You Probably Don’t Want To Know What’s Actually In Public School Chicken Nuggets

Posted on April 16, 2014 by

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Turns out the chicken nuggets being served in one of the nation’s largest public school districts don’t contain much actual chicken at all, according to an article in the Huffington Post.

Earlier this month, Chicago-based WBEZ food reporter Monica Eng reported that her attempt — made via a Freedom of Information Act request — to retrieve an ingredient list for the chicken nuggets served in Chicago Public Schools cafeterias was met with a curt response after weeks of delays: The lone ingredient of a chicken nugget was a chicken nugget, the district wrote.

After the Illinois Attorney General’s office intervened, CPS — which reportedly did not “know the ingredients” of the nuggets its caterer Aramark serves to district students — released the list of 28 ingredients making up the processed nuggets, minus their breading.

Among the ingredients, according to NPR: “textured soy protein concentrate, isolated soy protein … brown sugar, salt, onion powder, maltodextrin, silicon dioxide, citric acid, potassium chloride, sodium phosphates and, oh, yes, a little chicken.”

Considering about 84 percent of CPS students qualify for either free or reduced-price lunch and 87 percent of the district’s approximately 400,000 students come from low-income families, it’s likely that far too many CPS students get all their meals for any given weekday at school.

And those meals, Eng reports in a followup published Monday, remain dominated by high-sugar processed food with little to no nutritional value while some caterers say low funding is to blame for the limited options available to students.

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Posted in: Family safety