WBEZ | FOIA http://www.wbez.org/tags/foia Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en CPS reveals that the only ingredients in its chicken nuggets are...chicken nuggets! http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/cps-reveals-only-ingredients-its-chicken-nuggets-arechicken-nuggets-109963 <p><p>April 11, 2014 UPDATE: CPS finally produces the ingredient lists for the Top 5 entrees. Each chicken product contains dozens of ingredients.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>April 10, 2014, UPDATE: Thursday WBEZ heard from Illinois&#39; Assistant Attorney General for Public Access Tim O&#39;Brien. He&#39;s been assigned to review the legality of CPS&#39;s response to WBEZ&#39;s Freedom of Information Act request for school food data. &nbsp;</p><p>Wednesday WBEZ was contacted by a company that creates online<a href="http://spps.nutrislice.com/menu/battle-creek-environmental-elementary/lunch/"> school menus for the St Paul </a>school district. In these schools, parents and reporters don&#39;t need to file FOIA&#39;s to find out what&#39;s in the food, nor do they need to enlist the help of the Attorney General&#39;s office. They simply put their cursor on the item and the ingredients and nutritional information emerge in a pop-up window.&nbsp;</p><p>April 8, 2014, UPDATE: Last week, a Chicago Public Schools spokesman told WBEZ that the district simply didn&#39;t &quot;know the ingredients&quot; of the processed chicken products that it serves Chicago children. Yesterday, that same spokesman still would not share the information, saying that the district is &quot;still in the process of completing this request.&quot; &nbsp;Today Aramark headquarters says that it gave the information to CPS &quot;last week&quot; but it could not share the ingredient information with WBEZ because &quot;the District would need to release it to the media, not us.&quot;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>---------------</p><p>Almost all the meals served in the Chicago Public Schools are paid for with your tax dollars. But if you want to know what&rsquo;s actually in those meals, good luck.</p><p>Early last month WBEZ filed a Freedom of Information Act request for data on what CPS students were eating. On Tuesday, WBEZ finally received an answer, if you can call it that.</p><p>What follows is the district&rsquo;s verbatim response to our FOIA&nbsp; request for the &ldquo;ingredient lists for the top five entrees in the CPS food service program.&quot;&nbsp;</p><table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width:207px;height:20px;"><p align="center"><strong>Entrée Item</strong></p></td><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width:368px;height:20px;"><p align="center"><strong>Ingredient List</strong></p></td></tr><tr><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width:207px;height:20px;"><p>Chicken Patty Sandwich</p></td><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width:368px;height:20px;"><p>Chicken Patty, Bun</p></td></tr><tr><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width:207px;height:20px;"><p>Chicken &amp; Bean Nachos</p></td><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width:368px;height:20px;"><p>Chicken Crumbles, Tortilla Chips, Cheese Sauce, Beans</p></td></tr><tr><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width:207px;height:20px;"><p>Chicken Nuggets</p></td><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width:368px;height:20px;"><p>Chicken Nuggets</p></td></tr><tr><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width:207px;height:20px;"><p>Cheeseburger</p></td><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width:368px;height:20px;"><p>Bun, Beef Patty, American Cheese</p></td></tr><tr><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width:207px;height:20px;"><p>Penne with Marinara Meat Sauce</p></td><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width:368px;height:20px;"><p>Penne, Marinara, Beef Crumbles</p></td></tr></tbody></table><p>Yes, you read it correctly: The complete ingredient list for CPS chicken nuggets is two words: &ldquo;chicken nuggets.&rdquo; And it took more than a month for CPS Nutrition Support Services to figure this out.</p><p>When I last did a story on popular CPS lunch items for the <a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Farticles.chicagotribune.com%2F2011-02-20%2Fhealth%2Fct-met-new-school-lunches-20110220_1_cps-students-chartwells-thompson-healthy-food&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNG2I3jbVb45SdZO7ve-7pVkO5ePRg">Chicago Tribune in 2011</a>, the district&rsquo;s spicy chicken patty contained dozens of ingredients, many too hard to pronounce. But, miraculously, CPS and its new caterer Aramark have pared the district&rsquo;s number one food item down to just two ingredients: a chicken patty and a bun, according to the district&rsquo;s response.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/CPS%20spicy%20chicken%20patty.jpg" style="margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px; height: 210px; width: 280px; float: left;" title="A chicken patty sandwich is the most eaten entree in Chicago Public Schools. But what’s in it? After a month, CPS will only disclose that it contains a chicken patty and a bun. Thanks CPS. (WBEZ/Monica Eng)" />A few years ago, the advocacy group Real Food For Kids criticized the <a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.npr.org%2Fblogs%2Fthesalt%2F2012%2F04%2F02%2F149717358%2Fwhats-inside-the-26-ingredient-school-lunch-burger&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNGprtGWU49odQw1FT4Nn-B2pMTMsw">26-ingredient burger</a> served in American schools and called on districts to phase out such heavily processed foods in lunch programs. According to the ingredient lists WBEZ received from the district, CPS has bested the 26-ingredient burger by 23 ingredients, by listing only three in its burger: a bun, a patty and (if it&rsquo;s a cheeseburger) American cheese.</p><p>Is this an accurate picture of CPS entree ingredients? We can&rsquo;t tell. Because, although WBEZ responded almost immediately with emails and phone calls seeking an explanation for these limited ingredient lists, the district has, as of yet, offered none. Yesterday, one district representative said he would try to contact the head of school food, Leslie Fowler, to determine what happened. But we&rsquo;ve heard nothing back since then.</p><p>I have covered CPS food for at least five years now, and have met with my share of district resistance to sharing information. But this latest development shocked even me.</p><p>At least previous administrations were willing to share details on what our tax dollars were buying for school lunch. This one, however, seems bent on keeping the public in the dark. But why?</p><p>It should be noted that CPS&rsquo;s response arrived on April 1st. One can only hope this mockery of the Freedom of Information Act was all just some kind of joke.</p><p>We will keep you updated on CPS&rsquo;s response here.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>UPDATE: A CPS representative said Friday he would try to obtain the missing information, but would not say when. On Monday the district had still not produced the missing data, and WBEZ filed a request with the Illinois Attorney General&#39;s office to review the situation and assist in releasing the ingredient information.&nbsp;</p><p><em>(Full disclosure: One of Monica Eng&rsquo;s eight siblings works for a food company subcontracted by CPS to cater pre-prepared meals to many CPS schools without full kitchens.)</em></p><p><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at <a href="https://www.google.com/url?q=https%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2Fmonicaeng&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNGoYzy7NkmnMSoIdG75anzNVCJ90A">@monicaeng or</a> write to her at meng@wbez.org</em></p></p> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 13:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/cps-reveals-only-ingredients-its-chicken-nuggets-arechicken-nuggets-109963 Morning Shift: Oh, Malort http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-04-30/morning-shift-oh-malort-106898 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/MorningShift_CMS_tile_1200x900_17.png" alt="" /><p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-21.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-21" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Oh, Malort!" on Storify</a>]<h1>Morning Shift: Oh, Malort!</h1><h2>Today we discuss new FOIA rulings with Steve Schwinn, find out about an Islamic health clinic from Dr. Altaf Kaiseruddin, talk about the new trend of movies being turned in to musicals, drink some malort with chef Abraham Conlon and the Chicago Reader and hear an original mashup from Fort Frances. </h2><p>Storified by <a href="http://storify.com/WBEZ"></a>&middot; Tue, Apr 30 2013 09:02:45</p><div><b>FOIA Rules:</b> SCOTUS ruled that if you’re trying to use FOIA to get information from a state where you don’t reside, you’re out of luck. We get the implications from John Marshall Law School’s <b>Steve Schwinn.<br></b></div><div>SCOTUS rejects 'sweeping' privileges claim by out-of-staters denied FOIA records in Virginia - ABA JournalVirginia does not violate the U.S. Constitution when it bars out-of-state residents from accessing state records through its Freedom of I...</div><div><p><b>Shariah law &amp; Healthcare:</b>&nbsp;A Chicago doctor wants to open a clinic that would adhere to some aspects of Islamic law.&nbsp;<b>Dr. Altaf Kaiseruddin, </b>Medial Director of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.imancentral.org/" class="">IMAN</a>, joins us to discuss the details.&nbsp;</p></div><div>Mixing Islam with medicine - Crain&amp;#39;s Chicago Business21 hours ago ... A Chicago doctor who owns a lavish Middle Eastern eatery on West Randolph ... Some interpretations of Shariah, or Isla...</div><div><b>Dueling Critics:</b> Successful Broadway musicals used to be turned into films (think Oklahoma, The King and I, etc). &nbsp;Now films are being turned into musicals (Ghost, Big Fish, Legally Blonde). Our Dueling Critics<b>&nbsp;Johnathan Abarbanel </b>and<b> Kelly Kleiman</b> discuss the trend.<br></div><div>'Big Fish' Musical to Open in ChicagoA stage musical adaptation of the 2003 film &quot;Big Fish&quot; will play a five-week engagement in Chicago next spring, the producers announced o...</div><div>In Defense of Ghost: The Musical (No, Really)Twenty minutes into Ghost: The Musical, I knew the show was in for trouble. Not from me - I was sort of enjoying it - but from the rest o...</div><div>Legally Blonde - The Musicalkrystianya</div><div><div><b>Key Ingredient: </b>The Chicago Reader is hosting their first annual <a href="http://realdeal.chicagoreader.com/deals/admission-to-the-chicago-readers-first-key-ingredient-cook-off-on-may-5---see-option-purchased/" class="">Key Ingredient Cook Off</a> on Friday, May 3.&nbsp;Local chefs challenge one another to come up with an innovative dish using a key ingredient and document the process for the Chicago Reader.The key ingredient for this challenge? The notoriously “acquired taste” Malort. <b>Abraham Conlon</b>, executive chef of <a href="http://www.eatfatrice.com/" class="">Fat Rice</a> in Logan Square, Chicago Reader editor <b>Maria Shalhoup</b> and writer of the <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/chefs-key-ingredient-cook-off-fest-2013/Content?oid=9266557" class="">Key Ingredient</a> column <b>Julia Thiel</b> join us to discuss the challenge and swap some Malort horror stories. What’s the hardest ingredient&nbsp;you've&nbsp;ever tried to cook?&nbsp;</div></div><div>&quot;Malort Face&quot; and other Key Ingredient Cook-Off bites to comeWhen Julia Thiel and Michael Gebert head out to do the shoots for our chef-to-chef challenge, Key Ingredient, they never know what to exp...</div><div>Jeppson's Malort takes Chicago by stormHow the most disgusting shot in Chicago became a beloved nightlife icon The headquarters for Jeppson's Malort isn't much of an office. No...</div><div>Abraham Conlon of Fat Rice shows the &quot;right way&quot; and &quot;wrong way&quot; to cook a porcine reproductive organThe Chef: Abraham Conlon ( Fat Rice) The Challenger: Jake Bickelhaupt ( Sous Rising) The Ingredient: Pig uterus &quot;You thought bacon was a ...</div><div><p><b>Mashup Series: </b>Musician<b> David McMillin </b>spent years as a solo acoustic artist. &nbsp;But a few years ago, he branched out -- bringing in a couple more musicians to round out a proper “band,” and veering toward music with a decidedly more rockin’ sound. &nbsp;McMillin and his band, <b>Fort Frances</b>, are out now with a new EP,&nbsp;'Harbour'. &nbsp;<a href="http://fortfrancesmusic.com/" class="">Fort Frances</a> also kicks off our <i>Morning Shift</i> Mash-Up series with an ode to Chicago.</p></div><div>Fort Frances &quot;Summertime&quot; Official Music Video (HD)thefortfrances</div></noscript></p> Tue, 30 Apr 2013 11:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-04-30/morning-shift-oh-malort-106898 Tougher Illinois FOIA law marks busy first year http://www.wbez.org/story/tougher-illinois-foia-law-marks-busy-first-year <p><p>It&rsquo;s been one year since Illinois&rsquo;s tougher <a href="http://foia.ilattorneygeneral.net/FreedomofInformationAct.aspx">Freedom of Information Act </a>went into effect. The law required public officials to provide documents within five days instead of of the seven days they had been allowed. It also created a new office under the Illinois attorney general to handle appeals from members of the media or the public if their information requests are denied. Cara Smith runs that office as the public access counselor. She said her office has received more than 3,0000 appeals this year and has processed a little more than a third of those. The office staff includes 11 lawyers.&nbsp; Smith said they aim to move quickly on appeals, but also must be thoughtful with these first-time decisons, &quot;Part of our goal is that we want to get this right and we realize that with very little case law in Illinois, each one of these decisions is precedent setting and so our goal is to get it right and to get access to as much information as we can.&quot;</p><p>Josh Sharp of the Illinois Press Association says he expects the turnaround time on appeals will speed up in the second year the new FOIA law is in effect.&nbsp; But he says there's already an advantage, because public officials now have to take FOIA requests more seriously. &quot;For the past twenty-five years,&quot; he said,&nbsp; &quot;they could literally take your request, throw it in the trash and say, guess what, you don&rsquo;t like it? Go find yourself a lawyer, we&rsquo;ll see you in court. But now with the imposition of fines and penalties and a public access counselor, the days of ignoring FOIA are over.&quot; &nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 22 Dec 2010 20:03:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/tougher-illinois-foia-law-marks-busy-first-year