Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Home Grown Food in the Lunchroom

Back before there was such a thing as free lunch, there was such a thing as barter. Children from families who could not afford to pay for a school meal could bring food from the garden as payment. They could take a bushel of turnip greens to the cafeteria and get a food exchange note. One bushel would equal maybe five meals.

They would bring home-canned vegetables in glass containers. They would bring gallons of blackberries in pokes, paper bags. They would bring apples, pears, tomatoes and potatoes. Eggs, too.

Never meat, though. The cafeteria ladies could not accept meat and any milk that was brought was used in cooking. The milkman brought the drinking milk.

By the mid 1950’s this practice dwindled thanks to government surplus commodities and a centralized food service system in the county. The abundance from the farm community no longer counted. Fresh from the field no longer happened. The day of processed food had arrived.

Catch of the day,

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