Day 10: ‘Salisbury steak’

Today’s menu: “Salisbury” steak, bread, corn, milk, pineapple chunks

Not the best, but I ate the meat. It’s called hunger. The bread was soft and fresh. The corn was what I expected… And the pineapple chucks were frozen and I couldn’t force them down.

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14 thoughts on “Day 10: ‘Salisbury steak’

  1. If you've been following the news lately, you know that the "Salisbury" steak you had for lunch is downright dangerous.
    Between all the ground beef recalls and the questionable ammonia laden additives, this food is risky business. I shudder to think of kids eating this.

    You might want to think of getting a baseline health assessment to further document the impact of eating this food.

    Once again, kudos to you. You're a true American hero. I hope the concerned parents and health professionals out here in cyberspace spread the word so that your words and photos travel far and wide.

  2. It is unfortunate that you have not made the point (unless I missed it) that NOT all school lunches are this way. Yes, there are companies who provide the meals you are sampling (and they have a variety of options) but many kitchens are switching to scratch cooking and using Commodity foods as best they can. While the system is unfortunately heavily Commodity based, many districts are doing the best they can to produce healthy, TASTY options in an effort to increase participation. The greater the participation, the more self-sustaining the food services department can be. Note that I did not say profitable. If a department is self-sustaining, supporting its current employees and sometimes retirees' pensions, then funds to support it will not have to be leeched from supplies and staff essential to educating our students.

    My guess is that all schools would welcome parents and caregivers to join their children, if possible, for breakfast or lunch. Even if this is for one day out of the school year, then they will have a better understanding.

    The essence of what you are doing is noted and hopefully accurate in your school, but it is not the only side of the school lunch story.

  3. Definitely get a baseline check from your doctor before continuing so you can chart the difference in health month by month. Also, do you have access to the nutrition information for this food? I would love to see some of the fat and sugar content of these lunches.

  4. Wow- your project is getting some attention!! Did you know it would strike a nerve like this??

    I'll say, I don't know that it is necessary to have a disclaimer that not all school lunches are like this. Hopefully, that is fairly clear. I'm aware that many schools are making huge strides in providing healthier lunch options. I think it is great that you are sharing what is happening in your one school. Thanks for doing what you're doing!

  5. Wow! I just came across your project.

    First of all, I am astounded by the amount of packaing in these lunches. It's actually making me really angry right now. What a needless waste!

    Secondly, I can't believe kids are eating this crap. I never had a school lunch program (although I was aware that there were fries and burgers available in the caf) at my school. Are you a primary or secondary school? I know that some programs may be changing, but this is crazy! It's not the fault of the kitchen workers – they are just doing their job on a tight budget, but SOMEONE has to take some responsibility here! I have a friend who cooks for an alternative (ie kids who have been expelled from the regular program) school, and she cooks everything from scratch. I don't know if those kids know how lucky they are. . . .

    I'll be following you with interest!

  6. I wish you much success with this initiative. I remember how poor the lunches were when I attended public school as a child, so it's sad to see they've only gotten worse.

    That said, I would be interested to hear how much High Fructose Corn Syrup is in the meals today. As we've learned, HFCS can cause significant highs and crashes for kids, leading to restlessness and inability to learn properly after eating.

    In addition, if you could post the nutritional information when available, that would help as well.

    Fats (saturated, unsaturated, trans), Sodium, Fiber, Vitamins, Calories, etc.

    Again, great blog. I've got it in my RSS list now. :+)


    Malik Graves-Pryor

  7. I'm amazed at all the packaging waste. There's a ton of trash on that tray that I bet is supposedly recycled. (Do you know if they are?)

    I remember school lunches that actually looked like a meal, served on actual plates that you ate with metal utensils, and not like this which looks like you just sat down at a food court in the mall.

  8. Wow – I've never seen a school lunch that looks like THAT! Yikes. Our middle school school has a vegetarian option every day, a meat main, or a sandwich. It isn't upscale or anything, but at least it doesn't look like something that came out of a vending machine! Poor kids (and you…)

  9. "Salisbury steak" was my favorite school lunch at elementary school in the early '90's. The sauce on ours was creamier than this one, but the fake grill marks are the same. When they served mashed potatoes (instant, of course) as the side, I was in heaven.

    Now I am a vegetarian who cooks whole foods from scratch for almost every meal (or takes in leftovers for lunch), but this meal makes me feel all nostalgic and squishy inside.

  10. Why doesn't it looks like your school cooks anything. It looks like everything is in microwavable dishes. I graduated high school in 2006, and the food was equally disgusting BUT I think they actually heated up everything out of one big box and separated it onto our trays.

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