Thursday, December 10, 2009

Burgers and Bureaucrats

The legends of public school cafeterias are, well, legendary. Burgers become Sloppy Joe's, Sloppy Joe's become mystery meat, mystery meat somehow becomes burgers again—it's a vicious cycle. And while everyone knew, even second graders, that they weren't getting the healthiest fare in the world, I'm not sure any of us knew it was as bad as it is. From USA Today:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the meat it buys for the National School Lunch Program "meets or exceeds standards in commercial products."

That isn't always the case. McDonald's, Burger King, Jack in the Box and Costco, for instance, are far more rigorous in checking for bacteria and dangerous pathogens. They test the ground beef they buy five to 10 times more often than the USDA tests beef made for schools during a typical production day.

And the limits Jack in the Box and other big retailers set for certain bacteria in their burgers are up to 10 times more stringent than what the USDA sets for school beef.

10 times! Have you ever been to a Jack in the Box? Not exactly gourmet food, but they obviously take quality control and testing far more serious than our government. More from the article:

For chicken, the USDA has supplied schools with thousands of tons of meat from old birds that might otherwise go to compost or pet food. Called "spent hens" because they're past their egg-laying prime, the chickens don't pass muster with Colonel Sanders— KFC won't buy them — and they don't pass the soup test, either. The Campbell Soup Company says it stopped using them a decade ago based on "quality considerations."

Now consider this: Our government wants to take control of our health care system, which amounts to 1/6 th of our economy, and these are the same people who can't even maintain the quality control standards that the fast food industry does. They've let schoolchildren be served sub-par food for years because they couldn't, or wouldn't, maintain high standards, but they want me to trust them to administer my health care needs as I become a senior citizen in the next 20 years. Yeah...right! Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this picture? Maybe we should turn our healthcare system over to McDonalds instead.

2 comments:

  1. No worries there. It's easy really, they use worn out stringy hen meat for our kids. They can use worn out, past the shelf life medicine for our seniors / parents. Who cares if it is worn out and not effective.

    I guess that is one way to "cull the heard" of the baby boom generation.

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  2. Seeing as they've already tried to lower the standards for breast cancer screening, I wouldn't be at all surprised...

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