Six high school students from the Chicago Vocational Career Academy were scheduled to serve Congress a lunch Thursday that featured chicken raised without antibiotics, just like much of the chicken now on the menu in public schools back home.
They are representing the Windy City in the Healthy Schools Campaign's Cooking up Change® competition among fellow students from across the United States. A healthy twist on a southern classic, their meal of oven-"fried" chicken with greens, cabbage, and sweet potato salad was produced for about one dollar per meal and in compliance with Chicago Public Schools' strict nutritional guidelines. It will be on the menu at cafeterias serving Congress and offered for tasting at a Congressional briefing.
Last November, Chicago Public Schools put scratch-cooked, unprocessed chicken raised without antibiotics on the lunch menu at 473 elementary and secondary schools. The district's pioneering purchase of 1.2 million pounds of locally-grown fresh drumsticks was made in recognition of the danger that the overuse of antibiotics in livestock production poses to public health and to children in particular.