Seven states are ordering Pink Slime (tm) for school lunches. This is important stuff, folks, because the school market? Is a captive market. Sure, I can pack lunches for my children. But I'm not poor. My kids aren't relying on the school as a source of nutrition and health.
We can debate all day about how wrong it is for families to rely on schools to feed their kids, and you'd be right if you said parents should feed their own kids. But the fact of the matter is that these are the very people who are least able to fight this sort of thing from being foisted on their children. The way the "system" is set up, poor people are less likely to be able to get away from public school. There simply isn't enough money to feed them well on food stamps, and the school lunches are an incentive for them to show up each day.
This is all sorts of wrong, people. And yes, I know that at $2/lunch you're not going to get organic foo-foo ingredients. I'm ok with the greasy pizza and the fries. That's a normal American diet and frankly? I would want the lunches I'm helping to pay for actually be eaten. It doesn't have to be the finest cuts of meat, but Pink Slime (tm)? Is a step too far.
A brief description of what this stuff really is from a recent news article:
Considered by the beef industry to be an impressive innovation, lean finely textured beef is made from the remnant scraps of cattle carcasses that were once deemed too fatty to go into human food. The scraps are heated and centrifuged to reclaim bits of muscle and then the product is treated with ammonium hydroxide to kill bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli before being mixed into ground beef."