Almost all the meals served in the Chicago Public Schools are paid for with your tax dollars. But if you want to know what’s actually in those meals, good luck.
Early last month WBEZ filed a Freedom of Information Act request for data on what CPS students were eating. On Tuesday, WBEZ finally received an answer, if you can call it that.
What follows is the district’s verbatim response to our FOIA request for the “ingredient lists for the top five entrees in the CPS food service program.”
|Chicken Patty Sandwich||Chicken Patty, Bun|
|Chicken & Bean Nachos||Chicken Crumbles, Tortilla Chips, Cheese Sauce, Beans|
|Chicken Nuggets||Chicken Nuggets|
|Cheeseburger||Bun, Beef Patty, American Cheese|
|Penne with Marinara Meat Sauce||Penne, Marinara, Beef Crumbles|
Yes, you read it correctly: The complete ingredient list for CPS chicken nuggets is two words: “chicken nuggets.” And it took more than a month for CPS Nutrition Support Services to figure this out.
When I last did a story on popular CPS lunch items for the Chicago Tribune in 2011, the district’s spicy chicken patty contained dozens of ingredients, many too hard to pronounce. But, miraculously, CPS and its new caterer Aramark have pared the district’s number one food item down to just two ingredients: a chicken patty and a bun, according to the district’s response.