Already getting tired of packing school lunch for ungrateful whippersnappers? This will make you glad your kids are brown bagging it: pink slime is sneaking its way back into schools' lunch meat.
Remember pink slime? That disgusting mix of ammonia and ground beef that was really the ONLY thing anyone could talk about awhile back? Grocery stores, restaurants, and schools across the country responded to the mass hysteria by kicking lean finely textured beef to the curb ... but now it's baaaaaaack.
A new report shows at least seven states have put in orders to the USDA for about two million pounds of pink slimed beef for school districts to serve this year. That's more than double the number of states who were serving it up last school year.
This is the stuff fast food restaurants won't even buy anymore.
And they're feeding it to our growing kids!
And my kid isn't even attending school in one of the aforementioned seven states (which, since you're wondering, includes Illinois, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Texas, Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota)!
Here's the thing -- these states obviously KNOW parents are not happy with pink slime. And yet, they just waited until the rumpus died down, and they went back to their old ways. That bothers me almost more than the existence of pink slime in the first place (and that's saying something).
If they're willing to go behind our backs with pink slime, what ELSE are they sneaking into that Michelle Obama-backed "healthy" lunch? What aren't they willing to do to our kids for the sake of saving a buck?
Because that's the crux of it, isn't it? Pink slimed beef is cheaper. It's cheaper because it's crap, but still, it's cheaper. That's why schools -- which admittedly are always short on funds -- want to feed it to kids.
But when it comes to children, there are places you can afford to cut costs and there are places where you need to suck it up and pay through the nose. Food? That's one of them.
Let me put it this way: according to some studies, the nutritional needs of teenagers are higher than ANY OTHER AGE GROUP. They have large appetites, and their bodies are going through huge changes.
And we want to short kids like this?
I hate this feeling. I hate feeling like I can't trust my kid's school. But this is what we're left with. It's not knowing exactly what might be in that mystery meat on their tray in the cafeteria or packing them something to eat every morning -- even when they whine that "all the kids' moms let them buy."
I'll admit I've been tempted to give in in the past, but not anymore. This steels my resolve. She's only getting home-packed lunches. Period.
How about you? Does the pink slime news make you mistrust the school lunch? Do you think it matters?
Image via lizzardo/Flickr