Schnitzel Burgers? Seriously?

Just yesterday, I was having a conversation about the evolution of school lunches.

Back in the day, a fat lunch lady with a hairnet ladled out some mystery concoction, and that was that. If you didn’t want it, you didn’t eat. (and you can bet your life, I didn’t!).

Today, B’s school (ok, a New York City private school) offers up a wide range of fresh, healthy options to suit even the pickiest eater’s palette.

Everyday, there is a meat or fish offering, a vegetarian entrée, a salad and a sandwich choice of the day and various side dishes. There is also a salad bar, and a sandwich section where a variety of sandwiches are made including Paninis to order.

In the morning, there is always fresh fruit, yogurt, cereals, breads and hot oatmeal available, with special items such as bagels, croissants or homemade muffins, biscuits or French toast.

Most of the food is organic, and locally sourced where possible. They do not offer soda, or desserts and serve as little of the gloppy white stuff as possible. Sounds great, right?
So of course I was shocked when I asked B what she had for lunch yesterday. Usually, the answer is “ I don’t remember” or “an Italian Panini.”  I didn’t expect her to say “schnitzel burgers”. Schnitzel what?

So, in my quest for greater knowledge and understanding, I Googled them.

It seems they are quite trendy and supposedly delicious.

The burger is made from an inexpensive cut of pork, ground up, and breaded and fried like the traditional Wiener schnitzel. It is served on a bun, with mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato. A fried egg was optional.

Excuse me for bucking the trend but, YUCK!

With all of the fuss about healthy ingredients, what you do with them makes all the difference. While it’s wonderful if the pork was free range and grass fed, the egg organic and the bun sprouted wheat, at some point, it all went to hell in a hand-basket when they ground it, breaded it and fried it in a vat of oil.
We need to stop and re-assess what healthy food really means. The preparation is as important as the purity of the ingredients.  You can still get fat on organic cream and cheeses, or donuts prepared with honey and heart healthy olive oil. Calories and fat grams know no boundaries, and locally sourced, free range and organic foods do not have less of them.

It’s ok to enjoy the occasional schnitzel burger, if that’s what floats your boat. But don’t try to pass it off as a healthy choice please.

photo: Serious Eats

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One Response to “Schnitzel Burgers? Seriously?”

  1. Susan Says:

    Okay I’m shocked that her school is offering that up for an option, nothing about that is healthy . . .

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