A Review of Sarah Wu’s Fed Up with Lunch

How One Anonymous Teacher Revealed the Truth About School Lunches – and How We Can Change Them!

Review By Kelly Thunstrom

As an educator for many years, I have definitely seen my share of school lunches.  However, I really had not begun to give them much thought until a few years ago.  It was then, at lunch duty, that I began to notice kids throwing away uneaten, brought-from-home food in favor of school-served ice cream, donuts, and chips.  I noticed the choices that my schools had for kids…from fried chicken sandwiches, to mozzarella sticks, to macaroni and cheese.  I also noticed the effect that eating foods loaded with sugar and fat did to my students’ energy in the afternoon.

I was intrigued upon receiving Fed Up with Lunch in the mail.  Sarah Wu, originally known as “Mrs. Q”, really began to look at the lunches her students were eating in the Chicago Public School System.  She decided to do something that if you paid me a million dollars I would not do…eat what her students were eating for an entire year.  Every day, she bought lunch, snuck off to her room, photographed it (Beware: pictures are included.), ate it, and blogged about it.  She was so worried that she would lose her job for questioning the “authority”, that she had an alias.  Only with the publication of her book has she finally revealed her true identity.

Wu writes about her experiences during the year…eating a frozen “peanut butter and jelly graham cracker sandwich”; eating a “rib-b-cue”, a fancy way of saying “beef formed into the shape of boneless rib meat with fake grill marks”; finding out that the 133 chicken nuggets she consumed were made up of only about 50% chicken; and trying to keep her identity a secret in countless interview requests.  Famous chef Jamie Oliver also has made it his mission to reform school lunches.  Wu had the pleasure of being contacted by Oliver himself, and his support graces the cover of Fed Up with Lunch.

Wu also lets parents, teachers, and kids know that they have much more control than they think.  She gives concrete ways to change lunches for the better.  If we focus on children’s health, the outcomes will be great all around.

Visit the Fed Up With Lunch Blog here


Kelly Thunstrom has been teaching for almost 15 years, working with the fourth, fifth, and seventh grades full-time.  She has been named to Who’s Who in Education, as well as awarded the Faculty Award for Academic Excellence in Education.  Kelly is editor and publisher of 1776books, which provides reviews of various types of books.  She also writes book reviews for Bookloons, local theater reviews for Stage Partners, and is the arts reviewer for the local Patch syndicates.



Posted in Nutrition on November 4th, 2011 | Permalink | 1 Comment »
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One Response to “A Review of Sarah Wu’s Fed Up with Lunch”

Mrs Q says:

Thanks so much for reviewing my book! I really appreciate it!

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