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LAUSD Officials Get Into Food Fight With TV Chef Jamie Oliver

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Los Angeles Unified School District officials are firing back after a TV chef publicly questioned the quality of food served to students.

LAUSD officials say that meals prepared for the district’s students are not only good, but also healthy, after TV chef Jamie Oliver’s show “Food Revolution” criticized its school lunch offerings during an episode that aired Tuesday night.

The district had refused to allow Oliver into its schools as part of the series.

On the show that aired Tuesday night, Oliver compared the meals served in LAUSD schools to “airplane food.”

lausd kitchen LAUSD Officials Get Into Food Fight With TV Chef Jamie Oliver

(credit: CBS)

In response, the LAUSD invited the media into its Newman Nutrition Center, the district’s central kitchen facility, to sample the food and review its upcoming menu options.

“The food that we serve is healthy and nutritious and very good quality,” according to David Binkle, deputy director of the district’s food services.

The district is already planning menus for the 2011-12 school year, with entrees such as Salvadorian beef stew, chicken Tandoori, Asian pad Thai, California sushi roll and teriyaki beef and broccoli with brown rice.

Oliver was invited to be part of the district’s menu development, but district officials did not want his cameras there.

“I would say that his perspective is much different than my perspective,” the district’s Director of Food Services Dennis Barrett said.

The LAUSD serves more than 122 million student meals a year.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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