School lunches in the U.S. have long been overlooked. Highly processed foods quickly thrown together with a hodgepodge of unhealthy ingredients are still prevalent in the modern education system.
Dan Giusti, the founder of Brigaid, is gaining ground in his efforts to overhaul the school lunch system and bring scratch cooking back into cafeterias. Giusti founded Brigaid in 2016 and his goal is to bring more attention to school lunches, focusing on making them healthy and taste good. The organization works with schools to bring in professional chefs and provide high-quality meals but also trains existing staff in the practice as well. Before founding Brigaid, Giusti was trained at the Culinary Institute of America and later worked as head chef for Noma, a two Michelin star, fine dining restaurant in Copenhagen. At Noma, a meal for two costs nearly one thousand dollars, and although he encountered success there, he decided to further his career in 2015 by using his talent to help others.Creating school lunches that are appealing to children has always been a challenge. Many kids are resistant to trying new foods that seem unfamiliar. There are also administrative issues––what’s on the lunch menu is usually not a top priority. While there are many systemic, political, and financial challenges that lie ahead, Giusti and the Brigaid team are laser-focused on improving both the lunch system and the health and happiness of each and every student one meal at a time.
- Dan Giusti, former head Chef of Noma and founder of Brigaid.