“School food is pretty good, but I’m supposed to say it’s horrible,” is a common, and of course baseless statement on the tongues of many returning and new Woodstock students every year.
Woodstock, an international boarding school, is kind enough to serve students, and even its staff, with three meals and three snack-times every single day with not-so-high fees pulled out of the respective bank accounts of parents and teachers.
However, instead of being grateful for the great variety, taste, and inexpensiveness, students and sometimes even staff members can be heard longing for home-food or any other food that doesn’t have anything to do with the Woodstock kitchen, be it a forty rupee rip-off at Cozy Corner for a packet of Maggi that is served at school sometimes at great quantities intended for as-much-as-you-can-eat. Personally, I’m a great lover of Woodstock food for all the reasons mentioned above. The same reasons that others aren’t grateful for.
One of the ways Woodstock students show disdain for school food is by insulting its taste. The way things are going on at school, generation upon generation of students passing on disdain for school food, the food will never get tastier no matter how hard the kitchen tries to, until or unless someone like me steps outside the pack to actually appreciate the delicious food.
Furthermore, the insults about taste aren’t really justified because everybody has their own tastes, and Woodstock is a huge and diverse community of people with different tastes and opinions.
Instead, what really should matter is the quality of food that the kitchen at school serves. By the time I graduate from Woodstock in the summer of 2019, I’ll have spent a total of 9 full years eating school food, and never have I ever heard of anyone or myself falling ill from it.
Whereas, in most of India, 139 million school-children are being fed by the central government under the Midday Meal Scheme since 1995. The scheme is definitely a great one, however, like many other government-run programs in India, this one too has fallen under the grasp of corruption, resulting in bad quality food that has caused some serious damage for school children. In fact, in 2013, around twenty school children died and many others had to be hospitalized after they ate food provided by the Midday Meal Scheme, in the state of Bihar, east India.
With events such as this one taking place sometimes, I fail to understand why Woodstock food, that is so safe and top-quality, is hated so much.
Coming to variety, many students complain about how unhealthy school food is — as if their beloved KFC Chicken burgers aren’t — despite there being a salad-bar in addition to many healthy options such as rice, a variety of pulses, and fresh chicken are provided by the kitchen for every single meal. If there is one thing that stands out about such opinions it definitely is how ungrateful students are, especially when you compare Woodstock food with the food provided by the Midday Meal Scheme in many schools around India.
Take the example of this school in the state of Haryana, North India, where only two items are served for lunch every day. However inconceivable that may sound, students at that school are actually grateful for the food, and so should we.
Like I mentioned earlier, despite my evidence and thoughts on the top-quality and tasty food, and from what I’ve seen over the past nine years, Woodstock food will always be disliked by students. Well, why? Because students force themselves to pick out little faults in school food, such as “the slight sweetness in the wai-wai salad” that apparently ruins the overall taste of the salad.
Such comments are quite unforgiving for a kitchen that cooks three meals for an entire community every single day, which is why I can’t get myself to throw-away, let alone, complain about the food I’m served at school.