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L.A. Schools Get Serious About Rehabbing Lunch Menus, But Will the New Food Help Kids Learn?

The debate about cafeteria food shouldn't just focus on health. It also affects whether teachers can do their jobs effectively.

Chocolate and strawberry milk? Gone. Chicken nuggets and corn dogs? They're also being kicked to the curb. Chalk it up to spending months in the hotseat after clashing with chef Jamie Oliver and his Food Revolution reality show, but the Los Angeles Unified School District is putting the kibosh on sugar-filled flavored milk and fast food staples. Great, but are the new optionsvegetable pad Thai, California sushi rolls, and spinach tortellini in butternut squash saucegoing to help kids learn? That may seem like an odd question, but here's why I'm asking: If students don't eat, they come back to class after lunch, sit at their desks, and stare into space like zombies. They can't concentrate.

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Pad Thai, Like You've Never Seen it Before

Photographer Ryan Smith cuts through the wok for another look at one of the most popular pan-Asian dishes.

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