Toronto-based journalist and author Andrea Curtis’ new book is called What’s For Lunch and it’s the embodiment of one those ideas that is simultaneously original and obvious. Canada, infamously, is the only OECD nation without a national school lunch, or even nutrition, program. Even at the provincial level, which regulates the education system, there is very little focus on what kids eat at school. Curtis argues that we can “pay now, or pay later” by taking an active interest in the health and well being of our kids today, rather than deal more obesity tomorrow.

What’s truly original, and strikingly obvious now that she’s done it, is the way Curtis focus attention on what’s happening at home by finding out what kids all over the world have for their lunch break. From a four course French meals to an energy bar in Afghanistan, Curtis’ book is a fascinating look at how different cultures address their children’s midday meal. Each meal is accompanied by striking pictures by food photographer Yvonne Duivenvoorden, and the effect is to provoke thought and discussion among kids, parents and the educational community.

In the video interview below, Curtis talks about what drove her to write the book, what she found out and why students, parents, teachers and politicians ought to read it.

Can’t see the video? Click here. Photo of a French school lunch by Yvonne Duivenvoorden. Find out more about What’s for Lunch at

Malcolm Jolley is a founding editor of Good Food Revolution and Executive Director of Good Food Media, the not-for-profit corporation which publishes it. Follow him at