School Lunch: Chicago Elementary Bans the Brown Bag

With Jamie Oliver beginning his second season of Food Revolution, it's time once again to think about the healthiness of the food served in public schools. I know, groan. Not good, right?

The overall health of our kids is depressing; Jamie's famous tear-jerking scenes show kids whose lives have been devastated by the expensive effects of diet-related diabetes, obesity and heart disease. And, according to Oliver, schools are only compounding that problem with high-fat, high-sugar fare that's heavy on the white flour and chemical preservatives, and low on freshness, nutritive value and deliciousness.

One novel approach: Ban the brown bag. That's just what the principal did at Little Village Academy, a public elementary school in Chicago. However paradoxical it may seem, Elsa Carmona explains it's because of the Flaming Hot Cheetos, a popular entree among her students before the ban. As the Los Angeles Times reported this week, "[The principal] created the policy six years ago after watching students bring 'bottles of soda and flaming hot chips' on field trips for their lunch." Carmona further described her choice as one of "milk versus a Coke."