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Food

LAUSD Students Hate New Award-Winning, Healthy School Lunches, Black Market for Cheetos and Ramen Springs Up

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(Photo via KFINews/Twitpic)
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LAUSD students hate the new lunch menu.The district has received awards for improving lunches from the U.S.D.A and from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, but the students literally aren't having it. Participation in the lunch program is down, lots of food is being thrown away, kids are coming to class hungry and L.A. Unified's food services director, Dennis Barrett, acknowledged the rollout of the new menu was a "disaster," according to the Los Angeles Times.

When the district tested out the menu, it found that 75 percent of students liked the food, but the food at the taste-test did not have translate well to mass production. One student the Times spoke with Andre Jahchan, a 16-year-old at Esteban Torres High School, said the food was "super good" at the tasting but it was super gross on campus: the chicken pozole was watery, the vegetable tamale was burned and the noodles were soggy.

Adults have been selling "black market" candy, chips and instant noodles to hungry students, who have been ditching lunch and suffering from headaches, stomach pains and even anemia, the Times reports.

So the district announced that it's going to make some changes. It's not bringing back candy milk or the junkiest food, but it's hoping to keep some of what worked on the new menu — vegetarian tamales and salads — and get rid of what didn't: "exotic" foods like beef jambalaya, vegetable curry, pad Thai and bringing back some familiar flavors. Hamburgers are back on the menu and so is pizza, but with a whole wheat crust, low sodium sauce and low-fat cheese.

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"We're going to stay the course on healthy food," said food service deputy director David Binkle.