Pink Slime Rejected by Fast Food Restaurants Is Being Served to School Kids

school lunchNeed some motivation to pack a healthy lunch for your children? I have two words for you: Pink slime. Remember the disgusting concoction of leftover meat trimmings and ammonia that was so vile even fast food establishments had to stop using it? Yeah, well since all that waste was going to waste, our nation's schools decided to scoop it up and serve it in cafeterias across the country.

According to a story in The Daily, the U.S. Department of Agriculture continues to buy the pink slime and is planning a big old 7 million-pound purchase of it to use over the next couple of months. And here I thought the goal was to make school lunches healthier.

It's beyond outrageous that they're trying to pass off this foul substance to our children. While officials claim it's "safe" as the ammonia kills off the E. coli and salmonella in the trimmings, the fact is we shouldn't be serving our kids something that's too low even for fast food companies. What kind of message is that sending about how much we value the health of our children?

And ammonia? Dear lord, let's just serve them up a glass of cleaning solution or fertilizer to wash down their pink slime burgers. Not to mention, there are plenty of concerns that even with the use of ammonia, E. coli and salmonella still happen, and these connective tissues used in pink slime are particularly high in risk for them.

So that's what we're dishing up to our kids -- a gross, dangerous, non-meat mess. As Carl Custer, an employee of the Food Safety Inspection Service for 35 years, told The Daily:

We originally called it soylent pink. We looked at the product and we objected to it because it used connective tissues instead of muscle. It was simply not nutritionally equivalent [to ground beef]. My main objection was that it was not meat.

PB&J is starting to sound all sorts of good right now. My son is in a private school, and they don't have an official hot lunch program. Previously this has been a nuisance for me as I grudgingly pack his lunch each day. After reading this news, however, I'll never complain again.

Are you surprised to learn this is being served in our nation's schools? Will this news make you pack your children's lunches instead of letting them eat in the cafeteria?

Image via USDAgov/Flickr

food, school lunch


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Felip... FelipesMom

Not surprised at all, but very very outraged. For many children, the lunch they get at school is the best meal they get all day. For far more children than you probably imagine, the lunch they get at school is the ONLY meal they get all day. We have a moral obligation to make it healthy. Heck, just making it FOOD would be an improvement.

bjh1970 bjh1970

Sure, pack your own lunch. Unless you live in a district that has "State officials responsible for monitoring homemade lunches..." like that poor kid in NC who had her turkey and cheese sandwich replaced with Chicken nuggets b/c some bureaucrat decided the lunch her mother packed wasn't healthy enough. WTF?? Why do we need state officials to monitor lunches? Does this not seem totally appaling to anyone else??? Yes, some parents send their kids to school with crap, but do we need to turn into a lunchrom police state because of it? How about they hire someone to monitor the garbage they serve in the cafeteria??? ugh...... <end rant>...

Cathy Marie Bown

I will be packing my children's lunches from now on. This is absolutely appalling. I spend hours each week carefully planning our menus at home so my children eat a well balanced healthy diet, and the schools will be completely undermining that entire experience by feeding them crap that isn't even food, and god only knows what it will do to their digestive systems. I think not. We need to make a stand that this is UNACCEPTABLE for our children!

Mary Deware

"What kind of message is that sending about how much we value the health of our children?"

well, since you "grudgingly" pack his lunch every day...apparently not much.

the4m... the4mutts

I snort in Mary's general direction. I grudgingly pack lunch every day as well. Its not FUN for crying out loud! I do it out of love for my kids, not because I friggin LIKE doing it.

Not everything we do for our kids sends us visions rainbows and fluffy clouds. I hate doing some things, like brushing my 4 yr old daughters hair, for her to then go wallow in blankets and mess it up.

And getting up at 5:30 to pack lunches, because if I don't, they'll be stuck eating cafeteria junk. Trust me, i'd rather be sleeping.

*sigh* the things we do for love.

Phoebe Williams

The school lunch and breakfast programs feed a lot of kids that wouldn't eat otherwise; however, the way in which the programs are implemented leave a lot to be desired.  All of the schools my kids have attended have had fresh fruit available as part of the lunch program, and some of them have involved the kids in growing vegetables.  I have no problem with the school offering my child additional lunch items, but I send my kids to school with a healthy lunch that I expect them to eat.  I remember as a child the things we used to call the hot lunches at school.  The tostada was called "the litter box".  Am I apalled?  No, I hate that word.  I'm certainly not surprised.

Rachel Schiller

And this is why I packed my kid's lunch (now that we homeschool it isn't a problem).

bjh1970 bjh1970

Sorry, I do think it's "appalling" that there is actually a state official who is  responsible for monitoring homemade lunches. See the press release issued by the school district here :

They are paying people to MONITOR HOMEMADE LUNCHES. For what? Bombs? This is best use of eduation dollars? I guess we have to save money somewhere, so we buy pink goop dressed up as "chicken", then spend the savings on people prying through our kids lunch boxes and confiscating anything not "approved". Yeah, that's pretty appalling.

Buffy... Buffymom9

How is this news to so many moms? We have known what it took to make a commercial, frozen chicken nugget for several years now. If more moms would pay attention the backlash might just be big enough to make a difference.

Silly... SillyJessi

One more reason I'm glad I'm homeschooling.

If the powers that be think that constitutes "food" then what comprises what they call "education"?

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