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Cracking the code on school lunches at CPS

Trying to find out nutritional information — including fat, calorie and salt content — on cafeteria offerings at Chicago Public Schools is no easy task.

As a member of a local school council, Leonard Becker thought he could get a straightforward answer to a question about the nutritional content of Chicago Public Schools meals.

But the reply from a CPS official surprised him. “All foods served meet national guidelines but, individually, we don’t have that information,” the official said at the October school council meeting, according to Becker, who is a CPS parent.

How can such vital information not be available from schools, he wondered, at a time when virtually every food item sold at a grocery store – and at many restaurants – is labeled with details about calories, fat, sodium and other nutritional facts?

A Better Government Association inquiry confirmed that getting the skinny about breaded fish melts, chicken patty sandwiches, cinnamon French toast sticks or any other item served at Chicago schools is not easy — and it’s not likely to get much easier for a while.

Read the story.