I have to say that I'm really happy that they didn't go the hard-to-pronounce-equals-evil route.
I think it makes sense to drop a lot of this stuff in districts that don't have malnourished kids. I think that it's being done for the wrong reason, though. I think that parents in wealthy districts complain about this stuff because food purity is an expression of privilege.
Kids in poorer districts may actually benefit from these additives, and I think that setting the agenda that these additives are bad may actually do a huge disservice to poorer districts.
Comment of the day, John. Food purity is privilege, in our society, for sure.
There are many levels of BS even beyond that. Note that one o the additives is said to "add protein" but one does not need to add a plant protein to beef. Our ideal intake of protein = beef. Add a plant protein and you have an "imbalanced" protein. But the interviewee notes that the soy has another function, "holding the meat together" ... which is not particularly relevant in my kitchen or at my grill. I assume the soy facilitates the industrial production of exuded food products. But saying that it enriches the food first, then "holds it all happily together" makes it sound like the manufacturers are thinking of the kiddies with this particular additive.
I suspect it would take a couple of hours of interrogation of food experts in the field to really nail down the actual reasons each of these additives is present in this food, but yes, they are probably mostly to keep the beef from being harmful (main reason for most of it) and to serve as a useful nutrient, but also, for the convenience of those corporation-persons as well.
Nothing is simple.
Yeah, I kind of scratched my head at the soy flour.
And let's be honest, the colorings are there to make the beef not look weird after you add the other brightly-colored things to it.
Don't they realize that school kids would think Blue Beef was cool?
I've eaten green meatballs and I thought they were cool. :-)
Given the per serving cost mandated by tight school budgets I'm not surprised by the soy content. I keep thinking about the Simpsons episodes where they joke about grade F meat and paper shavings etc.