Being a slow Friday with nothing especially controversial or technical to rant about, I decided to take a look at my day and rant about the miscellaneous things in life. Since a post about creationism or Scientology would probably lead to a dead Excel before the next morning, I must resort to the alternative of discussing a more plebeian issue: the school lunch.
While cookies haven’t murdered people at my school yet, the quality and composition of food certainly brings worry: half of the meat patties are rare at the core, leftovers continue to be sold week after week until they are completely gone, and nut products are sold without any warning. An unaware allergic student could very well purchase a walnut salad or peanut-butter sandwich and plunge into sickness, and will probably be dead before the end of the day.
Now, I’m not saying that schools should panic and start evacuating students after sighting a single peanut on the floor, but it might help to label walnuts as, I don’t know, WALNUTS, instead of “vegetables”. Why tree nuts are considered vegetables by the school is unclear.
Next in line: salmonella E. coli cholera shigella staphylococcus aureus listeria… screw it.
Raw meat (which apparently has its own wikipedia article), is a potential carrier for a large assortment of bacterial pathogens. While they are normally killed by high temperatures, poor cooking could still leave alive a lethal potpourri of bacteria in the half-rare meat. Now, bacteria don’t particularly care about what you’re allergic to; just because you’re invincible to a bar of snickers doesn’t mean you’ll be safe from school beef full of cow dung that no one ever recalls. From that article:
“Officials estimate that about 37 million pounds of the recalled beef went to school programs, but they believe most of the meat probably has already been eaten. They may pose a higher risk of contamination from E. coli, salmonella or mad cow disease because they typically wallow in feces.”
When I asked one of the cafeteria managers to replace a burger whose patty was still completely pink and cold on the inside, I was told to “get the hell out of here”. When I realized that my burger was not replaced in the process of getting the hell out of there, I went back in to purchase another hamburger. The same manager who was now cashier decided to charge me for two lunches since I “can’t prove” that I bought the rare burger which I was still holding.
Going to the kitchen to protest resulted in me being laughed at in Spanish and zero replaced burgers.
Screw it. I’ll just buy from McDonalds, decidedly healthier than the school lunch.
And of course, back to the title of this post: leftovers. While not usually lethal, it is generally accepted that everything besides sherry goes bad when you leave it in your basement for weeks. My school, on the other hand, seems to believe that food quality actually increases when left overnight, completely nullifying thousands of years of human experience. Something worth $2.00 on Monday is sold at $3.25 on Tuesday as a “premium”. They seem to be onto something too, apparently, since the completely unsold foods began to disappear slowly after the price raise. It must be because leftovers are superior in quality! That “premium” thing must not have had anything to do with buyer psychology. Turkey burgers seem to retain their newfound value for extended periods of time, selling at the same frozen price of $3.25 two weeks after their initial spike, while corn dogs seem to double in price every week, the price going from $1.00 to $2.00 to $4.00 before it was completely gone.
Readers, take note of what school has taught us! In the future immediately shove dinner in the freezer and wait a day before serving. Preferably a week. Or two weeks.