Phew - no pink slime in Portland school lunches

Well, that's a relief. Portland Public Schools **don't serve pink slime**! (I wrote about some of the good things they do serve in this piece last year.)

Here's this, from a district release (via the "Seth and the City" BDN blog):

Unlike most other school districts in the country, Portland does not purchase ground beef from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) School Commodities Market. All USDA food dollars are received in cash that can be spent with any vendor rather than being locked into commodities foods.

Portland is one of only 30 school districts in the country to have this distinction. That enables the school system to purchase more food from local companies. It also gives the district more flexibility to access the best products at the best prices. 

Chellie Pingree came out last week, guns blazing against pink slime, so to speak.

"There is only one word for this product: gross,” Pingree said in a statement. “It’s a highly processed substance that is made from beef scraps, spun in a centrifuge and treated with ammonia. McDonald’s and Burger King won’t serve it in their restaurants and it doesn’t belong in school cafeterias either.”

In a letter she sent to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, criticizing the Ag Department's recent purchase of seven million pounds of the substance, Pingree wrote: “It’s wrong to feed children a slurry that was formerly only used for dog food. I hope you will do everything in your power to eliminate it from school lunch programs around the country."

At least we don't have to worry about it in Portland...

For more about scary school lunches, check out the trailer for "Lunch Hour" - a new documentary about childhood obesity and the federal school nutrition progam: 


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