Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

School lunch vs. junk food


School lunch ladies around the United States are fighting to feed healthier food to the nation’s increasingly overweight student body,  but their biggest obstacle is competing with fast-food chains like McDonald’s and junk food like Doritos

lunchboysIn Los Angeles, the country’s second-biggest school district is serving up increasingly nutritious and lower-calorie food (the photo at right shows two Castelar Elementary students’ lunch choices).

Despite that, studies have found that roughly two-thirds of schools had fast-food chains within easy walking distance.

West Adams Preparatory High School student Edgar Barragan, 16, ticked off a half-dozen private and public fast-food outlets near his high school, including McDonald’s and a Burger King that is located kitty-corner from school (see photo  below).

Browsing for butter, lip balm on


grocery.jpgYou can look but you can’t buy — online at least.

Wal-Mart has started allowing visitors to its website to browse some of the groceries, health and beauty, and pet products that the discount giant sells in its stores.

Instead of being able to buy the items online, browsers can check to see if the products are in stock at a store near them.