Schools and food waste

By: Marcus Lund

School lunch sometimes sucks. It occasionally either tastes gross, the texture is just off, or there’s something else wrong with the meal. And let’s be real, nobody eats those green beans. So, inevitably, something gets thrown away.

According to a new study from the World Wildlife Foundation, U.S. schools waste 530,000 tons of food yearly, costing around $1.7 billion. This much food in weight is equivalent to 76,000 school buses. That’s a massive problem.

Additionally, the U.S. is much worse at controlling its school food-waste than other developed countries. According to a cafeteria audit from Penn State, food waste from countries like Sweden, Italy, and Spain ranged from an average of 23%-30% of the food served, whereas the U.S. ‘s ranged from 30%-50% of the food served. This means that out of the food that we receive, most students throw away at least a third.

So, how do we combat this problem?

People around the nation have been trying different methods. The Boulder Valley School District in Colorado is one of nine participants in a pilot program launched in 2019, where students go through different measures to decrease their waste. Signs around the cafeteria remind students not to take more than they can eat, and classes are held with farmers to connect students to the food that they throw away.

Food waste audits also create noticeable impacts on waste amounts, with one held by WWF decreasing food waste by 3%, which could lead to $52 million in cost cuts if implemented around the nation.

Before COVID, The Burlington School District in Vermont allowed cartons of milk and other untouched items to be placed on share tables. After school, much of that food is taken home by students or eaten as an after school snack.

Across the nation, many different methods have been used to lessen the amount of wasted food. How will Highland Park step up?

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The truth of art

By: Parker Rowen

Van Gough (1889)

What is art? What makes something artistic? What makes someone an artist?

Art is about truth; it is about the truth of a representation of a vision of someone who has a passion, and inspiration. This comes from their emotions, be it love, hate, happiness, or depression. Art must come from a place of real emotions, or it will feel disingenuous, and oftentimes fails at conveying anything, or making anyone else feel emotions. 

If your art isn’t truthful, people will never relate to it. Oftentimes, art which comes from different sources, such as greed, or begrudging acceptance, fall flat. Art must show the good, and the bad, not necessarily at once, for that is the truth of the world, and that is what people relate to. Connecting your world to that of others is key in art; one might argue it is the goal of art. To properly communicate these ideals and feelings, you must have a vision, and medium to express said vision.

To have a vision, means to have an emotion, or message so grand it can’t stay contained within your mind, and must be made reality. Art comes from having a vision. This type of vision can only be expressed through an artist’s point of view. Your vision must be a real one, you can’t argue for something you don’t believe in. Your vision must come from your emotions, and aspirations, your goals, and what is important to you. 

A piece of art is composed of a message, or an emotion, which an artist is trying to convey. Art comes from your personal truth, to try to convey false emotions, makes the art disingenuous, and uninteresting.

The truth about art is that it is about making people relate, or understand your perspective, and the world in which you live. The truth about art is it is a medium for expressing truth, pain, happiness, and the world at large; to be an artist is to express the truth of the world, and it’s flaws, and to create a vision of which will connect your truth to the truth of others.

Music of the year/how COVID affected the music industry

By: Liv Miller

It’s known that music is a big part of today’s pop culture. With more and more new artists emerging, the music industry just keeps getting bigger.

In 2020 many artists were confined to their homes due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This sadly meant no concerts or meet-and-greets with fans, but it gave artists the opportunity to work on their own music more than ever.

Fast forward to 2021 many artists have now released new singles and albums with the time that they were given in quarantine. ‘The New York Times’ did an interview where they asked artists what they had achieved during the lockdown. Aaron Dessner, a musician and producer answered, Right as the quarantine started, I started writing so much music, and I had no idea what it was. There was no horizon line, there was a lot of uncertainty — so I just made a lot of music that I didn’t know what it was for.

So far this year many artists have released music that did great on the charts. Artists like Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish, lil Nas X, Kanye West, and many more have released very successful albums so far this year.

One of those artists, Olivia Rodrigo has had her album ‘Sour’ break many records like “The most songs in the top 10 at one time” and “Most streams of a song in a week” for her first single Drivers License.”

Olivia Rodrigo isn’t the only one breaking records in 2021. With his new album, ‘Certified Lover Boy,’ Drake has broken the 2021 record for “Most-streamed artist in a day on Apple Music.”

With some COVID-19 restrictions being lifted, artists are getting the opportunity to start performing again. Whether it be at festivals, award shows, or even rescheduled tours fans are happy to start seeing their favorite artists perform live again.