Thursday, January 28, 2010

DC School Lunches

A Wash Times article here on Chartwell, which mostly dings them for lack of transparency on menus.  Ed Bruske comments and his post here completes the series.  Here's an excerpt:

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Agriculture continued to supply schools that qualified with free commodity products—truckloads of beef, poultry, cheese, potatoes. But schools found they could make better use of these commodities if they were shipped directly to large food processors. Now the schools trade those raw commodities for finished products that come with benefits: not only do the schools not have to pay for skilled labor to process raw foods, they face much less risk of diseases that sometimes accompany raw products. Liability issues transfer to the big processors, and what the schools receive is a finished, precooked, frozen meal item that only needs to be heated in an oven before it can be served to students. Furthermore, large processors can design on a grand scale foods that fulfill the nutritional requirements set forth by the federal government
He suggests that the rules should allow more fat and less sugar/carbs in school food. 

Personally, I don't have fond memories of the good old days when cafeteria food was cooked on site and USDA didn't support the process.  But then I mostly carried my lunch from home.  How, in today's world, you have nutritious, and appealing food that's also cheap, cheap, cheap, I'm not sure.

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