AlterNet: Why Is Crappy Fast Food Safer Than School Lunches?
Why Is Crappy Fast Food Safer Than School Lunches?
Posted by Tara Lohan at 7:20 AM on December 28, 2009.
Thanks to the USDA, at school our kids are eating the equivalent of pet food.
A study by USA Today found that the U.S. government's school lunch program, via the USDA, handed schools millions of pounds of beef and chicken that wouldn't even clear the standards of of fast food restaurants like Jack in the Box and KFC.
The quality of meat in fast food restaurants has always frightened me, but not as much as reading this:
McDonald's, Burger King and Costco, for instance, are far more rigorous in checking for bacteria and dangerous pathogens. They test the ground beef they buy five to 10 times more often than the USDA tests beef made for schools during a typical production day.
And the limits Jack in the Box and other big retailers set for certain bacteria in their burgers are up to 10 times more stringent than what the USDA sets for school beef.
For chicken, the USDA has supplied schools with thousands of tons of meat from old birds that might otherwise go to compost or pet food. Called "spent hens" because they're past their egg-laying prime, the chickens don't pass muster with Colonel Sanders-- KFC won't buy them -- and they don't pass the soup test, either. The Campbell Soup Company says it stopped using them a decade ago based on "quality considerations."
So, our kids are eating food that's about the equivalent of pet food. And a whole lot of kids. The article notes that 31 million students a day eat this meat and "President Obama noted earlier this year that, for many children, school lunches are 'their most nutritious meal -- sometimes their only meal -- of the day,'" which is also frightening.
And it gets worse.
"Each year the USDA purchases more than $1 billion in cheap commodities as part of the federal contribution to the school lunch program," wrote David Murphy for Civil Eats. "Regretfully, the USDA is driven by two factors: get the food for the lowest price and prop up prices for commodities that are in oversupply or are unattractive to business purchases. Not quality. In 2009 alone, the USDA purchased more than $151 million of commodity pork to prop up failing industrial pork producers."
Our children shouldn't be a dumping bin for food waste and a prop for failing agribusiness.
27. I think you'll find that there is some truth in what is being repeated
here for you: ----- "However, due to inspections (or lack thereof) or quality (or lack) of the products being used in some of the schools it is safer to prepare and carry from home if possible.
As to fast foods, it is cheaper to prepare and carry from home when possible.
For some, this option is not possible. For others, it is cheaper and safer." -----
For those who have the means to do so, it is cheaper to prepare foods at home than to purchace fast foods. For those who have the means to do so, it is often safer to prepare foods at home than to rely on catch as catch can inspections.
Please note, before you hop on the word 'means', it is used here not as financial means but rather the capability to do so.
Decaf can be your friend - try it Look around you, the rest of the world is not your enemy, they are not all out to get you.
irradiate the meat. problem solved. good enough for France, good enough for us.
as for the taste of the food, i noticed a real downturn around 1990 in my area. not sure what happened then, but the food went from actually pretty good to straight up suck. started bringing my own lunch after that.
21. There's a reason people prefer high-fat foods.
They taste better. But when schools become the "cause" of everything from world poverty to high cholesterol, we always bear the brunt of every harsh pronouncement some school board member in Poughkeepsie can come up with.
30. yeah, i've heard the anti-irradiation talking points already.
myself, i'd like a clearly marked irradiated alternative so i can kiss the risk of food poisoning goodbye. i don't enjoy vomiting myself silly because other people are afraid of irradiation the way people used to whine about pasteurization and other sane safety measures.
others can feel free to eat as much "whole" "natural" raw hamburger and raw eggs as they want. i won't stop you. just give me an irradiated choice.
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