In spite of the fact that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has said that school lunches will now be healthier, they’re still purchasing nasty pink slime and feeding it to kids, at least according to The Daily. Pink slime meat, often called Lean Beef Trimmings (which sounds a whole lot better) is ground-up beef scraps, cow connective tissues and other icky beef trimmings, treated with ammonium hydroxide, then blended into delicious meat by-products such as burger patties, placed on a bun and served to kids. Keep in mind that ammonium hydroxide is a material used in bombs and cleaning products. Although rejected by fast food chains for years, and turned into a public health issue by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, the USDA deems it good enough for your kids. Note to self: send a packed lunch to school right!?

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According to The Daily, over the next few months, the USDA is planning on buying about 7 million pounds of Lean Beef Trimmings from Beef Products Inc. (BPI) specifically for the national school lunch program. It’s tough to be surprised, considering these are the same folks who deemed pizza a vegetable, but seriously, do you want your kid eating this stuff? Two microbiologists interviewed by The Daily, note that this gunk isn’t “ground beef” or even “meat.” As retired microbiologist Carl Custer tells The Daily:

We originally called it soylent pink. We looked at the product and we objected to it because it used connective tissues instead of muscle. It was simply not nutritionally equivalent [to real ground beef]. My main objection was that it was not meat.

Think this is a new cost saving development? Think again. Two years ago, a USA TODAY investigation revealed the same USDA purchasing decisions. School lunches were bad years ago and they’re still gross now. Until the USDA gets their act in gear, consider sending your child to school with a healthy packed lunch.

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Lead image by Flickr User USDAgov