Cafeteria program Global Eats takes students around the world with diverse food options


Max Froehlich

The Global Eats stand lies dormant after a long lunch period of service.

Lynn-Clara Tun, Staff Writer

Chartwells K12, Edina Public School’s long-term food service partner, recently launched a new program, Global Eats. With foods from Mexico, Italy, India, and China, Global Eats aims to introduce students at Edina High School and across the nation to a more diverse range of foods.

Chris Henderson, executive chef of Chartwells K12, explained how the program works to expand students’ palates. “A lot of students get stuck in those old habits of getting the same foods every single day. Doing it this way shows students that there are more flavors out there for people to discover,” Henderson said.

Each week, EHS serves food from a new country, decorates the cafeteria with the respective theme, and hands out items to teach students about the country. One of the handouts found in the lunch room is herb seeds commonly used in dishes from the country of the week. “The idea behind the seeds is to help students nurture their own plants at home and try different things that are used in [foods]. This week we had basil [seeds], which is very prominent in Italian cooking and has been in almost every single dish this week,” Henderson said.

Global Eats initially took some by surprise. New programs in the cafeteria are not something students are used to seeing. “I feel like we had some ethnic food [options], but the school wasn’t really calling attention to it. I think by doing this program it’s educating students about those different foods, and I was really surprised that the school was willing to do that,” freshman Elizabeth Teskey said.

Others were hesitant to try Global Eats’s versions of their favorite foods, especially compared to the previous recipes, which many students considered unfavorable. However, students agree that the program is the right step for EHS to bring other cultures into the cafeteria. “I was worried about the authenticity, but it’s actually good. [The food] is better than it was in the past,” freshman Aarushi Bhatnagar said, “Overall, I think [Global Eats] is a really good idea. It introduces a lot of different foods, flavors, and cultures that people can experience that probably haven’t experienced before. I hope we see more programs like this in the future.”