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Alice Waters: School Lunches Need More Flowers, Please

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Alice speaking earlier this year.
Alice speaking earlier this year.
Photo: Flickr/ProComKelly

To be sure, not even the most stringent of Alice Waters detractors—cough, cough, Bourdain—disagree with her mission to improve eating/food habits in America, especially with her Edible Schoolyard projects. No one. That said, as the leader-by-default of the Slow Food movement, she inevitably comes under scrutiny whenever she drifts off into her idealistc lalaland, like the wood-fired egg incident on 60 Minutes. And now, while talking about improving school lunches (obviously a great cause), she dreams:

When Alice Waters talks about improving school lunch, she doesn't just mean making the chicken nuggets more nutritious. She wants to see a table set, maybe with flowers. She wants children to have enough time to have conversations as they eat.

Nevermind that whole school budget crisis situation (CA: "near the bottom in school funding and academic achievement") and the fact that this is what school lunches look like nowadays, schools need more food conversation time and pretty table settings. Perhaps we should tackle the mess one step at a time?

In any event, it's worth appreciating what a noteworthy job Jamie Oliver has done over in the UK.
· Lunch with Alice Waters in Larchmont elementary school's garden [LAT]
· Jamie Oliver: How a celebrity chef turned into a social scientist [Financial Times]
¸ Alice Waters: Choose Grapes Over Nikes [~ESF~]