The Student News Site of Itasca High School. Proudly serving Itasca the "Big, Little" town since 1997.

The Paw Print Press

The Student News Site of Itasca High School. Proudly serving Itasca the "Big, Little" town since 1997.

The Paw Print Press

The Student News Site of Itasca High School. Proudly serving Itasca the "Big, Little" town since 1997.

The Paw Print Press

Cafeteria Food: Is It Underrated?

Let’s face it: school cafeterias have been the subject of ridicule and mockery for decades. It is universally assumed that food served in a school cafeteria borders on inedibility. However, I would argue that the cafeteria, and in particular its staff, is sorely unappreciated. It’s a place to socialize, talk to friends, have something to drink, and simply take a break from the stress of school. And in my opinion, the food isn’t so bad after all.

Sure, it’s not great, but there are lots of underrated menu items that are simply overlooked. But don’t just take my word for it. We asked 20 current Itasca ISD students what their favorite food from the cafeteria was, and here were their responses:

Several students had individual opinions which were not shared by others in the survey. These examples include mozzarella sticks, popcorn chicken, beans, fruit, quesadillas, and more. One student claimed that mashed potatoes are the pinnacle of Itasca cafeteria food. Another student admired the eggs, referring to the cafeteria’s breakfast options.

Many of the students who participated in the survey had the same opinions as their peers. Two students argued that the orange chicken was the best dish available in the cafeteria. Two others rallied behind the spicy chicken sandwich. Two more said the chicken strips, one going as far as to say they are “fire”.

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Despite all of this, one food stood out above the rest, coming in with a winning total of 4 votes: the pizza.

Pizza is a true staple of not only cafeteria food, but the world of food as a whole. It has united generations of hungry people for years, and rarely does it disappoint. Fortunately for the students, Itasca’s cafeteria offers multiple versions of the simple Italian dish: sometimes it is served in traditional slices, while other times in the shape of a circle. 

In conclusion, the cafeteria is an underrated part of day-to-day school life, and I believe it should not be criticized as harshly as it is. The food may not be of the highest quality, but it isn’t as unpalatable as students say. 

To the cafeteria staff: we greatly appreciate the efforts of each and every one of you. 

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Henry Bowman, Staff Writer/Editor
Henry Bowman is a staff writer and editor for the Paw Print Press. He primarily writes articles about films, often compiling them into ranked lists. He has many favorite movies, but his top picks are Meantime (1983), Eraserhead (1977), and Saltburn (2023).
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