There’s a great scene from Michael Moore’s 2015 documentary Where to Invade Next that focuses on school dinners. He visits a small rural town in France and goes to the ‘best place to eat in town’ – the local school’s cafeteria. In France, they consider school lunch to be part of the teaching day. The children spend a full hour where they learn how to eat in a civilized, relaxed manner and enjoy healthy food. In the film, the children dine on scallops to start, chicken or lamb skewers on cous cous for mains, a dessert and even a cheese course (bien sûr!). With such a grounding in social eating, it’s little wonder that the French have such a healthy attitude to and knowledge about food.
Earlier this year, the Chairperson at Tramore Educate Together came across Moore’s documentary. Corinne is French, so it resonated with her, particularly since she now lives in a culture where school lunches are about wolfing down a sandwich in ten minutes before running out to play. She sent it on to my wife, who is principal at the school, and it got us all thinking. Could we hatch a plan to achieve something similar?