Parents have beef with school lunch standards

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Here’s a finding that made American parents queasy this week: Fast-food meat standards are apparently more stringent than those for school lunches.

Take chicken, for example. A USA Today investigation reported that the U.S. Department of Agriculture gave schools meat from old birds that make better food for pets or the compost heap. ‘Called ‘spent hens’ because they’re past their egg-laying prime,” the article reads, “the chickens don’t pass muster with Colonel Sanders— KFC won’t buy them.’


Parent bloggers are in an uproar. ‘Taco Day is a hit at our school, as is Breakfast for Lunch Day. But Spent Hen Day? I think we’ll pass,’ writes Bethany Sanders over at Strollerderby.

‘I’m sure anyone could tell you simply from looking at the meat they serve in schools that it is probably as far from nutritious as it gets. It’s been this way even since I was a kid, and it’s not only the meat that needs an overhaul,’ a commenter wrote over at Mother Nature Network.

This doesn’t mean parents should be throwing Big Macs into their kids’ lunch boxes -- here’s a couple of helpful sites on packing quick, healthful and tasty meals.

-- Amina Khan