Pink Slime for Lunch
March 8, 2012
I don’t care what you eat for lunch. It’s a free country.
But, I do care what kids eat. Especially when I’m buying and it's pink slime.
According to The Daily, the USDA is spending my tax-dollars to feed children pink slime. And by pink slime I mean fatty trimmings, connective tissues, ammonia, salmonella, and E.coli.
The Renegade Lunch Lady, Chef Ann, is incredulous, “Children are the most precious commodity we have in the world; we should assure that they get healthy delicious food every day in school. We certainly shouldn’t be feeding this stuff to kids.”
The argument from the USDA is that the pink slime is $.03 cheaper per pound than ground beef.
Mrs. Q, Sarah Wu, author of Fed Up With Lunch argues that we should be spending more money on school lunches, saying it's, “ . . . pitiful money we spend on school lunches. Let's be honest, no USDA buyer feels good about having to purchase that stuff for kids to eat, but they are put in that position. Also, why should ammonia-treated meat even be allowed at all in the US?”
I’d rather have kids be vegetarian than eat pink slime. Wouldn't you? Gak!
“I don’t have any problem with kids eating beef," Chef Ann tells me on a phone call today, "but we need to be sure that any animal protein we feed our kids does not have this type of ammoniated meat in it.”
Amen to that, sista!
The Lunch Tray blogger, Bettina Elias Siegel, started a Change.org petition asking Agriculture Secretary Vilsack to stop using pink slime in school lunches. Go to Change.org to sign. I'm signing, are you?
Oh, and in case you needed more evidence of the health-food connection, the 2009 President’s Cancer Panel recommends that we eat more organic produce and meats. “. . . Exposure to antibiotics, growth hormones, and toxic runoff from livestock feed lots can be minimized by eating free-range meat raised without these medications.”
I doubt pink slime qualifies as free-range meat.
If we don't want to get cancer, we should not eat pink slime. If we don't want to get Type 2 Diabetes or become obese, we should not eat pink slime. (Did you know that Type 2 Diabetes and obesity healthcare costs are $5 million a week? Chef Ann told me and gasp! - that's a lot of money.) We should spend our money on good nutritious food for kids, and we'll save money down the road on healthcare.
But, hey, if you want to eat ammonia sanitized connected tissues and pieces of meat, go for it. You can suffer the health consequences. You’re an adult.
Can we just agree to NOT feed this to our children!?
Are you with me?
Are you outraged?
What will you do?
If you want to get involved in improving school lunches, go to these sites for ideas:
Melissa Taylor is a freelance writer, an award-winning educational blogger at ImaginationSoup, an award-winning teacher with a M.A. in Education, and a mom of two children, ages 6 and 9. Follow Taylor on Twitter or find her on Facebook.
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