Day 80: meatloaf

Today’s menu: meatloaf, mystery greens, cornbread muffin, pineapple fruit cup, milk

Mystery greens are back! They weren’t as bitter this time: I didn’t have to spit them out. But I still couldn’t finish more than a couple bites. Yuck.

The meatloaf looks weird, no? It’s yellowish in color. It tasted like a salty commercial hamburger patty. It sounds disgusting, but I sopped up the watery gravy with the cornbread muffin. I felt sick about an hour and a half after eating lunch. I thought I was going to throw up. But thankfully it passed and I went on with the day. No students complained so it must have been just me.

I asked a student, “What did we eat for lunch?”
He replied, “Chicken.”

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42 Responses to Day 80: meatloaf

  1. scrappingadvocate May 17, 2010 at 11:14 pm #

    OMG….you are a better woman than I! No way could I have choked that sliminess down. No wonder you felt sick afterwards! Your poor stomach was staging a revolt!

  2. renee May 17, 2010 at 11:21 pm #

    that looks SO disgusting! i don't know how you ate the so called meatloaf! and i wonder how many kids actually ate those mystery greens!!

    you are some kinda woman! thanks for all you do in hopes for making change!!

  3. Life's Sonata May 17, 2010 at 11:24 pm #

    Wow that looks disgusting. I can't believe the students don't know what they're eating!

  4. Barbara May 17, 2010 at 11:26 pm #

    Oh my….well I can assure you what you ate wasn't pure. Most likely lots of meat filler..ick. I think I'd ask for a tetanus shot before eating more of those lunches:)

    Thanks for taking another one for the team!


  5. Meghan May 17, 2010 at 11:30 pm #

    That looks disgusting. I think the worst I've seen so far. Sorry you felt sick.

  6. She woke up FAT May 17, 2010 at 11:34 pm #

    I can't even look at that.

  7. Ana May 17, 2010 at 11:34 pm #

    That meal looks absolutely disgusting. I'm so sorry!

  8. Viki May 17, 2010 at 11:34 pm #

    isn't that the joke…"tastes like chicken"

  9. Anonymous May 17, 2010 at 11:43 pm #

    nobody else will say it like this so i will: that crap is positively revolting. the people responsible for your district's food should be ashamed of themselves.

  10. Snaily.. May 17, 2010 at 11:53 pm #

    The fact that you ate that meal shows your true dedication to the cause. I felt ill looking at it.

  11. Blessed Rain May 17, 2010 at 11:58 pm #

    That looks insanely gross.
    I have tried to get a sample menu from my district and I am still trying for you.
    I however grew up in a very poor district. My Jr. high and High school both had large drop out rates so in an attempt to keep kids in school we had FOUR choices of meals each day. Salad, baked potato, pizza, mystery meal and once a week Nachos!
    See being in a poor neighborhood sometimes has its advantages we were a test study school – hope we passed it was great food!

    Granger district school system in Utah

  12. Claire May 18, 2010 at 12:17 am #

    And here I thought the lunches were starting to show some vague promise…

    Those greens look like they may at some point have been related to chard. Poor things. Also, just because you make a burger into a house-ish shape and put sauce on it, doesn't mean it suddenly becomes meatloaf. I kind of feel sick just looking at it.
    Here's hoping for you that the next one more closely resembled real food. Bring back the broccoli!

  13. Just a girl May 18, 2010 at 12:24 am #

    I'm not so sure on the meatloaf, it looks questionable but the greens look completely gross. Do they really expect kids to eat that? I'm twenty-four and wouldn't eat that if you made me.

  14. Anonymous May 18, 2010 at 12:24 am #

    Really? Greens? Why would they serve greens to kids? They might as well have just thrown some liver and onions on the tray along with, although I imagine the meatloaf was bad enough. When I was in elementary school 30 years ago(GASP!), liver and onions was actually served from time to time. The "lunchbox table" was always overflowing on those days!

  15. Tina May 18, 2010 at 12:33 am #

    those greens look like collards, which can be challenging to prepare properly – and I wouldn't bother trying to get a kid to eat them. What are they thinking???

  16. Anonymous May 18, 2010 at 12:58 am #

    Yucky yuck yuck!

  17. Nena May 18, 2010 at 1:13 am #

    those are definitely collard greens…just poorly cooked 🙁

  18. KitchenGirl May 18, 2010 at 1:30 am #

    Those look like collard greens, which are bitter. You need a lot of salt & pepper, and preferably bacon fat to cook it in.

  19. Free to be me: Danielle May 18, 2010 at 1:45 am #

    Seriously… I feel sick just looking at the photos. Disgusting.

  20. Czeshia May 18, 2010 at 1:52 am #

    worst meal ever!

  21. jbartlett May 18, 2010 at 1:54 am #

    As far as feeling sick goes: I'm a middle school health teacher, and when I was on lunch duty the other day one of the nurses came in to see what was for lunch….the main item was chicken rings, like chicken nuggets, but in ring form.

    She wasn't too happy, because whenever they are served, about 45-60 minutes after lunch ends she has students in and out complaining about stomach aches for the rest of the day!

    Hope you didn't feel too sick from the meatloaf!

  22. Manidipa May 18, 2010 at 1:59 am #

    It's a funny thing about the bitter greens…I believe it is purely about cultural conditioning, though of course as an evolutionary tactic we are wired to avoid bitterness. The reason I say aversion to cooked (as opposed to raw, hence likely toxic) bitter greens is cultural is because in many parts of India, where I am from, it is traditional to start your meal with a bite of bitters!
    It could be bitter gourd, or neem (Margosa) leaves, or other green stuff — and believe you me, collard is amazingly gentle stuff compared to any of these. BUT most children actually look forward to that first bite here, and adults wait impatiently for the season when new neem leaves start to sprout!
    If you grew up thinking of them as delicacy, you look forward to them. On the other hand, friends and even significant other from communities where the bitter first course is unheard of are quite as revolted as most of you. Even though we've grown up in the same towns and cities…so I do think it's cultural conditioning.

  23. Lisa R. Suriano May 18, 2010 at 2:02 am #

    Oh man, Mrs. Q! This one turned my stomach right through the computer screen. Eek!

    THIS is why kids are turned off to green vegetables! Any good chef will tell you "Presentation is everything" and "We eat with our eyes" What is being said by presenting veggies in this way? dull, bitter, unappetizing . . . what kind of lesson is that?

    Hope you are feeling better.

  24. Liz - Meal Makeover Mom May 18, 2010 at 2:13 am #

    IF the greens looked good and IF they tasted great and IF the school conducted taste tests w/ the kids, then I could see adding "greens" to the menu. Otherwise, I suspect most kids threw them away. Ah, another missed opportunity to encourage kids to eat more veggies.

  25. Anonymous May 18, 2010 at 2:27 am #

    Those are collard greens for sure! When cooked up with veggie stock, sauteed onions, garlic, diced tomatoes and Thai chili peppers, they are phenomenal. It's a favorite dish in my house!

  26. Stepshep May 18, 2010 at 2:27 am #

    As I see it:

    1. "Mystery greens are back!" FTW!

    2. "It's yellowish in color." WTF?

    3. "I thought I was going to throw up. But thankfully it passed and I went on with the day." I totally wanted details of pukage. Dislike.

    4. "He replied, "Chicken." Is no one teaching these kids the difference between meats? This is cow. Moo. This is pig. Oink. That is chicken. Cluck. etc. (repeat until they get it) Sad that he can't identify what the heck he's eating. Unless it was…¿¿¿CHICKEN MEATLOAF???…that would halfway explain the awful color in the least.

    That's it.

    ***You got designer shades

    just to hide your face and

    you wear them around like

    you're cooler than me.

    And you never say hey

    or remember my name.

    It's probably cuz you think you're cooler than me.***

    That is all.

  27. Lost Lindsey May 18, 2010 at 3:30 am #

    that is one of the grossest meals i have ever seen.

  28. erin May 18, 2010 at 4:05 am #

    that meatloaf is criminal. yikes.

  29. Anonymous May 18, 2010 at 5:11 am #

    I cannot even believe the kids thought that meal was edible. No wonder you felt sick!! nothing on the face of the earth could have made me eat that meal…

  30. Z. E. Accordino May 18, 2010 at 6:02 am #

    That looks nothing like my mother's meatloaf! Of course, neither does Boston Market's… but Boston Market is delicious. I would probably end up just eating half the greens and the corn muffin out of that mess.

    (Note to self: do not eat while reading this blog) 🙁

  31. Anonymous May 18, 2010 at 6:59 am #

    I agree with the general consensus. Mrs. Q, that is positively the worst-looking meal I've seen on this blog yet, and I have read every single post.

    Standing alone, the meatslab or greens or fruit cup would have looked gross, but edible. With their powers combined, they make a dangerously repulsive combination. 🙁

  32. Ann May 18, 2010 at 7:33 am #

    Your post reminded me of the movie "A Christmas Story." Remember when Randy pouts at the table mumbling "meat loaf, meat loaf, double beat loaf, I hate meat loaf," all while pushing the food on his plate around w/a fork. Loaves are for bread, stay away from the mystery meat!

  33. ForensicMama May 18, 2010 at 8:51 am #

    That looks awful! And greens? More like browns. How sad that the kids at this school eat like this. 🙁 And probably much of the country as well. I was one of the kids you wrote about who depended on school lunches as a main source of nutrition growing up. Thankfully it didn't look this awful – glorified microwave meals. Yuck! But there was room for improvement, that's for sure.

  34. Mona May 18, 2010 at 11:24 am #

    Tried to email you a menu at and it was returned to me. Can you please give me correct email address?

  35. Mrs. Q May 18, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    Hi! It's actually Please try again!

  36. Anonymous May 18, 2010 at 12:26 pm #

    That looks disgusting. Meatloaf is actually one of my favorite comfort foods and since my husband is from the deep South, I've eaten my share of greens over the last 15 years. I think I would have had to pass on that one. Gross!

  37. Craig D May 18, 2010 at 5:32 pm #

    Wow!! That is truely horrible!! The junk we feed these kids is crazy…and the more I look into it, the worse it seems. I just finished watching "Food Inc" and "King Corn"…check em out…they are pretty eye opening!!
    And this article talks about similar stuff as this blog… …a quick and easy read.

  38. wilde_hare May 18, 2010 at 7:59 pm #

    Your lunch took a sudden downturn! This one is looking pretty bad I must admit.

  39. Dee May 18, 2010 at 10:51 pm #

    What a waste of money. There isn't a child or young adult alive that would see that and say Yum! The parents should be upset that they paid for that meal, and as for serving that meal to the chilren that qualify for a free lunch, they should be ashamed of themselves. I feel for you!!

  40. Student:SC May 19, 2010 at 12:25 am #

    Oh, don't you love what us students eat everyday. Though, I guess I can't say us due to the fact I pack my lunch…

    Also, I think the "mystery greens" are collard greens.

  41. Megan V May 19, 2010 at 3:30 am #

    That "meat loaf" lookes suspiciously like the Fancy Feast I give my cat as a treat. A squishy brown meaty substance with a little gel-like "gravy". SHE loves it, but then again… she licks her own butt.

  42. Amanda May 19, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

    So… they feed kids pizza and hot dogs at least once a week because that's "kid's food" that kids like, but then they throw out some bitter, mushy collard greens and expect kids to eat that?

    Ok guys, quit lying and admit that you don't care at all if the kids like it OR if it's nutritious, and you're just serving whatever's cheapest and easiest.

    (And I LIKE collard greens, but I admit they are an aquired taste.)

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