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Just in case you felt comfortable sitting back and letting your child’s school dole out a healthy lunch to your child, here are some words of advice – it’s NEVER good enough to trust (the majority of ) schools and the government to feed your child. As a parent, you have to be on top of what’s happening in schools, especially when it comes to the food being served. Case in point, there’s been a rash of stories this week about the comeback of pink slime in schools. However, pink slime (a deplorable mash-up of ammonia and ground beef) never officially left the menu in many schools, so this “comeback” isn’t necessarily a resurgence, it’s business as usual. According to Politico, “new government data shows schools in four more states have since put aside concerns and resumed buying the controversial product.” Bottom line: some school districts who did quit serving pink slime last year have put the disgusting food back on the menu due to budget cuts.

In case you missed the pink slime fiasco of 2012, here’s a recap:

In March 2012, a bunch of media outlets noted that pink slime meat was being fed to kids in schools. Technically, pink slime had been served for years, but it finally became headline news in 2012, prompting parents to sign petitions and make a scene. This worked, because many schools did pull pink slime meat off the menu. Many – not ALL. Last year, the USDA specifically decided to allow schools to opt out of pink slime meat, but that doesn’t mean all schools did opt out. Pink slime meat is cheaper than 100% ground beef, so some schools continued to dish it out.

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The fact that new government data shows that many schools have recently put aside pink slime concerns and have started re-serving it to kids, is proof positive that parents need to be hyper involved with school food, school issues and what’s going on in school cafeterias, to ensure kids are getting quality food, not pink slime. This is a great reminder that ONE successful petition does not actually end stuff like BPA in cans, chemicals in soap or by golly, pink slime in school lunches. Remember, we’re talking about a country run by a government who does not have your best interest in mind. We’re talking about a system where whiny kids, not adults mandate school menus. A system where it’s almost impossible to get soy or other alternative milk served to your child at school. Honestly, this system thinks it’s awesome to have Ronald McDonald show up at schools to teach kids about healthy eating and fitness. Really?

If you’re not willing to stay on top of school meal issues, the best thing to do is to send your child to school with a packed lunch. If you do want healthy foods served in schools, be aware, you can’t sign a single petition and be over it. Healthy kids and healthy school menus are an ongoing battle that takes plenty of work and won’t be ending anytime soon.

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