A New Book From School Food Expert Kate Adamick: “Lunch Money”

Back in December I wrote an op-ed for the Houston Chronicle urging my school district to consider moving from the use of a food service management company (Aramark) to operating its own school food program.  In the piece I also mentioned a forthcoming book from school food expert Kate Adamick which argues that fresher, scratch-cooked school food doesn’t have to cost more than the highly processed food upon which many FSMCs rely to cut costs.

Well, I’m pleased to announce that Kate’s book is now out (released yesterday!).  It’s called Lunch Money:  Serving Healthy School Food in a Sick Economy, and it intends to dispel “the myth that school food reform is cost prohibitive.”  Advance press for the book says it

provides effective money-saving and revenue-generating tools for use in any school kitchen or cafeteria . . . . [including] examples, diagrams, charts, and worksheets that unlock the financial secrets to scratch-cooking in the school food environment and prove that a penny saved is much more than a penny earned.  Through both wit and wisdom, Adamick demonstrates how school food can be transformed from a problem into a solution to the childhood obesity epidemic, which serves as a reminder that learning doesn’t stop at the cafeteria door.

author Kate Adamick

The book has already garnered praise from some big names in the food world including Mark Bittman, Marion Nestle, Jamie Oliver and my personal school food idol, JanPop, aka Janet Poppendieck, author of Free for All:  Fixing School Food in America.

The degree to which school food can be “fixed” without additional funding has long been a subject of debate here on this blog, with experts weighing in on all sides.  So I’m eager to read Lunch Money (my copy is in the mail) and  I’ll share my thoughts here in the coming weeks.

You can purchase your own copy of Lunch Money here and read more about Kate’s work with Cook for America, an organization which teaches scratch-cooking skills to lunch room workers, here.


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  1. says

    Thanks for letting us know about this book! I will be anxious to read it, especially since I will be attending my first S.H.A.C. (Student Health Advisory Committee) meeting for my school district in April. This sounds like a terrific resource.

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