Day 131: meatloaf and the moon

Today’s menu: meatloaf, bread (kids got two slices), fruit cup, potato wedges

Welcome to the far side of the moon, where for two days in a row the kids have eaten weirdly overly processed meat products splashed with a red sauce and then torched. I think it has to be similar to experiencing a day on the moon: one moment you’re freezing your ass off and the next you’re burnt to a crisp.

Yesterday one of my students went home and threw up after school. Then today the poor kid ate lunch (above) and went immediately to the bathroom and puked lunch up. The student ended up leaving school early because she/he continued feeling sick.

I felt nauseous yesterday after I ate that chicken, but it passed…. Things that make you go “Hmm.”

Hello, my name is HJ587M43 and
I’ll be your processed meat patty for the day!

So, hooray for potatoes with skin. I’m thrilled by that since I read that much of the nutrients are in the skin. I never knew that before a few weeks ago. I would consider potato wedges a whole food (over tater tots or fries).

I sucked that fruit cup dry
like a vampire on Halloween!


I’m guest posting on Eating Rules today! Check it out: Day 26: School Lunch. It’s a Q and A so maybe you’ll learn a little more about me – Andrew Wilder and I have even met in person.


My post tonight is insanely late because of the severe weather we are having in the area. I almost didn’t make it work today actually. A dear friend was stranded at the airport as she was on her way to a conference and only made it one leg of a two leg journey. It was wonderful to get some time with her and to go out to dinner (Japanese food!). I think she enjoyed dinner with a two-year-old! It’s always an adventure. Now I’m off to dreamland…maybe I’ll visit the moon tonight in my dreams…

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20 thoughts on “Day 131: meatloaf and the moon

  1. That looks disgusting and confirms my suspicions of meatloaf. I never ate it growing up and still won't eat beef/pork meatloaf. To me it looks like wet cat food.

    However, turkey meatloaf is a great and healthy alternative.

  2. There's no reason meatloaf can't be great food, Haily. It's unfair to look at a school lunch and decide meatloaf in general is disgusting. 🙂

    Mrs. Q, I'm curious how the potato wedges were prepared! Seasoned and baked? Not too oily? They really are a pleasant surprise here.

  3. I have to admit, that meatloaf looks disgusting. I actually grimaced, like it was in front of me. Yesterdays chicken parm was weird, but this is just gross.

    I found out yesterday that my school offers water bottles and Juicy Juice for an extra 75 cents if you don't want milk, and some kids actually do get them instead! What do you think about this?

  4. I have always thought that ALL the meat in your school lunches looked weirdly processed. It is a shame really, there are other options beyond ground shaped pressed and fried/ baked meat. Super gross. No wonder you guys get nauseous.

    On the potato wedges, I would also agree that they were closer to a whole food, but I am still a skeptic. I am with mhaithaca, how were they prepared?

  5. How about that kid that threw up shouldn't have been in school the next day? What happened to common sense? It's no wonder that germs get spread around so much…sure it could have been the food, but is it not possible you felt queasy because sick kid shared the bug with you? The school nurse specifies every year all the instances in which you should keep your kids home, begs parents to hear her, but yet people don't listen.

    I understand there may be reasons why people can't let their kids stay home with the sniffles, but if work was a concern, it probably was still a problem to leave early to pick up sick kid.

    Whatevs, the meatloaf/chicken parm were still nasty.

  6. The meat loaf looks as processed as the stuff we eat in our school district. Does your school receive the food and prepare it or is there a central nutrition center that delivers all of the food to the schools to be reheated?

  7. yuck! What is in that? On second thought, don't tell me.

    Home made meatloaf can actually be quite nutritious. Alton Brown has a good recipe that includes lots of veggies. I doubt the school's version had much nutrition in it though.

    At least you had a good dinner 🙂

  8. I've always had a hard time with meatloaf. Always. Even when mom made it. Now with fillers and soy and not knowing what is mixed in I would have a problem eating it anywhere. I rarely make it as only my husband really likes it.
    As I've said before, Organic potatoes are worth it and growing your own is quite easy.

    As for weather…I spent 45 minutes in a small boys bathroom with 20 children, 4 of them toddlers, 4 preschool teachers and 2 parents. Until the sirens quit blowing and the all clear was given yesterday. One teacher led the kids in singing silly songs in funny voices and I don't think any child in our small safe space was truely aware of the danger. I was so glad that one of the parents asked if she could hold one of the toddlers…my back and arms were killing me holding 2.

  9. That is soooo processed it's horrible!!!!!!!!! I am so glad my daughter takes her lunch with her after looking at your pictures, I am sure that our school in IN serves very similar lunches.

  10. Mrs Q ,
    Maybe you have addressed this before , but why do you not eat the fruit out of the cup? Why do you just drink the juice? Is it actually juice? Or are those the kind that are packed in syrup, in whicg case you are just drinking sugar water. Whereas , even with the ones packed in syrup , if you were to eat the fruit and leave the syrup , youd be getting "some" nutritional value.
    Also, the fruit peices are the things that carry the fiber and the nutrients .
    With all of this being about nutrition this action strikes me as odd….

  11. Amen that the kid shouldn't be at school for 24 hours after vomiting.

    But this also makes me wonder if anyone tracks this kind of thing. Like they do with vaccines. If someone threw up after eating at the same restaurant twice, it could be reported to the health dept. and they would come check it out.

    Since kids don't have the choice to go somewhere different, then I absolutely think that any illness severe enough to make a child go home for the day and vomit should be tracked. Maybe several kids in different schools served by this same company got sick yesterday. Shouldn't we be paying attention to that information???

  12. meatloaf and tomato sauce =/= creme brulee

    …just sayin'


    Seriously though, I bet if they rotated the food while it baked in the oven, those hot spots would be far less likely to happen. A similar effect used to plague my chocolate chip cookies, but since I began turning the trays 180 degrees halfway through cooking, baked food always comes out perfect.

  13. Your school's food seriously looks nasty. My kids go to a very small school where everything is made from scratch by a grandma. I always wonder if your food is soggy because it is served in the the paper trays covered by plastic? (Since the steam could cause sogginess)

  14. I have been doing a good deal of investigating and learning about the commodity food system and processing for schools. It is rather complicated and has developed into these awful "meat products" you are being served. I truly believe an interim solution to our school food problems would be tightly mandating how manufacturers are processing commodity meats. Ann Cooper has taken a very smart approach to this in the Boulder Valley School District. I feel that this model could be more broadly implemented to increase the amount of whole muscle meats being served at lunch.

  15. So sorry anyone had to eat that. It looks like it's just swimming in grease/fat. I wouldn't be able to stomach it, either!

  16. I'm with Kori above. Why not eat the fruit out of the cup? It definitely is better for you than the heavy syrup around it. Are you trying to make yourself sick at this point?

  17. Sad. Meatloaf is one of my favorite meals –my mom's recipe, although now I make it with ground bison. Grated apples keep moist, and even my 10 year old daughter loves it (she's not much into meat yet).

    I have had meatloaf out, though, at various restaurants, and it is usually not good. But not as bad as that thing in your picture.

  18. That looks horrible. Our school has the same five meals every week and thankfully that is not one of them. The fries looked okay but personally I'd rather have tator tots or any kind of fries other than the big wedges like that. Those have never appealed to me they seem overly starchy.

    Our school is facing a problem with the temperature. One side of the school is burning up and the other side is cold ranging from 54-57 degrees. The only option is that they turn off the chillers and then it is humid and there is water on the floor.

  19. I have a wheat allergy, so I am interested in your efforts to avoid gluten in school lunches. The chicken parm was probably breaded in wheat (chicken nuggets, too). Meatloaf can have a lot of fillers in it – bread crumbs and over processed soy proteins. I wonder if the breading and fillers are partially why you felt sick.

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