What they got: Hamburger on a bun with veggie pasta, salad, steamed carrots and an apple.
Good news; today we received an additional vegetable, namely the steamed carrots! Honestly, I'm not a fan of just steamed carrots, I think they are much more flavorful and nutritious when served raw, plus I think kids are more apt to eat them when they are crunchy and fresh. That said, I welcome and appreciate the addition. The fact of the matter is that at least someone is listening and is trying to offer the kids a much more wholesome and well-balanced meal. What does throw the balance off though is the white bread AND white pasta, both of which lack any sort of whole grain or whole wheat as stated in the menu. Also, it all seems like a lot of food for a 3/4/5 year old, don't you think?
OK, let's talk about the hamburger patty which scares me the most. It's commodity beef from the USDA which I have to say, I do not trust! Just yesterday, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who is fast becoming a leading food safety advocate in the Senate, sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack urging the agency to include six additional strands of E.Coli as hazardous adulterants that need to be tested by the USDA. The fact is that the food coming into our kitchens and cafeterias are not properly tested and E.Coli breakouts are still occurring and people are still dying. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 76 million foodborne illness cases occur in the United States every year. This amounts to one in four Americans becoming ill after eating foods contaminated with such pathogens as E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Hepatitis A, Campylobacter, Shigella, Norovirus, and Listeria. It estimates that there are 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths related to foodborne diseases each year! WOW!
This is what Senator Gillibrand had to say:
“In America, in 2010, it is unconscionable that food is still going straight to our kitchens, school cafeterias and restaurants without being properly tested to ensure its safety,”.... “It’s spreading too many diseases and costing too many lives. The laws that are meant to keep us safe from hazardous foods are in critical need of updating. We need immediate action to keep our families safe.”Senator Gillibrand's letter follows another recall on Friday April 21st. The USDA recalled 135,500 pounds of beef trim products! Seriously, this puts me off any and all beef products. Sounds extreme? Maybe, but you know what, I'll survive without eating beef, question is, will you?
Onto some great news: tomorrow I will feature a guest blogger mom who will be reporting on the school lunch served at her child's pre-school here in our district. Can't wait to see how other schools are doing it in Hoboken!
Also, we have finally opened up the dialogue with the school district and they have stated that they hope to have a working and functioning Wellness Committee in place within the next school year! Yeah! Let's get to work!