Chances are you’ve heard of the “French Paradox”: the puzzling fact that French people don’t suffer from anywhere near the obesity rates as we do in the United States, even though they consume lots of butter, cheese, meat, and rich desserts.
An article in this week’s TIME magazine reveals one reason why. Public schools in France struggle with the same budget problems as ours do, but the funding for their school lunch programs is considered sacrosanct. And they’re not serving tater tots or frozen food-service pizza, either. School cafeterias in Paris offer five-course meals that include such dishes as ratatouille, hake in Basque sauce, and raspberry-filled crepes.
Kids are required to eat slowly and quietly, and they are taught that the only place they will be fed is at the table. From a very young age, the French learn to appreciate the importance of eating well. Food for thought, indeed!