These Pictures Of School Lunches Around The World Will Make You Both Very Hungry And Very Sad About The State Of American School Lunches — PHOTOS

Lunch is arguably my favorite meal of the day, and I'm not just saying that because I happen to be stuffing my face with it right now. Although breakfast gets a lot of hype, it's actually lunch that is imperative to helping you keep your focus and regulating your metabolism. For kids who are in school, this meal is even more essential. The state of school lunches in the U.S. have, time and time again, failed to meet nutritional standards. Nothing demonstrates that reality with such stark—and beautiful—clarity better than Sweetgreen's photos of school lunches around the world.

Sweetgreen is a chain of restaurants that make locally-sourced salads and grain bowls, and they made the photo series to raise awareness about how not only are school lunches in America are in need of improvement, but they're falling way behind international standards as well. It's an especially crucial problem to solve: 32 million kids in the U.S. get their lunches at school, and for a lot of them, lunch accounts for a third of their nutritional intake. When you consider that some kids whose families are struggling financially get even more of the bulk of their nutrition from school-provided lunches, this series of photos gets especially depressing.

Each of the pictures is captioned with the country where the school lunch came from, but we hardly need one on the U.S. photo to know right away that it's ours. I'm sure you'll recognize it from every nightmare you've ever had about your high school cafeteria days. Scrolling through the other countries' food selections will likely get you so hungry and excited that the U.S. sample will seem even more awful. Take a look at just how delicious other school kids' lunches are (and brace yourself for some chicken nugget PTSD):

To read more about Sweetgreen's campaign, click here.

Images Courtesy Of: Sweetgreen