Just saying the word “cafeteria” or “school lunch” can bring up a bad memory for most people. TV shows are notorious for depicting an old lunch lady, slopping a large heap of mush onto the plates of children, and it’s funny because in many cases it rings true. Not many kids look forward to the eating portion of lunch. But some students have more to dread than others.
America falls low on the totem pole when it comes having healthy, visually appealing or delicious school lunches. It fails in comparison to some other countries, who boast vegetables that haven’t lived in a can for months and that more closely resembles (or actually is) a well-cooked balanced meal. The USA is known for lunches that include items like chicken nuggets, canned green beans, and if you’re really unlucky, mystery meat.
But where does one draw the line when it comes to a truly bad lunch? Is it when the meat is unable to be identified? A student from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania decided the line should be drawn when their burger looked completely raw!
After waiting all day to attend the last school lunch of the day, this middle schooler received a circular mound, scattered with rectangle indents and sported a mix of pink, splattered with grey colors. If it wasn’t placed on a bun, I don’t think anyone would have assumed it to be an edible burger patty. At best, it looks completely undercooked. The student showed the picture to their mother, who posted the photo to Facebook. Comments from users called for action, one user stating that “They wouldn’t eat no shit looking like that so why would they give it to the kids…”
In a statement released by Southwest Foodservice Excellence (SFE), the food distributor for the school responded by saying that the burgers they send to the school are delivered already cooked.
A rep for Tyson, the manufacturer of the meat, stated that “Sometimes fully-cooked meat can revert back to a pinkish color if it’s placed for an extended period of time in a high temperature/low oxygen container for the appliance, such as a steam pan or holding oven.”
Is it just me, or is this an unpleasant way of talking about the food they’re feeding to children?
An 8th-grade girl who attends the school did an interview with Fox News where she says that the food always looks like that. Although there are sometimes different options to choose from, by the time she arrives for the last lunch of the day (a decision she has no control over), the other options are gone, and this burger mystery meat is all that’s left.
The companies say that the burgers are entirely safe to eat, despite their appearance. But does entirely safe mean healthy or good for you? This is the nourishment that families are paying for, to help their kids do their best while in a learning environment. Are there better options than this? Do you think parents would fight back if they could see what it is that their kids are eating every day?
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