Monday, April 4, 2011

Oh, No! They're Back!

By Ed Bruske
aka The Slow Cook

I thought the D.C. Public Schools were done with branded processed convenience foods but apparently not. This is what they were giving the kids for breakfast the other morning: a Tyson chicken sandwich served heated while still inside its plastic wrapper.

Tyson calls it "Power UPZ," which I guess is supposed to help with spelling. Or maybe its supposed to send children the message that Popeye and his spinach are altogether passe. The way to grow big and strong is to eat processed, re-heated chicken patties out of a plastic pouch.

Here are the ingredients:

SAUSAGE: Boneless dark chicken meat with skin, seasoning (salt, dextrose, spices, beef extract, maltodextrin, autolyzed yeast, natural flavor, modified food starch, onion powder, tocopherols, garlic powder, gelatin), modified food starch, water, sodium phosphates, caramel color, natural flavors.

BISCUIT: White wheat 100% whole wheat flour, enriched bleached flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, shortening (interesterified soybean, with distilled monoglycerides added), sugar, honey, baking powder (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, cornstarch, calcium sulfate, monocalcium phosphate), buttermilk solids, salt, xanthan gum, mono and diglycerides.

According to information Tyson provides via its website, this sandwich has a shelf life of 270 days. I wonder if that's frozen, or in its defrosted state.

Nutrition Facts

  • Serving Size: 1 PATTIE W/ BIS (94g)
  • Servings Per Container: About 100
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories from Fat 90 Calories 260

% Daily Value*

  • 17% Total Fat 11g
    • 20% Saturated Fat 4g
    • Trans Fat 0g
    • Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
    • Monounsaturated Fat 3g
  • 12% Cholesterol 35mg
  • 22%Sodium 520mg
  • 9%Total Carbohydrate 27g
    • 8%Dietary Fiber 2g
    • Sugars 5g
  • 28%Protein 14g
  • Vitamin C 4%Vitamin A 2%
  • Iron 10%Calcium 10%

Note the salt content: 520 milligrams. That's 22 percent of an adult daily requirement.

Researching this little piece, I also discovered that Tyson has a K-12 homepage with lots of fun graphics and tips for food service directors on how to use frozen foods from the chicken giant to get kids' attention.

"Kids ages 5-8 love to play, so fun foods are what they want. Click here to stay in the game with entertaining foods that are yummy too," is one of the come-ons.

According to Tyson, there are plenty of fun ways to turn those USDA commodities into foods kids love. Take a look.

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