NEW CANAAN, Conn. — Parents in New Canaan don’t have to worry about their children eating any “pink slime” when they sit down for lunch at school.
Even though the U.S. Department of Agriculture has given a thumbs up to serving the lean finely textured beef that is an ammonia-based filler in ground beef, New Canaan Public Schools have never used it and don’t plan to, says Bruce Gluck, director of Food Services for New Canaan Schools.
All beef served in meals in New Canaan school cafeterias is 90 percent lean, and “there’s nothing like that in there,” Gluck said. “I’m not of the belief that because people say it’s OK, then it’s OK. We only use natural products.”
Gluck said he and others in New Canaan try to keep the menus simple. They also talk with parents about what is served. “If it has more than four lines of ingredients, we don’t use it,” Gluck said. “If it’s like reading a novel, we don’t use it.”
Cobie Graber, a New Canaan parent and member of a school wellness advisory committee, said she’s happy New Canaan has stayed away from pink slime. “I’m thrilled that our school district is ahead of the curve on choosing healthy options for students,” Graber said. “I think we have a lot of popular choices from pizza to meatball grinders to baked chicken fingers.”
The USDA “has let us down” in permitting pink slime to be used in school meals, Graber said. “I would like to see better labeling on foods so it’s easier to make educated choices on what to feed your family.”