These Real School Lunch Photos Will Make You Lose Your Lunch

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Hungry? You might want to revisit this post at another time. Looking at these photos of real school lunches from American high-school cafeterias is guaranteed to make you lose your appetite. The images are part of a project called "Fed Up," launched by Farah Sheikh, an education campaign manager with the non-profit DoSomething.org. To see what's really being served in school cafeterias — and call attention to the (lack of) nutritional value in these meals — Sheikh asked students around the country to send in real photos of their school cafeteria offerings.

U.S. students sent in some 7,000 photos (some quite cleverly captioned), overwhelmingly featuring pizza, nachos, chicken sandwiches/nuggets, mashed potatoes, burgers, french fries, corn, and chocolate milk. Students were also asked to vote on which lunches they would eat and which they would toss.

Interestingly, Sheikh said she's seen a preliminary correlation between healthy offerings and student satisfaction with school lunches. "The meals that show the most nutritious and healthy [ingredients] are the ones we're actually seeing the highest 'EAT IT' votes on," Sheikh told FastCo.

Sheikh also said she was encouraged by how many healthy-looking lunch photos were submitted, meaning our national cafeteria crisis isn't dire as the grossest of these photos make it seem. Still, if you'd like to see the most repulsive of these school lunches...click on through. But I'm warning you: There's a lot of mystery meat.

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