Depending upon when you attended school it's likely that what was served varied drastically and I know I actually have fond memories of some of the
meals that were served as they weren't that bad and I was a hungry growing boy. The changes that were made during the Bush years, IMHO, were horrible
as I think that is when we saw soda machines being placed in schools and possibly the removal of milk (or making it optional) as the standard drink.
I think they may have added fruit juices, either during Bush or Obama, but I've heard that Obama mandated that some of the milks (choc & strawberry)
had to be skim - yuck!
Well it seems that some of these regulations are being rolled back when it comes to flavored milk, as chocolate milk used to be the #1 selling drink
when it was 1% but was almost abandoned when it was changed to skim -along with strawberry. This led to a HUGE decline in the consumption of milk in
the country as many schools served it for breakfast and lunch. So if they go back to serving 1% I wonder if people will go back to these milks as I
think it woudl be healthier than whatever else was being consumed and it would be a great help to the dairy farmers.
I know I would have been very upset with being served skim chocolate as I mistakenly bought that months ago and I almost had to spit it out. Since
school I've gotten used to whole milk in general and even 2% seems watery. One of my favorite drinks to this day is the brand of chocolate milk served
in my 13 years of school (K-12) and I still drive to a specific store to buy it even though my normal grocery store has about 8-10 different choices -
so there is something to say about developing a taste while we are young.
In the past there was the term "government cheese" which was an actual thing where the government would buy excess milk production (in the form of
cheese, often a form of cheddar) and it was served in the schools. We would get a long "slice that was about 3/4" x 3/4" x 4" of orange cheese with
various meals and it wasn't the best, but it was alright with certain things. I think they actually gave this stuff out with food stamps back in the
day and maybe to food banks. It looks similar to Velveeta but isn't synthetic/processed IIRC. I think they may have stopped this program during
Obama, again hurting dairy farmers (which is why they have been the news so much the last 2-3 years) both serving in schools and giving to food banks.
I think this was due to concern of high calories and salt content, and from what I read, it was replaced with processed cheese (made form veggie oils
and SALT!), which again is ridiculous. I think this might be making a come back.
Finally there is the issue of the types of meat that is served. I still remember the burgers that were standard in schools and they always had a odd
texture but I thought it was b/c of how it was cooked (steamed). About a decade ago many of us were introduced to "pink slime", which was what they
called some of this meat byproduct from processing beef. This is stuff like the meat that was in between the saw blade teeth when it was cut or other
trimmings, so it wasn't really "bad" meat, it just doesn't have a nice texture as it is MUCH more "ground" than ground beef, it is more of a mush -
and then I realized that I think this is what was served in the schools, because the texture was very similar to something like this - as I always
thought that it was mixed with soy or some filler, as the texture was just not normal.
I think the schools should have to list exactly what they are serving, not just "hamburgers" but what exactly the meat is and the same for the hot
dogs (which were terrible at my school!). I also remember some of the sandwiches (ham, turkey, "roast beef"), being very different than anything I've
ever seen anywhere else, which I find very interesting as I wonder if these products are made specifically for the schools, and if so, how do we find
out exactly what they are made of. For ham, is it a meat by-product as well using a "meat glue" (a cellular binding enzyme - it's natural and used in
surgery to bond flesh or to bind cuts like superglue) to create the size/shape of the "ham"? This was another thing that had a very strange texture
which I've never come across again, thankfully.
Finally, I think it should be public record how much profit is made from providing the food for school lunches b/c if the quality and/or quantity
drops but profits increase, we can see who is really getting the s$hit end of the stick. I don't think we need to make a huge profit off of feeding
our kids at school, especially when much of the meals are paid for or subsidized by the tax payers, and those paying full price are paying a decent
amount for what is often sub-par food. I know I could have cooked MUCH better food at home for the same price I was paying at school, or I could have
had maybe 2x as much of the same quality food for the same price.
School lunches might not be the most exciting topic but many of us forget how important lunch (and maybe breakfast) was when we were at school. The
hour before lunch with my stomach growling like I hadn't eaten in days. I'd be really upset if the choices were nasty, small or expensive because
some company needs to increase their profits or some politician wants to look good to some segment of the population. These kids can't vote for the
politicians or school board making the decisions and they are the ones who have to deal with it, so it would be best to not over-look things like this
b/c unhappy/hungre/hangry student's aren't going to be doing well in classes.
USDA school lunch link
Trump relaxes or rolls back some school lunch policies
edit on 1 17 2019 by DigginFoTroof because: (no reason given)