their friends shudder ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Cathy Let's Be Green Together says

    Thanks!! What a huge compliment…..and I think you are right. Things do stick with them, I really believe that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Cathy Let's Be Green Together says

    It it so true! People would just rather not know and live in denial, I think. If they don't acknowledge it, they don't have to fix it, somehow.

  7. Cathy Let's Be Green Together says

    I really do hope I make a difference with them. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Cathy Let's Be Green Together says

    Thanks so much my dear!! Means a lot that you wrote this comment. It really is amazing what you learn when you talk openly with kids. Oh, and no phone calls….yet! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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