Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Central Valley Meat Co. and School Lunches

North Bay Cow
I saw this cow a few years ago while hiking with friends.
If you live in California you may already know about the elitism: many San Franciscans–and North-Bay dwellers as well, thumb their noses at the much muggier Central Valley where this cow, I might add, was lucky not to live.

I missed last summer's Huffington Post story on the closure and re-opening of Central Valley Meat Company after its employees were caught on video abusing dairy cows. Clients CostCo, McDonalds and In-N-Out Burger suspended or cancelled their contracts.

Perhaps the most important purchaser of meat from this company was the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), which later renewed its contract.

The plant's temporary closure affected some 450 people, a small number compared to the nation's fast-food patronage and consumers of NSLP.

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An equally provocative story: At the start of the school year at Moss Bluff Elementary in Lake Charles, Louisiana, school administration announced a plan to expedite the lunch line by scanning student's palms. The school of over 1,000 students had had some complaints about student's being charged but not eating lunch. The scanner would act as proof either way and was entirely optional.

Some parents called it the mark of the devil, so I'm not sure where things stand.

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