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I Ate Lunch at Bend High Today

Turns out there's some good food options at the local schools.



I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was pretty darn palatable. There was a salad bar stocked partially with local produce, local orchard fruits, as well as a made to order sandwich bar, wraps, and burritos.

Since I'm working on a story about school food nutrition (on stands next week), I figured I should see first hand what the local kids are eating. Bend High houses the school district's master kitchen, which produces the bulk of the breads, sauces and sandwiches for area public schools. The Bend-La Pine school district's menu and ingredients are impressive. They bake all their own breads, bagels, wraps, pizza doughs and cookies—all from scratch using at least 60% whole wheat flour which they buy in bulk from Bob's Red Mill, a Milwaukie, Ore. company known nationally for their wholesome products.

Of course there were still the usual nutritional offenders offered too: fries, pizza, nachos, and the much maligned flavored milk—a beverage which has recently drawn heat from a number of area parents and is now banned from the L.A. school district. Many such foods that I saw had a healthy spin, such as an extra dose of vegetables or a homemade crust. Thanks in large part to our school district's  refusal to settle for the minimum Federally-imposed nutritional requirements,  our area cafeterias have been called "industry leaders" by many across the state. They might be fighting an uphill battle, though.

Congress recently blocked a measure that would have brought a much needed nutritional update to the school's menus, which currently count a slice of pizza as a vegetable serving.

While on my food expedition to Bend High, I was disappointed to find that there was none of the  root beer flavored milk we've been hearing so much about. Apparently it's a once a month treat. Too bad, I was psyched to try it.

Oh, and while polling some seniors on what they thought of the school lunches ("definitely making improvements," said one), I asked what they thought of the Source.

"I like the Source. It's cool. It's got a lot of good local stuff in it."

Below are the wraps. I had one. It was tasty.


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