Tag Archives | School Lunch

Pink Slime Is A Staple Of School Lunch

Ground_beef_USDAJust when you thought that pink slime was on the way out, the U.S. Government has bought millions of pounds of it for children to eat at schools. Via the Huffington Post:

Pink slime — that ammonia-treated meat in a bright Pepto-bismol shade — may have been rejected by fast food joints like McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Burger King, but is being brought in by the tons for the nation’s school lunch program.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is purchasing 7 million pounds of the “slime” for school lunches, The Daily reports. Officially termed “Lean Beef Trimmings,” the product is a ground-up combination of beef scraps, cow connective tissues and other beef trimmings that are treated with ammonium hydroxide to kill pathogens like salmonella and E. coli. It’s then blended into traditional meat products like ground beef and hamburger patties.

We originally called it soylent pink,” microbiologist Carl Custer, who worked at the Food Safety Inspection Service for 35 years, told The Daily.

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How The Food Industry Eats Your Kid’s Lunch

fries ketchupLucy Komisar, who contributed the essay “Dirty Money and Global Banking Secrecy” to the disinformation anthology Everything You Know Is Wrong, contributes a major op-ed to this Sunday’s New York Times:

An increasingly cozy alliance between companies that manufacture processed foods and companies that serve the meals is making students — a captive market — fat and sick while pulling in hundreds of millions of dollars in profits. At a time of fiscal austerity, these companies are seducing school administrators with promises to cut costs through privatization. Parents who want healthier meals, meanwhile, are outgunned.

Each day, 32 million children in the United States get lunch at schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program, which uses agricultural surplus to feed children. About 21 million of these students eat free or reduced-price meals, a number that has surged since the recession. The program, which also provides breakfast, costs $13.3 billion a year.

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Congress Declares Pizza A Vegetable For School Lunches

pizzaPizza contains two tablespoons of tomato paste and thus will remain the healthy, vegetable portion of children’s lunch across the nation. The move draws criticism from nutritionists but kudos from the head of the American Frozen Food Institute, reports MSNBC:

Congress wants to keep pizza and french fries on school lunch lines, fighting back against an Obama administration proposal to make school lunches healthier.

The final version of a spending bill released late Monday would unravel school lunch standards the Agriculture Department proposed earlier this year, which included limiting the use of potatoes on the lunch line and delaying limits on sodium and delaying a requirement to boost whole grains. The bill also would allow tomato paste on pizzas to be counted as a vegetable, as it is now. USDA had wanted to prevent that.

Food companies that produce frozen pizzas for schools, the salt industry and potato growers requested the changes, and some conservatives in Congress say the federal government shouldn’t be telling children what to eat.

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Obama Signs School Lunch Law

Looks like there’s going to be a lot of pudding trades with kids who bring bagged lunch. USA Today’s The Oval reports:

In signing a new law today to improve the quality of school lunches, President Obama paid joking tribute to its most prominent supporter: first lady Michelle Obama.

“Not only am I very proud of the bill,” the president said, “but had I not been able to get this passed, I would be sleeping on the couch.”

Mrs. Obama, whose major issues include fighting childhood obesity, laughed and said, “let’s just say it got done, so we don’t have to go down that road.”

The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, a $4.5 billion measure, provides more free school meals to the pool, and gives the government more power to decide what foods can offered in those meals, as well as in school vending machines and fundraisers during school hours.

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