Local Beef: It’s What’s on Some Rural Schools’ Lunch Menus

By Diette Courrégé Casey — February 01, 2013 1 min read
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Many rural schools are in the heart of agricultural communities, but their food often doesn’t come from nearby fields.

Some rural Colorado schools are changing that by putting local, grass-fed beef on their school lunch menus. One school’s meat comes from cattle as close as 25 miles away.

A recent article by Education News Colorado, an education news service, chronicled how some rural districts are affording the pricier local beef (they said they’re applying for grants and trimming other expenses in the kitchen).

Why? School officials say it’s healthier and tastes better.

At least a dozen districts in the state are using local grass-fed beef, according to the story. Still, the majority of districts’ beef comes from the USDA’s School/Child Nutrition Commodities program.

The story points out it’s unclear whether this trend is coming from the controversy last year involving “pink slime” or “lean finely textured beef.” Both are names for a filler that’s been used in some school meat.

Do you know of a rural school where the majority, if not all, of their food is local? Let me know.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Rural Education blog.