It’s National School Lunch Week: Do you know what your kids are eating? If they’re still trying to force down mystery meat, it’s a toss-up. Yep, that gray matter that was the butt of so many jokes when we were kids is still around, but now it’s more disgusting than mysterious.
We know that a lot of mystery meat is actually “mechanically separated meat,” which is made by sending animals’ bones through a machine that scrapes off the last bits of flesh and blood that are left over during meat production and smashes them together to form a paste more nausea-inducing than the kind that you ate in kindergarten. The paste has to be treated with ammonia to kill the bacteria, the flavor has to be added to it, and the whole mess has to be dyed so that it no longer resembles, well, a big bloody log of unidentifiable animal bits. It’s used to make much of the “chicken,” “turkey,” and “hot dogs” that kids are served in schools. And beef isn’t off the hook, either. We’ve all seen the pictures of “boneless lean beef trimmings,” or “pink slime.” Yum.
Enter peta2‘s Veggie Burger Project. peta2 is PETA‘s youth division, and the Veggie Burger Project is a campaign to get a veggie burger in every school cafeteria to give every child access to a healthy, mystery-meat–free vegan meal. peta2 will provide kids, teachers, and parents with all the resources that they need to get veggie burgers in their cafeterias and will even reward their efforts with prizes. During National School Lunch Week, from October 14 to 18, check out the Veggie Burger Project at peta2.com/VeggieBurgerProject.
Written by Michelle Kretzer