Ketchup as fruit? TPS says there is a ‘misunderstanding’ at Start

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By JULIANNA RUIZ and RILEY CLIFTON
LifeAtStart.com Reporters

A big part of school is cafeteria food. And although as elementary students we thought the food was a bit gross, it has gotten a lot better.

Start High School has made many changes to the lunch menu, but some of them don’t make sense.

Students claim that if you want to get a packet or two of ketchup for your sandwich or chicken nuggets you then can’t also have a piece of fruit.

Really! The ketchup packets are now being considered fruit?

One student who asked to be a LifeAtStart anonymous source was told she could not have apple slices simply because she had also picked up a few packs of ketchup.

Many other students backed up her story.

This seems unfair and just a tad bit silly, so I decided to ask students what they thought of the new restrictions on the ketchup and fruit problem.

“Yes it is true,” Teanna Smith answered when asked if what we heard was factual. “I think it’s ridiculous, because people might want both.”

Another student, Hallie Landis, goes on to say: “Ketchup is a condiment, not a side food for lunch.”

It’s true. While ketchup is made from tomatoes, which are fruit, should ketchup be considered a side for lunch?

Ketchup and a piece of fruit serve completely different nutritional purposes when put together as lunch. Ketchup is used only to enhance what you have chosen, but doesn’t satisfy your hunger. While a few apple slices are a nutritional part of a meal that can keep you healthy and satisfy your hunger.

LifeAtStart.com reached out to the TPS administration to find out what’s up with ketchup as a fruit and after raising questions, it seems that changes at Start’s cafeteria are on the way. The following is a statement issued to LifeAtStart.com by TPS Spokeswoman Patricia Mazur:

“I spoke with Rey DeBroas, Director of Food Services for Toledo Public Schools, and he explained the following about items that students can choose from for lunch:

Lunch is made up of components, including the daily entree, milk, fruit, vegetable, juice, etc. Students are required to have at least three components for lunch but are allowed to take up to five.”

Ketchup is considered a condiment and a condiment is not considered a component of the lunch options. We do however, ask that students only take up to three ketchup packets so as to cut down on waste.

Mr. DeBroas spoke with the food service workers at Start to make sure that they were clear about this process…it would appear that there is a misunderstanding among the students.”

One cafeteria offering that some Start students seem to like are the chicken tacos.

Students told LifeAtStart that the chicken tacos are one of the few lunch items that are actually tasty. The chicken is warm and flavorful, but some students complained that the tacos are sometimes “way too spicy.”

Other students said  the tacos have great flavor.

So, what do you think? Let LifeAtStart know about your cafeteria food fights. We’ll be happy to publish your experiences trying to lead a nutritional life – cafeteria style.

Contact Julianna Ruiz at: julruiz97@gmail.com.
Contact Riley Clifton at: rileyclifton3@yahoo.com.