You've probably seen that photo before, delicious pink slime, a "low-cost [meat] filler made from fatty meat scraps that are heated to remove most of the fat, then treated with ammonium hydroxide gas to kill bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella."
Schools that serve food supplied by the U.S. Department of Agriculture might have served food products that contained that slime in the past, but they don't to anymore. There's a choice now.
Before it was unclear whether kids would have to accept the slime. Now, we know for sure: schools only get the slime if they want the slime. Schools can ask for not-slime by name: real food, please.
On our meal ticket, please note that we have checked the box indicating less-lean ground beef sans slime.
Note: Some schools still push the 95 percent lean beef patties made with the slime. You should try to find out if yours is one. Call your principal.
Another note: School districts in the National School Lunch Program buy about 20 percent of food from the USDA.