Friday, April 15, 2011

What's for Lunch: Turkey Barbecue

By Ed Bruske
aka The Slow Cook

My first thought about this meal was that it seemed a bit odd to serve the turkey equivalent of classic pulled pork barbecue as a big blob on a Styrofoam tray. It wouldn't be served this way in any barbecue joint I know of. The meat would be on a bun, served as a sandwich.

The kids I think were put off by this strange looking brown heap and consequently barely touched it, even though it was quite good. It was prepared from seasoned turkey breasts that arrives at the school kitchen pre-cooked and frozen. One of the cook's then tore it into to shreds and mixed it with barbecue sauce, as you see here. Instead of being a sandwich, a roll was served on the side. The kids didn't eat it either.

In fact, the barbecue was quite good. Otherwise, this meal contains a deceptive amount of sugar--it's in the barbecue sauce, in the baked beans, and in the commercial cole slaw. This was another instance where the kids seemed to be fine with the idea of not eating very much lunch at all.

Just to be sure, I took a walk around the lunchroom and saw that while a few of the kids dug into the barbecue, or picked at the beans, this food went mostly uneaten. It just got dumped in the trash.

Could it be that the national lunch program's one-size-fits-all approach to loading kids up with every food group every day is just wrong? Is it possible that kids could get by with lots less food, saving tons of money?

Oh, and that price lookup sticker on the pear is hard to miss. It says the pear came from Argentina.



  1. Maybe next time they could make the bbq an actual sandwich and forget about the beans. A sandwich, coleslaw and fruit seem like a big enough meal for kids in grades k-6. Maybe a little more would be needed for higher grades though.

    I agree with the thought that kids could get by with a lot less food due to lunch time restraints, lack of eating due to ickyness and that a majority of them will probably have just ate school breakfast a few short hours before.

  2. Sigh ... Where to begin?

    They can't do smaller portions because of the USDA requirements.

    They don't do the bun and the meat together so kids can take it seperately if they don't like meat.