I realize now that my lunch box was just as cool as the trendy tin it tried to emulate. Yes, the alphabet embossing was embarrassing. The bright, unmistakeable, golden color was hideous. But, looking at this vestige of my youth, all I feel is a loving sentimentality.
We don't usually equate "summer vacation" and empty stomachs. Did you know child hunger and food insecurity often peak in the summer? An overwhelming majority of children who receive free meals at school aren't as lucky once school lets out.
Inciting grassroots involvement in food system issues is critical -- yet, until the pink slime debacle, consumer uprisings have mostly eluded the movement. Why did this issue create such a powerful consumer reaction?
New York City is dead last among 26 large urban areas in school breakfast participation, even though 74% of the city's public school students qualify for free or reduced-price meals. Enter the city Health Department, which wants to halt plans to serve more morning meals at school.
The USDA's announcement that school districts will be able to opt out of an ammonium-hydroxide treated ground beef filler known as both Lean Finely Textured Beef and "pink slime" is not exactly inspiring confidence.
Three fast food giants -- McDonald's, Burger King and Taco Bell -- have discontinued their use of "Pink Slime." But while fast food customers can vote with their dollars, students must passively consume whatever the federal government sees fit to feed them.