What do Jamie Oliver – British chef and The Child Nutrition Act have in common? Both are mechanisms by which (hopefully) we are going to experience badly needed change in the way our children eat lunch and breakfasts in public schools.
How many times have you heard someone say what terrible food children eat for lunch at school? I’ve been hearing complaints since I was a little girl. It’s a sad state of affairs when people just accept the fact that children don’t receive healthy food at school. Our children are our future, and if we don’t provide them with the proper foundations in which to build that future, all will be lost.
The truth is, many parents agree that school lunches are pure garbage; I know because I am a parent who has worked on the school lunch initiative in my city of Boise, Idaho. Anyone who knows me understands how passionate I am about real food, and especially about children’s health.
Although I already knew what to expect in the contents of foods served at schools, I was in for a really rude awakening when I went into the warehouse that stores foods served by my school district last spring and read the ingredients. For a detailed look at some of the things we found, visit this post: Meals for Children are Lacking – Restaurants and School Lunches are Lacking In Nutrition.
My team, comprised of other parents (one a medical doctor and the other an exercise physiologist) did an analysis of several main entrees that are served in our district and presented our findings to the school administrators. Despite the startling scientific evidence showing the negative impact that these particular foods and many others we were calling into question have on human health, the individuals attending our presentation were largely unmoved by this data – as is evident by the fact that this food is still served in school lunch cafeterias in Boise, Idaho and other school districts today.
I’ve also had numerous conversations with other parents who are tired of having to send their children to school and eat the food that is served. Some of them are so fed up they send lunches with their children. That’s exactly what I did when my son attended school for one year, during his second grade year.
Chef Jamie Oliver of Britain has been making changes for years in different places – his home country, and now this country. He is on a mission to change how our children eat their meals. Airing on ABC this week is a very important series about his efforts to go into an American school in Virginia and show them just how important these changes can be. Here’s the preview of the first episode, which aired on Sunday March 21st, 2010:
Don’t miss the next episode airing on Friday, March 26th of Food Revolution. And please, please take a moment and read through this action item I received from Organic Valley today about making your voice heard about our children’s health and future. Nothing, in my opinion, could be more important than this!
Dear Farm Friend,
Childhood obesity and diabetes are at epidemic levels in our country. At Organic Valley, we promote the benefits of delicious, healthy eating, but realize that some children have little access to the nutritious foods that they need.
You can make a difference in the lives of more than 31 million children by helping schools serve healthier food. The National School Lunch program is a big part of the solution. Ask Congress to pass a strong Child Nutrition Act.
Right now, legislators are considering changes that will enable more schools to buy food from local farmers, cook fresh meals, teach healthy eating, and plant school gardens. This is an enormous opportunity for families and for farmers. Slow Food USA’s Time for Lunch campaign website makes it easy for you to email your legislators.
Helping more schools serve healthy, local food would be a major step forward towards a future where everyone can enjoy food that’s good for us, good for the planet and good for the farmers who produce it.
The Senate Agriculture Committee will begin marking up the bill this Wednesday, March 24, so your timely comments make a difference. Please take a moment to speak out at Slow Food USA’s Time for Lunch. Then, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know you took action.
Thanks for all you do!
The Farmers and Staff of Organic Valley
Do you have some experience dealing with your school district and trying to make change where you live? Please share!
Here are some other school lunch posts: