I got assigned to write a profile of a blogger for ON WISCONSIN, the University of Wisconsin-Madison alumni publication.  The topic immediately caught my attention, but I had no idea how impressed I was about to become with Sarah Wu.

Here’s how the piece starts:

A hotdog encased in soggy bagel dough with a side of Tater Tots and a skimpy fruit cup might not seem like much to write home about, but when Sarah Burns Wu ’99 did just that, she embarked on an influential blogging and publishing career.

Wu is a speech pathologist for the Chicago Public Schools. One day in 2009, she forgot her lunch and ventured into a wasteland of school-cafeteria cuisine. “It was the bagel dog that pushed me over the edge,” Wu remembers. “To think that’s what the kids were eating that day!”

Wu made a New Year’s resolution to do something about what she’d seen. “I had my little blog that my mom and sister read. I decided to blog about school lunches. I bought the lunch every day, took a picture, and every night I would upload it,” she says. “I told my husband it would take only five minutes a day, but blogging takes over your whole life. I set it up so my blog posts go on Twitter, and that launched it.

“I didn’t realize what a huge topic this is when I started,” Wu continues. “What we eat touches so many aspects of our lives. This is an environmental issue, too. My school serves one thousand breakfasts and lunches a day. The numbers are staggering.”

This is a great read.

Fedupwithlunch.com started receiving significant traffic immediately. After a month, Wu had already received one thousand hits. Now she receives that many each day and has seven thousand subscribers. About halfway through her year of school lunches, Wu was approached by two literary agents from different firms who told her they could see a successful book growing out of her blog.

Read the rest HERE.

2 replies

  1. I have only been in an American school once before and that was at lunchtime and I was appalled. I could cope with the pizza slices, they looked okay as far as pizza goes but it was the salad bar that got me. Lots of good and healthy vegetables were available – so far, so good! At the end of the table though were four large containers of salad dressing, full of colourings, full of fat and goodness knows what chemicals. Whatever healthy food the kids could eat they were encouraged to drown in a sea of chemicals and that is awful and sets them out on the wrong track from the start.

  2. Sad, but true, Joanna.
    I packed my daughters’ lunches, and they tell me that their classmates thought they were eating some pretty weird stuff because it was made from scratch. Even kids who pack lunches often eat some pretty non-nutritional stuff.
    Sarah Wu has made a small difference in what Chicago kids get for lunch, and I respect her.

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