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Lunch Lady Blues

Image Credit: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/

I strive to not get too political on my blog, but sometimes, enough is enough!

Today alone, I came across two articles depicting the state of things in school cafeterias (American). I honestly would not serve my dog these meals, yet they are being served to human children on a daily basis. Why???

Catch of the day? More like catch the disease of the day.

This photo came from a Portsmouth, VA school district lunch.

Here’s a quote from Food Service Coordinator Jim Gehlhoff:

“We appreciate this parent’s concern about the presentation of this school lunch. Poor lighting and food presentation make this lunch unappealing. Other lunch options on the day this photo was taken included a chef’s salad and turkey sub sandwiches. The meal in this photo and other meals served by Portsmouth Public Schools meet nutritional and USDA requirements. The presentation of the meal pictured concerns us and we plan to address presentation of food items in a training session with all cafeteria managers. Our goal is to provide healthy food options that students will want to eat. We will take actions to ensure that presentation is addressed.”

Yeah, let’s make sure food presentation is addressed before that carriage turns back in to a pumpkin, and that carnage you call “food” turns back into a barf bag.

It is no secret that the USDA passes off non-food and sub-par food as FOOD. Did ya’ll know pizza is a vegetable? Google for yourselves but a little bit of lobbying, magically got pizza listed as a vegetable on school lunch programs, due to the tomato paste. Isn’t a Tomato technically a fruit anyway?

Here’s another doozy:

School serves meat from 2009, used gravy to mask smell

Pork

That’s disgusting. You’ve been busted. Just admit it.

Or you can just make excuses like these guys…

“School officials for a Tennessee county school district said they are trying to figure out why meat that was frozen more than five years ago was served to students at multiple schools.

A pork roast was served at schools in Hawkins County on April 22, even though it was frozen in 2009, a county official said.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as long as the meat remained entirely frozen it can be safe to eat indefinitely.

“Food stored constantly at 0 °F will always be safe,” the USDA reports on their website. “Only the quality suffers with lengthy freezer storage. Freezing keeps food safe by slowing the movement of molecules, causing microbes to enter a dormant stage.”

For quality and taste reasons pork roasts should be thawed and eaten within four to 12 months, according to the USDA.

I just wonder what the hell else was in that freezer.

Somehow the food debate has turned political and I just don’t get it. A few years back, Jamie Oliver launched the “Food Revolution” tv show with the goal of trying to bring real food to school lunch programs. I was shocked when he was met with obstinate parents saying “he’s not gonna tell us what we should feed our kids”. Don’t these parents realize the USDA has been doing that for decades? They are making money (big money) off of steroid pumped chickens and genetically modified produce. Our food is the stuff of sci fi people!

Eat what you want. I’m no stranger to pizza and potato chips. I just don’t want to be lied to about what I’m putting in my body.

Food should not be a political debate. I am not conservative but I come from a very long line of conservative farmers.

Independent farms are a dying breed but that doesn’t have to be the case. Most farmers would love the chance to co-op their harvest and sell to the local schools in their area. They just can’t compete with the giant corporate contracts. They need our help and helping them, helps us.

Parents pay good money for school lunch programs, so they should be able to decide what’s served. The lie is, that buying from local farms is much more expensive. If you don’t believe me, just head out to your local farmers market and compare the prices with the grocery store. There’s no middle man and without additives, the local farmers know their crop is only as good as the day is long.

Wanting to get back to real food  doesn’t make me a leftist tree-hugging hippy. In my opinion, it makes me a patriot. I want to purchase pork from Paul down the road, try tomatoes from Tommy and buy berries from Bonnie.

It’s really a no-brainer for me.

We are what we eat.

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7 thoughts on “Lunch Lady Blues

  1. Yes, used to watch the Jamie Oliver shows as well, and was shocked at the kind of resistance he faced. And by the way, patriot, hippie, whatever, we all just want good food in our children’s stomachs! I’m glad I send my kids with lunch. And by the way, full priced lunch in L.A. is $2 + per kid. $10 a week really adds up! I hope they’re not feeding them this crap for that price!

    • I was afraid of coming off as preachy, so I’m relieved you didn’t read it that way. It just astonishes me that there’s any resistance at all from parents. I guess it’s just easier to turn a blind eye than demand change. Good for you for packing your kids lunches yourself. You really are a rock and roll super mom!!

      On Sun, May 3, 2015 at 9:54 AM, kimboxin wrote:

      >

  2. Annnnd, this is why I pack my kids lunches! Bryn says the school lunches are disgusting and the only time she’s tempted to buy lunch is when they serve breakfast for lunch. She love pancakes! 🙂

  3. Wow Kim! Do the people preparing that food have kids on the schools were that food is served? It’s really hard to believe that old meat could be served for kids. Nobody saw it and disagreed and decided to stop it in the process??
    I wish I could see the kind of food is being served here. I only know that at the university campus where I used to live, all the dishes had the same taste (dehydrated soup, those powders that you mix with water). They switched between mushrooms, leek and tomatoes… So sad!!

  4. It’s just apathy. I’m sure someone thought they should say something but nobody else was speaking up. so they just let it happen. The food system in America is pretty broken.

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