California Watch: K–12: How we compiled the state’s school lunch data

There have been many stories in the news lately about school lunch, from the controversy over “pink slime” beef to the uproar over the federal standard that allows tomato paste in pizza to count as a vegetable serving.

But the coverage hasn’t answered the question of how healthy the actual meals are. To address that issue, we obtained records from the California Department of Education that showed the nutritional analysis for all school lunches reviewed by the state in the past five years.

The data is part of the School Meals Initiative review process, and it provides a snapshot of the amount of calories, protein, calcium, vitamins, iron, fats, fiber, cholesterol and sodium served in the course of a week at each school district or independent charter school. The wholesomeness of meals can fluctuate from day to day, but averaging the values over a week helps account for that.

via How we compiled the state’s school lunch data.

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