Of Pesticides and Ground Beef

Among the safety provisions you might have presumed were already intact, you can finally add the ground beef served in school cafeterias to the list. Starting July 1, the USDA announced that the meat purchased for the National School Lunch Program, which feeds 31 million schoolchildren, will now be comparable in quality to the meat served in fast food chains.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, applauded the effort, saying, "For too long, a McDonald's hamburger has been safer for our kids than those served in some school cafeterias."

While progress can be slow and the bottom-line obviously rules the day, it still strikes me as a bit of a low bar.

Further, news yesterday that organophosphates, a pesticide that's commonly used on fruits and vegetables, may now be linked to ADHD.

Feeding our kids organic vegetables and local, grass-fed beef is impractical and inaccessible for most families, not to mention school cafeterias, where the federal reimbursement rate totals a meager $2.68.

There has to be a better solution. What's yours?

Photo (cc) via Flickr user draed.