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U.S. Late To The Party On School Lunch Makeovers

A collection of school lunches from around the world. ( )

While First Lady Michelle Obama and lawmakers have been patting themselves on the back for passing a child nutrition bill aimed at improving U.S. school lunches recently, other nations have been revamping their school food programs with more nutritious, sustainable food for the better part of the past decade.

Years before Jamie Oliver did his thing, East Ayrshire, Scotland launched a pilot program called Hungry for Success. That program went far beyond boosting nutrition. It also focused on nutrition education; trained cooks; put organic, local food in school meals; and made the cafeteria a cooler place to hang out.

So how'd it go over? A Worldwatch Institute report says 67 percent of the town's children said school meals tasted better.

It was later adopted nationwide, and elements of the program were later picked up by the UK.

In response to growing obesity rates among children, Japan passed The Basic Law of Shokuiku in 2005. It requires kids to get nutrition and food origin education at all public schools.

So just to get a little perspective, take our visual tour of school lunches from around the world and see how our trays stack up:

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A 2005 school lunch in London, England of chicken, french fries and a brownie. England passed a l...

A 2010 school lunch in London, England of stew with groud beef and potatoes; peas; corn and pastr...

Cashion, Oklahoma, 2008. Peach crisp desert, chips, bbq beef sandwich and baked beans. (LaLa Lov...

Illinois, 2010. Popcorn chicken, bread, pear, peas and carrots.(fedupwithschoollunch.blogspot.com)

Yoengju, South Korea, 2008. Mushroom soup, rice, egg, tofu, kimchi and brean sprouts. (in·cog·ni...

Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic, 2010. Beans with tomato sauce, pea soup, apple, wheat and rye bre...

Shanghai, China, 2006. Rice-flour bread, egg and cauliflower, cabbage, and wheat noodles with por...

Saint Etienne, France, 2009. Mussels, grapefruit, lemon tart, roll, french fries, yogurt and an a...

Japan, 2006. Milk, orange, spaghetti with meat sauce and fried potatoes. (Ishikawa Ken)

Sendai, Japan, 2004. Fried fish, tomatoes, seaweed, milk, miso soup and rice in a metal container...

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