Community Voices

Young Observers Mid-December 2022

photo by nathaniel arizon

Are school lunches that bad?

The topic of school lunch is arguably one of the most controversial subjects in public schools. It seems to be one of California’s top priorities, as proven by the many attempts to implement school lunch programs across the most populous state. For example, right before the start of the 2022-2023 school year, the state’s Department of Education implemented the Universal Meals program, one that offers free lunch meals to all public school students no matter their financial situation. This greatly increased the accessibility of lunches for students, a huge step towards solving this longtime issue.

Although, some notable concerns have been circulating among the students: how good is the quality of these free lunches? Are they nutritious enough to support a healthy lifestyle, and are they appetizing enough for kids to actually enjoy them? Many videos of students showing off their grotesque school meals are going viral and circulating around the Internet every day, but just how accurate are they?

Here is the truth about these public school lunches, including a first-hand account of my schoolmate who eats school lunches at my own school. To start, school lunches are definitely filled with an abundance of nutrients. In fact, it is against the law to go over a certain number of calories in each meal, as well as to leave out fruits and vegetables from the daily meals, according to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act passed in 2010.

Nevertheless, that does not necessarily mean that these lunches are healthy enough for consumption by young students. Most of the food made in school cafeterias could be using processed ingredients, food dye, and other items that are not particularly good for the human body which can directly impact a student’s learning capability. They can affect attention span, energy level, and even behavior that can lead to one’s success or failure when it comes to schoolwork, tests, and overall student performance, which is why it is so important that schools value their nutrition.

To confirm these findings, I conducted a short interview with a student at my high school who happens to eat the free school lunch offered just about every day. He claimed that, on most days, the food is actually decent, rating it a 6 out of 10. They are definitely not culinary masterpieces, but they taste good enough to be somewhat enjoyable. The student also noted that the food is able to keep him going for the last few hours of his day. He participates in extracurricular activities after each school day, and even with all of the physical demands they present him with, he still feels energized and fresh. This confirms that the nutrition included in school lunches is significantly more effective and beneficial to one’s health than was initially assumed. However, the student noted that the most concerning problems with the lunches were their overall appearance, and lack of variety that can tank one’s appetite and mood for the rest of the day.

Public school meals’ nutrition values and healthiness may not necessarily be the problem. It seems that most lunches are suitable for students. However, the true issue resides in the meal’s visual appeal and variety. If the food does not look good or the menu is highly repetitive, the students will not be as inclined to eat as they should.

I think that public schools should offer more variety in the menu, and make the food look and taste more appetizing while maintaining the same amount of nutrients and health benefits. Only then will America’s school lunch truly meet the needs of the students. Sources:,

Out of the Ordinary

Amid joyous holiday festivities, one family stands apart from the crowd with its gothic aesthetics and dark quirks.
Netflix’s recent spinoff of the Addams Family series, “Wednesday,” is making headlines as one of the streaming service’s most-viewed English-language TV shows. Since its Nov. 23 premiere, the show garnered views totaling over a whopping 750 million hours, coming in No.3 behind “Stranger Things 4” and “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.” Based on its current standings, the series holds great promises of surpassing one billion hours within the first month of its release.
The show follows the main character Wednesday Addams (Jenna Ortega) and her journey through Nevermore Academy as she masters her psychic ability and uncovers a murder mystery. Viewers, for the most part, have expressed overwhelming support for the series and its lead actress. In fact, TikTok users have flooded the app with memes and recreations of some iconic scenes, including Ortega’s awkward dance clip in episode four. Becoming an instant social media trend, creators have emulated Ortega’s moves with their personal spin, driving even more traction toward the production. While “Wednesday” is not the most typical example of a hit holiday TV series, this year things are looking a bit different for the entertainment industry.

Snow in Fullerton? There’s a Chance!

Winter is here and that means making snowmen and snowball fights in most states, but not on the coastal lowlands of Southern California including Fullerton. The weather has to be around 32 degrees Fahrenheit for snow, icicles, and snowflakes to form.
The reason why it doesn’t snow here in Southern California is because it is rare for our temperature to get below freezing. However, according to an OC Register article, back in the 1930s and ’40s, it actually used to snow in Orange County. There were icy roads in Laguna Beach and San Clemente, and nearly three inches of snow were recorded in Orange, Tustin, and Irvine.
As recently as the winter of 2014, the residents of South Orange County cities, like San Juan Capistrano, Rancho Santa Margarita, and Irvine, woke up to a snowy morning. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, snow might actually increase due to climate change. The warmer the planet is, the more water evaporates into the air, causing more precipitation.
Even though we haven’t seen snow in Fullerton, our chance of getting snow is not zero.

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Incredibly Intelligent Dylan

Meet Dylan, a four-year-old Blue Nose Pitbull! Blue Nose Pit Bulls are a variant of the standard Pitbull. They carry a rare recessive color gene. Although I admit that Dylan is not very blue, I think I see a slight shade of violet in his nose. Loyal as… your sister (this is a very relative simile), Dylan is a Velcro dog. (No, there are no Velcro cats.) He is incredibly intelligent and knows the textbook definition of sitting, paw-shaking, laying, and accepts treats gently. Dylan appreciates walking outdoors and walks with dignity and eloquence on the leash. He makes it an art. He even stops to sniff flowers on the way. Enjoying all the attention he can get, Dylan will do best in a home where he can hog all the attention and not have to share any. He’s kind of stingy with attention.




Q: What kind of bear is white?

A: The Polar bear. (Duh). And also the lesser known Spirit Bear, or Kermode bear. Their population number is dwindling because their habitat, the forests on the coast of British Columbia, is dwindling. These bears can catch fish more easily than their darker colored cousins because their shadow is less prominent. When a bear’s shadow falls onto the lake, the fish notice and swim away. The male bears can grow up to 4-6 feet long. Spirit bears come from normal black bears, just like how black panthers come from normal panthers. Spirit bears are a one-out-of-ten kind. To produce a white bear, both parents must carry the specific genes.