The school burger has gotten more than its share of the spotlight lately as parents set off a media firestorm in a rally to remove the controversial, ammonia-treated "lean finely textured beef," nicknamed "pink slime," from schools.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture responded, electing to scale back on a planned purchase of 7 million pounds of ground beef mixed with the processed beef filler. Schools now have the option to purchase either 95 percent lean beef patties made with the mixed product or fattier bulk ground beef without the controversial mix. But even as districts are rushing to assure parents that their school patties don't include the so-called "pink slime," heavily processed foods are still largely present in cafeterias, NPR reports.
Serving up a burger patty seems simple enough: A handful of ground beef, seasoned with salt, pepper and some spices if preferred. But in America's schools, a burger is no basic food, laden with dozens of ingredients ranging from thiamine mononitrate to pyridoxine hydrochloride.