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School Kids Reject ‘Real Beef,’ Demand Return of ‘Pink Slime’ Burgers

Welcome back, Meatwad.
Welcome back, Meatwad. Photo: aMichiganMom via Flickr

Advocates for healthy school lunch in Fairfax, Virginia, suffered an unexpected blow after the new-and-improved all-beef burger they had fought so hard for was booted in favor of a 26-ingredient hamburger, as per students’ demands. The advocacy group Real Food for Kids fought for the initial patty change after it had been revealed that the old burgers contained every lunch lady’s old friend, “lean finely textured beef” — among a slew of other unpronounceable, not-really-found-in-nature ingredients — but their victory was reversed when students, who had no interest in Real Food, complained that something just wasn’t right with these newfangled “real beef burgers.”

For starters, the students said the “improved” beef didn’t look or taste right. And they missed that old, pink aura glowing from the center of the patty, an optical illusion apparently facilitated by caramel coloring mixed into the meat.

Because young people always come first, or something, the school caved and brought in a hamburger reminiscent of the original, and it has only 26 ingredients, as opposed to the first burger’s 27! What’s more surprising is that the school’s food-and-nutrition director justified the reversal: “Students are our customers and we listen to them and implement their requests if possible.” No word yet on whether those same “customers” plan to reverse the school’s recent soda ban or if they’ll decorate the halls with bowls of free candy.

In Fairfax school cafeterias, burgers no longer all beef patties [WP]
Related: Very Low-Grade Beef: USDA Still Buying Pink ‘Slime’ for School Lunches
Related: Does the ‘26-Ingredient School-Lunch Burger’ Represent All That’s Evil?

School Kids Reject ‘Real Beef,’ Demand Return of ‘Pink