Top 5 Grossest School Lunches


A close-up of North High’s taco meat in its serving bin. Though mysterious in origin, this discolored meat did not make the list of top five grosses lunches

Claire Pan, Managing Editor

Maybe you forgot your packed lunch at home today. Or maybe it’s raining so hard that there’s no way you’re leaving the building. Perhaps you don’t have time to go out for lunch because you need to finish that English assignment that’s due on Google Classroom next period. Whatever the case may be, you’re stuck in school during your lunch period, and your only option is to buy some dreaded cafeteria food.

But hey, school lunch can’t be that bad, right?

It turns out there are a lot of gross options when it comes to North High’s cafeteria food. And it turns out that students have plenty of things to say about the lunches that are offered.

A serving of North High’s famous, or rather infamous, meatballs. We picked the five grossest items served in North High’s cafeteria.

For a week, we asked students for their opinion on the nastiest school lunch that the cafeteria has to offer, and created a list of the most frequently mentioned.

This is a definitive ranking of North High’s top 5 grossest cafeteria foods.

5. Chicken Patty Sandwich

The list begins with the chicken patty sandwich, which is made up of a breaded piece of chicken mushed inside a whole grain bun. That’s it. That’s the whole dish. No lettuce or tomato, no condiments or seasoning, just a flap of chicken on some bread.

You could ask for some ketchup packets, but you don’t even get enough to cover all of the patty.

The bun tends to taste flavorless and dry, and doesn’t contribute anything to the already simple meal. However the patty sandwich is saved from scoring higher on this list by the acceptable quality of the the chicken. Not overcooked or tasteless, it makes the meal bearable if you’re in a pinch.

The district menu for all middle and high schools. Obtained from district website.

4. Chicken Nuggets

Another chicken lunch makes the list, but this time for a bit of a different reason.

The main complaints with the school chicken nuggets were not concerned with the flavor of the dish or the texture of the meat, but rather the quantity of the decided serving size.

Lots of teenagers argued that five measly bits of chicken were not satisfactory for a full meal, especially considering that there are athletes and growing students who have greater food needs. “They give you five tiny nuggets which isn’t a lunch,” said junior athlete Chloe Katchis. “It’s like they’re trying to starve us.”

3. Cheese Quesadilla

Looking at it, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell it’s supposed to be a cheese quesadilla.

There’s no golden tortilla and no stretchy cheese, but rather a block of chewy, bland bread with something that resembles cheese wedged in the middle of it.

It’s pretty easy to mistake the cheese quesadilla for an empty pizza crust. But hey, at least you get some interesting crunch from the burned bits of bread that sprinkle the surface! And don’t forget about the watery salsa that’s served on the side.


2. Chicken Salad Sandwich

Maybe North High just sucks at making chicken based foods, but here’s yet another chicken sandwich that makes the list.

With the chicken salad sandwich, the border between food and inedible substances begins to blur.

The bread is your standard whole wheat, mushy, tasteless garbage. But what is really interesting about this lunch choice is how unidentifiable the meat is. The chicken salad doesn’t contain any recognizable pieces, but is instead just a homogeneous, pale paste that makes the surrounding bread soggy.

It’s almost impressive how effectively the cafeteria manages to make chicken appear like light brown toothpaste. “The chicken salad sandwich looks like a glob of nothing,” sophomore Adam Sanders said.


1. Non-kosher Cheese Pizza

Topping off this horrid list is the classic school pizza. Not the delicious boxed stuff that comes around on Fridays, but the pizza that is offered week-round.

It’s hard to decide where to even begin with this one. The crust is the same flavorless material that turns into a paste in your mouth after chewing. And the cheese is almost always burned and feels like plastic in your mouth. That is, if it makes it there before completely separating from the pizza itself.

There doesn’t appear to be any sauce either, just some oil that covers the top of the pizza with a grimy film. Definitely the all around grossest item offered on the cafeteria menu.

After reading this gruesome ranking, you’ve probably lost your appetite, and won’t feel like purchasing a school lunch. But maybe next time you can just ask a friend to get you something for lunch while they’re out.