Yuck! Fourth Grader Covertly Films School Lunches For Documentary

By Nick Venable 2013-05-14 13:27:49discussion comments
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When I think back to what lunches were like at my elementary school, I really don’t remember them being that bad. Certainly frozen pizzas, barely-pork riblets and fruit cocktail couldn’t have equaled the end of innocence the way people are saying school lunches are doing nowadays. But the above trailer for the short film Yuck, found on the Yuck Movie website (via Movies.com), shows a large discrepancy between what is supposed to be fed to school children and what is actually fed to them.

Certainly, we probably won’t learn anything particularly new or noteworthy here, since the war against childhood obesity has had schools in its crosshairs for years, but this isn’t a figurehead rattling off a bunch of facts in a long study published in a journal that only other figureheads read. Yuck was made by a fourth grader named Zachary Maxwell, a New York City public school student who was having to put up with these meals every day - so the purpose behind the film is personal as well as informational.

Zachary was inspired to create this project after noticing how erroneous the Department of Education website was when describing the lunch menus, which were supposed to be nutritious and of restaurant quality. To prove his point, Zachary covertly filmed 75 of his school’s lunch breaks over a period of six months, even getting himself caught in the process. Instead of destroying the footage like he was told, he cobbled it all together for a twenty-minute short exposé, and it looks like quite a fun little film full of bland-looking food. You gotta love pizza and sandwiches that look like they’d be good sled substitutes.

The short has done well for itself on the smaller festival circuit, proving to be more subjective than films such as Super Size Me from fourth-grade-minded Morgan Spurlock. That said, it will probably fall into the “you should have already known this” documentary subset that films like Food Inc. find themselves in. But both of those movies were made by a bunch of adults, and there’s just one Zachary Maxwell behind Yuck. That’s something to gnaw on.
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