A month ago, Chicago Public Media station WBEZ filed a Freedom of Information Act request to get a list of what mysterious, foodlike things went into the Chicago Public School system’s top five lunch entrées. Earlier this week, the station got an answer of sorts.
Choosing the better-safe-than-sorry route — probably because it recalled Fairfax County Public Schools’ infamous 26-ingredient burger — the district was what you might call succinct in its response. A query for a full rundown of chicken-nugget ingredients returned the laconic phrase: “chicken nuggets.” Penne with marinara meat sauce is made with “penne, marinara, [and] beef crumbles,” apparently. And in the chicken-and-bean nachos, it turns out, are “chicken crumbles, tortilla chips, cheese sauce, [and] beans.”
The request stemmed from reporter Monica Eng’s discovery in 2011 that the district’s chicken sandwich comprised dozens of ingredients, many of which seemed better suited for chemistry class. Three years later, perhaps in anticipation of a new round of questions, the recipe has been simplified considerably, to “Chicken patty, bun.”