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Sorry, America, But This Is What School Lunches In France Look Like

Sorry in advance.

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Hey there! My name is Marie, I'm French, I've been living in the US for a few years, and I'm obsessed with food.

Jessica Lima / BuzzFeed

Last week, I saw this photo of a French school menu on an Instagram story by illustrator and food stylist Jessie Kanelos Weiner.

Jessie, an American who's been living in France for nine years, documents her life in France on her blog thefrancofly.
Jessie Kanelos Weiner / Instagram: @thefrancofly

Jessie, an American who's been living in France for nine years, documents her life in France on her blog thefrancofly.

The whole menu is really extra, with a different French cheese everyday. Other highlights include "thinly sliced beef with tomatoes [and] baked organic potatoes", and crepes with jam and organic fruits.

Instagram: @flying_mama

The following week's menu is even fancier.

It's part of "la semaine du goût" — a week-long initiative where children in French public schools get to try all kinds of delicious foods at lunch. Monday is a duck parmentier with organic mashed potatoes and butternut squash. Wednesday is grilled guineafowl with provence herbs, and organic cauliflower and broccoli.
Jessie Kanelos Weiner / Instagram: @thefrancofly

It's part of "la semaine du goût" — a week-long initiative where children in French public schools get to try all kinds of delicious foods at lunch. Monday is a duck parmentier with organic mashed potatoes and butternut squash. Wednesday is grilled guineafowl with provence herbs, and organic cauliflower and broccoli.

And in case you're wondering, this isn't the menu of a posh private school, but of a regular Parisian public school. And here's lunch at a public high school:

instagram.com

(I grew up in Bordeaux and asked several BuzzFeed France writers and we all had great memories of our school lunches, so it's also definitely not just a Paris thing.)

Wanting to get some context, I asked my co-workers what school lunches in the states were like:

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I also asked Jessie, the original poster, to talk about the difference between France vs. American school lunches.

instagram.com

"American foodie culture is much more of a cult obsession and pastime, but in France, it is ingrained in the overall culture from the beginning with a very specific formula. French kids don't get exceptions. They eat what everyone else does. And the school menus are just a glimpse into that," she told BuzzFeed Food.

"French kids are encouraged to take their time and eat a well-balanced meal," she said. "In the States, kids' tastes (or lack thereof) are catered to by serving bland, processed foods which don't always encourage exploration later on."

  1. Do you think that French school lunches are better than American ones?

    Do you think that French school lunches are better than American ones?
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    Ummm yes! Have you seen this menu?
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    I'd rather have pizza everyday than this fancy shit.
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    American school lunches can be healthy and delicious too!
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    Moving to France. Bye!
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