In addition to working to increase the amount of local, fresh produce in school lunches across the city, the Boston Public Schools Farm to School Initiative seeks to engage students in a conversation about food. Farm to School hopes that schools will begin to view the cafeteria as a classroom in and of itself. The cafeteria should both model nutritious habits for students and educate students about the food system. Through conversations, the Farm to School Initiative hopes to make students think more deliberately about the food they eat and the process involved in producing it.
As part of this conversation in the cafeteria, Farm to School has created a series of 30-second cafeteria surveys to better understand the food habits, preferences and perceptions of students.
One question asked students to list their favorite vegetable. The top five responses were corn, carrots, broccoli, salad, and apples. It is also notable that 4% explicitly stated they had no favorite fruit or vegetable.