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  • Writer's pictureKayla Park

Korean vs US School Lunches

Updated: Sep 11, 2023

School is a place where students go to learn and socialize. US high schools are a lot different than Korean high schools. Most US highschoolers spend their days at school for 7 hours. While Korean highschoolers spend a majority of their day at school or hagwon for at least a whopping 12-16 hours. Korean highschoolers start their day by going to school at around 8:00 am with morning breaks and having a 50-minute lunch period. Their classes are usually about 50 minutes each. While US classes are 45-52 minutes for 7 classes.

There are a lot of differences between US and Korean high schools. But what they really have differences between each other in the educational system is their school lunches. While US lunches are typically either, pizza, grilled cheese, or a burger with a side of fruit, milk, etc. Korean school lunches consist of having rice, soup, protein-focused side dishes that are based on meat, fish or tofu, vegetables or fruit. Korean school lunches seem to be fresher and more protein-packed than US school lunches. US school lunches seem to give off very little portions in their lunches compared to Korean school lunches. A lot of nutritional experts say that US school lunches are very inadequate in nutritional values. Most meals aren’t prepared from scratch. Most are either prepared from some place else and then warmed up to be served. While Korean lunches are purely made from scratch from 5 star chefs and are very nutritious and very healthy.

A lot of Korean students don’t complain about their school lunches as much as US students do. The US educational systems haven’t really thought well on how to not create such a huge crowd when it’s their lunch period. Because there’s so many students in different high schools, a lot of high school students are constantly complaining about how their cafeterias are so cramped and when they finally get to their place of picking out what food they want, all of the food that the students find decent is all gone. There’s a constant cycle of the students in the back of the line continuously picking out the possibly greasiest or less flavorful food in the cafeteria because of how cramped and small their cafeteria is. While the Korean educational systems actually care about the students who always come in when the line is possibly really long. Their cafeterias are actually very spacious and very big, giving a lot of students a neat sorted line and not having to be only a centimeter away from the person next to them.

Overall, Korean school lunches are possibly far better than US school lunches. Not because of their food but also because of their quality choices of giving out spacious rooms so that students don’t have to constantly be squished by one another.

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