Sad school lunch is so sad it makes us wonder: “What even is lunch?”

As a product of public schools, the bar for what I expect from school lunch is so low that it takes an astonishing level of incompetent boobery to catch my attention. Today, I salute Mississippi’s Byhalia High School for this masterpiece:

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To my chef-trained eye, this delectable meal appears to consist of about eight corn chips, one slice of American cheese, and a soupçon of cat food. To the Marshall County school system, absolutely nothing is wrong with this because it’s “a recipe” and, as well all know, if something comes from a recipe, it’s technically food.

In a statement made to Memphis news station FOX 13, school superintendent Lela Hale told concerned parents not to worry because, according to the Department of Agriculture, this meal is chock full of nutrients. Seriously, if you can’t trust a recipe from the United States government, who can you trust?

Fortunately for those of us looking for ways to lead a healthier lifestyle, Mississippi public schools has an online cookbook that can show you how to make these nutritious beefy nachos grande at home. By incorporating wellness-inspired “recipes” like macaroni and cheese with ham slice and cheesy chicken fiesta over rice crumbly into their diets, our kids will probably live forever.

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About the author

Allison Robicelli

Allison Robicelli is The Takeout staff writer, a former professional chef, host of The Robicelli Argument Clinic Podcast, the author of three books, and a swan meat influencer.