The Hound's Tale
Cafeteria Food: To Eat, or Not To Eat?Tuesday, May 01, 2012 By Naomi Page
One of the experiences most students have gone through is that of eating the cafeteria food. As students, most of us complain about how much we may dislike one selection, but absolutely love another. However, while the tastes may not be up to some student’s high standards of quality, the school lunches are in accordance to the FDA’s standards of health. That means that while the students may think that the pizzas are too greasy or that the chicken sandwiches are not healthy, those in the Ocean Springs School District can sleep at night knowing that their lunches are indeed healthy. At some schools, however, health qualities are in question. One of the biggest issues a lot of school districts are facing is the “pink slime” issue. Pink Slime is ammonia treated filler meat, from the scraps of the packaged ground meat. (USAtoday.com) Otherwise known as “Lean Finely Textured Beef” or LFTB. The way the pink slime is made is that scraps of the fatty meat are heated up to remove most of the fat. Afterwards the meat is treated with ammonium hydroxide gas to kill bacteria, like E. coli and salmonella. The U.S Department of Agriculture announced a nation wide change declaring that the districts that receive their food through government school food programs are now able to say no to the pink slime and choose the filler-free meat as a replacement in the school lunches. This change will take full effect in fall of the upcoming school year. Several schools have already announced that they will indeed be taking part in this change and will be making the switch to the filler-free meat. Luckily for the students in the OSSD, they do not have to worry about “pink slime” in their school lunches. Gayle Schultz, head of the Department of Nutrition in our school district, informed The Hound’s Tale that our school district does not use pink slime, nor will it decide to use the ammonia-treated meat in the future. One of the major concerns about having the choice to switch the types of meat is the cost. School districts are unsure of the change of price in the meats, and if that means that the school will have to raise prices of school lunches. All of this is still in debate and will not be fully solved until more schools make the switch in the fall and find out for themselves. While the Ocean Springs School district may not use the pink slime, there is no reason to switch to the “healthier” meat. The school lunches are going up in price next year. Lunches will now be two dollars and fifty cents. However, our district is switching to whole grain breads, and providing healthier choices on the menu. For example, one of the ideas up in the air is that instead of only serving pizza once a week, it will be served everyday. Along with pizza, salad will be available as a choice everyday instead of a few days a week. So, while Ocean Springs may not have to switch to better meat, they are making a healthier switch in other areas of our school lunches.