Oh lord, you wonder how decisions about school lunches get made these days. It's like these people are just trying to be as disgusting as possible so parents will give up and just pack their child's lunch, leaving the school off the hook. At least, this is how I think the conversation went down in the meeting to decide how to make a normal hamburger into something completely freaky: "How does pink slime sound?" "Bad, let's do something else." "Okay, how about 26 additives in a normal burger?" "Brilliant!"
That's right, there are 26 ingredients in hamburgers that are being sold to schools by Don Lee Farms in California. And no, those 26 ingredients are not vegetables being pureed to make the hamburger more healthy. Here's the breakdown of how a normal burger compromised of meat turns into a frankenburger.
Now I kind of wonder if those 26 ingredients aren't so bad. Hmmmm ... no, wait. THEY ARE.
Processed food is messed with food. That extra sodium alone is unhealthy for kids. I see what the lady is saying by trying to add in nutrients for kids who don't get that kind of thing at home. But how about leaving the burger alone, and maybe adding a whole wheat bun and a salad?
Our bodies -- and especially our developing children's bodies -- are not designed to digest foreign chemicals in a healthy way. My kids enjoy a burger without me putting caramel color inside; let's just assume that most other kids would as well. And if they pass on the burger and eat something better for them instead? Well, that's totally awesome.
Whole foods will always trump processed foods in the healthy eating category. Let's see if that's a lesson our schools will learn anytime soon. Until then, my kids are totally brown bagging it.
Do your kids eat lunch at your school? Is it healthy?
Image via USDAgov/Flickr