HCPLive Network

Still Fed Up with School Lunch, Food Blogger Reveals Identity

Still Fed Up With School Lunch, Food Blogger Reveals IdentityStarting in January 2010, a Chicago elementary school teacher set out on an unusual culinary project. She resolved to eat lunch in the public school where she worked every day for a year and report on her experience in a blog, Fed Up With Lunch.
 
Adopting the pseudonym Mrs. Q and surreptitiously photographing the $3 school meals, she ate her way through 162 lunches worth of chicken tenders (which she compared to “squirts of chicken foam”), peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches (one of which made her sick), and bagel dogs.
 
Now, Mrs. Q has published a book on the experience, also named Fed Up With Lunch, and has stepped out from behind her pseudonym to reveal her true identity: She is Sarah Wu, a 34-year-old speech pathologist.
 
Since revealing her identity, Wu has been featured in USA Today and the Chicago Tribune and appeared on CNN, Good Morning America, and The View. Wu explains that she embarked on her project after forgetting to bring her own lunch to work one day and instead trying the school lunch: a bagel dog (a hot dog encased in a soggy roll), a half dozen tater tots, a Jell-O cup, and chocolate milk.
 
Concerned that the school lunches were nutritionally questionable, Wu decided to launch her blog to call attention to what her students—90% of whom qualify for free or reduced-price lunches—have to eat every day. She also did some research on the food served in school lunches. Among her findings: Chicken nuggets often contain as much filler as meat, and school pizza can contain over 60 ingredients.
 
Wu’s blog became a hit, with thousands of regular readers and a total of a million hits in 2010. Some of Wu's followers expressed concern that her health would suffer as a result of her experiment, but she remained the same weight as when she started and her cholesterol even dropped 20 points. (This may have been due in part to the greater care she took with her non-school meals to compensate.)
 
Throughout the project, Wu maintained her anonymity out of concern that she would be fired if it were revealed. Now that her identity is public, she has returned to work and has apparently suffered no consequences.
 
Around the Web
'Fed Up with Lunch' exposes worst school meals [USA Today]
School lunch blogger 'Mrs. Q' drops anonymity [Chicago Tribune]
'Mrs. Q' Revealed After Undercover School Mission [Good Morning America]
Just How Bad Are Public School Lunches? [The View]
Newly revealed lunch blogger hopes for better school nutrition [CNN] 


Further Reading
Striking a balance between affordable and nutritional is the dilemma faced by many school districts when it comes to serving students their daily lunches.
New research suggests that physicians lack adequate training to counsel their patients on nutrition -- and the problem only looks to worsen.
Despite national efforts to limit the amount of sodas, high-fat milk and other high-calorie drinks sold in schools, most students can still purchase them.
A new report provides guidance on managing food allergies at school and on the prevention and treatment of food-induced anaphylaxis.
The past year has seen an increase in the number of applicants to US medical schools -- particularly among certain ethnic groups.
The economic downturn has forced many medical schools to make difficult decisions and "change their cultures for a more secure future."
A number of medical schools have altered their admission process and curriculum to produce doctors with better people skills. What do you think?
More Reading