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No ‘Pink Slime’ In Public School Lunches

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For several weeks now, news reports have been filled with stories of ground beef that included processed beef that had been treated with ammonia. The product’s manufacturer calls it “lean, finely textured beef” (LFTB), but critics dubbed in “pink slime” because of how the meat looks at the end of the manufacturing process.

After an ABC News report on the additive in early March caused consumer outrage, many supermarkets pulled it from the ground beef they sell. In mid-March, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which supplies ingredients for the National School Lunch Program, said that school lunch programs would be able to buy beef with and without pink slime in the fall.

That left unanswered the question of which school lunch programs used the additive–including ours in Verona. But today’s “Friday Folder” from public schools Superintendent Steve Forte includes a letter from Verona’s vendor, Pomptonian Food Service. The letter, which you can read in full here, says that Verona’s cafeteria food was, and will continue to be, free of pink slime:

“Pomptonian contacted all of our beef suppliers to see if the products we purchase contain LFTB. Again, as it is not required to be on the label, we needed to contact each individual manufacturer and requested letters from them to assure us that this product was not used. We have successfully completed that and have found that the purchased products used in your schools did not, and will continue to not, contain LFTB (pink slime).

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citranohttps://myveronanj.com
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Forbes.com. Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected]

1 COMMENT

  1. I am a recently retired teacher. I worked with poverty, ADD and ADHD children, and with a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction I worked for an entire county in California teaching teachers how to perfect their work. Then I began to see daily lunches offered to one of my schools. Cereal – fruit loops/frosted flakes/captain crunch offering of chocolate or white milk. Sugar coated pop tarts are considered fruit to the state controllers. (And the cook says that the kids LIKE them.) Pancakes made with the syrup already soaked in. Even the offering of pizza is always pepperoni with no one controlling the amount of ranch dressing for dipping. Of all meals, the breakfast is not to be trusted. Watch out for cereal – even teachers assume this means on sugar sweetened. When the occasional Cheerios are offered without sugar…they are given two sugar packets to sweeten it. The cooks at most small school districts are not trained in gluten or even peanut free diets.

    I hope all of you will start looking at your children’s behavior about an hour after such high sugar breakfasts. Without a protein snack after that hour you will see a major drop in energy. Behavior of an ADHD student who is eating breakfast and lunch at school is at greater risk of poor behavior. The addition of Chocolate milk choice for both breakfast and lunch is great except for the high sugar content so drinking their milk could be the worst advice you can give.

    Parents teach respect for your body. Schools teach math. Let’s monitor the food choices and have each school creates a nutrition committee where parents can work with school personnel and make some positive changes. Stop in and look at your child’s cafeteria – are 5 year olds grabbing for salad and fixings on the salad bar with a sneeze bar that is a foot above their head? Look at those drinking fountains on spaghetti day! ewww those kids leave germs you wouldn’t believe. Are your kids given time to eat an apple at lunch or are they rushing out after a two-minute eating time.

    Now that I am out of the system, I will be showing people the areas that have disturbed me throughout the past 35 years. Parents unite to make changes in schools that are beyond teacher’s reach and well within your grasp.
    Thank you

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