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AISD beefs up its lunch menu – sustainably

Friday, February 14, 2020 by Tai Moses

Photo credit: USDA/Ryan Thompson (CC by 2.0)

The lunch menus at Austin Independent School District campuses will soon feature locally sourced, grass-fed beef. The district starting serving grass-fed burger patties at high schools in 2018-19 and in middle schools this year. According to the district’s announcement, grass-fed beef will now be incorporated into all meals at school cafeterias that use beef, including tacos, enchiladas and meatloaf. The move comes with an increase in student lunch participation. As a result, said Anneliese Tanner, executive director of food services, “We are now able to serve Texas-raised, grass-fed beef district-wide. This change supports our mission of providing healthy, tasty meals to all students, and positively impacts Texas ranchers, the local economy and our commitment to the Good Food Purchasing Program.” The beef is from Augustus Ranch in Yoakum, Texas, and sourced through the Common Market Texas, a “mission-based distributor of sustainable, local farm foods.” Additionally, grass-fed beef “commits to AISD’s Good Food Purchasing Program in both animal welfare and environmental sustainability. Research has found that grass-fed beef contains a greater nutritional value than conventionally raised beef” – that is, beef from cows confined in feed lots and fed corn and soy.

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