Diego Iriarte,12 , gets ready to dig into his delicious lunch.


“The Ironist” presents an argument using that mighty tool known as verbal irony, or sarcasm. Irony has long served as an expression of protest– both a weapon and a balm for those living in tough, turbulent times like our own.


       Imagine the most delicious meal you’ve ever eaten. Now, imagine food that’s that delicious, but completely free. This isn’t a dream for FCPS students; it’s a reality.  

      These partially federally funded delicacies are handed out free of charge in every school cafeteria in the county, and due to the pandemic, and they will continue to be free for the remainder of the year. Although you might expect the quality of the food to go down now that it is free, you’d be incorrect. Students are absolutely crazy about school lunch! The majority of kids at Westfield eat school lunch, not out of convenience, but because of its unparalleled quality and taste. Earlier this year, kids were even getting Door Dash drivers to sell our food to the public, at least I assume that’s what that whole controversy was about. Of course, not everybody eats school lunch. “I tried the lunch once, I’ll never do it again,” said David Pezzella, 12. By this, he means he felt he wasn’t worthy of tasting it again, I’m sure.

      Those who do eat the lunch, though, give it glowing praise. Yousef Ahmed, 11, gave a comment that I think is representative of most student’s opinion on the lunch, describing his meal as “prison food.” I assume by this he means it is fortified with delicious nutrients, much like a prison is fortified with guards, and I whole-heartedly agree with him. 

      Speaking of nutrition, the nutrition of our lunches is regulated by the federal government, who make sure the food is fit to serve to us kids. At Westfield, the main course typically offered is a very popular food like chicken sandwiches, pizza, or corn dogs, just improved upon! There’s little to no sodium, sugar, or fat, which are completely unnecessary anyway, so all that’s left is the good stuff! Federal guidelines require high schools to serve meals with no more than 850 calories, or no less than 750. They also require the meals have less than or equal to 1,080 milligrams of sodium, although they are lowering this limit to 740 milligrams as of this year. Schools are also required to serve fat free or 1% milk, and water. 

      Although these guidelines help to ensure delicious and nutritious meals, I do think they could be improved on a little bit. For example, why put any sodium in the food at all? Salt is linked to high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease, so why not remove all of it? It’s basically poison. Food tastes much better without seasonings and spices anyway. Another improvement that could be made would be setting a lower calorie maximum, maybe somewhere in the ballpark of 200 calories. Besides the guidelines, the food could still be healthier. Take away the breading on the chicken and the corn dogs, take away the chocolate in the milk, and replace them with more fresh fruits and vegetables. They taste better than all those unhealthy foods anyway. Why are we spending money on unhealthy bread and sauce for the pizzas, too? Cheese has protein and tastes good enough on its own, just ditch the rest of the dish. 

     A recent Washington Post article proposed that school lunch should be made on sight in order to provide “better tasting” and possibly even cheaper meals, but I think this is a bit rash. Students with a refined pallet tend to prefer frozen food, the mellowed taste and freezer burn are simply to die for. The author also claims that schools could support local farmers by making this switch, although I’m sure the local farmers prefer frozen food, too. 

    Although school lunch is obviously delicious as it is, I’m sure students would prefer something a little tastier and healthier. Get rid of the frills and keep the necessities, and the student body will not only be happier, but healthier too. Anyway, I’ve got to stop writing now. It’s lunch time.