We ran a post about 8 school lunches. Here's why we took it down.
We'd like to set the record straight.
To the Upworthy Community —
We'd like to set the record straight about a story on school lunches that we posted to our Facebook page this week.
The story, titled “These School Lunches From Around The World Should Embarrass The U.S.," was originally written on Feb. 3, 2015. Yesterday, May 3, the story was reposted again to our Facebook page.
The post was based on a Tumblr post and slideshow created by Sweetgreen, a restaurant chain that has been described as a “healthy fast-food start-up," based in the Northeast.
Since its initial publication, other media outlets, like Mother Jones, have covered some of the problems with the source material from Sweetgreen, explaining how the re-creations of these lunches are not necessarily representative of typical meals in each country.
Sweetgreen said in its own original post (bold added):
“These images are not intended to be exact representations of school lunches, but instead, are meant to portray different types of foods found in cafeterias around the world. To create this series, we evaluated government standards for school lunch programs, regional cuisine and food culture, and photos that real students had taken of their meals and shared online."
While we included that context with our readers, upon further review, we felt that the overall impression the post gave was different; the way the images were presented ultimately was misleading. School lunches around the world vary widely, and these images alone, without additional context, don't paint a complete picture.
To correct the record, we have taken down the school lunch post and have included a screenshot below for transparency.
Lastly, several people wrote to us to say they believed the piece was a paid-for advertisement from Sweetgreen or an industry lobbying group. It was not.
While Upworthy sometimes works with companies and accepts payment to promote stories from other organizations, we're really selective about our partnerships, and we'll always be upfront with you about them. The post about the school lunch photos was one we wrote independently, and I take full responsibility for its content.
Thank you to all our readers who spoke up in the comments to help set the record straight. As we do with all corrections, we feel that this post should merit as much attention as the original post, so we'll be posting this to Facebook and Twitter as well.