Pink Slime Served in “Healthy” School Lunches

Posted on April 16, 2012 by

A Chicago school made news earlier this year when they banned home-packed lunches for its students. In the interest of nutrition concerns and in an attempt to combat the childhood obesity epidemic, Chicago’s Little Village Academy only allows its students to eat the lunches provided by the school cafeteria. Exceptions are made for students who have food allergies. How benevolent!

Students who attend Chicago’s Little Village Academy public school get nothing but nutritional tough love during their lunch period each day. The students can either eat the cafeteria food–or go hungry. Only students with allergies are allowed to bring a homemade lunch to school, the Chicago Tribune reports.

“Nutrition wise, it is better for the children to eat at the school,” principal Elsa Carmona told the paper of the years-old policy. “It’s about … the excellent quality food that they are able to serve (in the lunchroom). It’s milk versus a Coke.”

Yes, because public school lunchrooms are known for the superior nutrition and excellent quality of food that they serve. Greasy pizza, chik’n nuggets, and fries with tomato catsup are widely recognized by those in the know as healthy fare:

But Susan Levin, Director of Nutrition Education for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PRCM), also based out of DC, says there’s an even bigger problem than the a la carte line: the food pyramid that school lunch programs follow. Levin says the pyramid, which was created by the USDA, is flawed because it favors the interests of agricultural industry. Specifically, she says, the allowances for fat are too high.

“And eighty percent of schools do not meet the USDA standards for fat composition,” Levin says. She explains that in addition to reimbursing schools for a portion of their lunches, the USDA gives the schools overproduced meat and dairy products for free–products that are fat and sugar laden. “The USDA is paying industry–huge corporations–for their overproduced goods,” she says.

As usual, just follow the money. Now, the USDA is spending the money on 7 million pounds of pink slime,officially termed “lean beef trimmings”, to be served as part of school lunches. For those unfamiliar with what pink slime, or “lean beef trimmings” consists of:

“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.”

What McDonald’s, Burger King, and Taco Bell have deemed unfit to serve has been embraced by the nutrition experts of the USDA as fit to serve to kids.

This is superior to a a homemade lunch?

Posted in: Education