Our public school’s food service has reached a point of insanity, especially these past few weeks. Insanity according to Albert Einstein is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. One third of our nations children are battling overweight and obesity. Recently Congress blocked one of the more progressive pieces of legislation around childhood nutrition. The bill has allowed outrageous behaviors to continue such as schools receiving credit for serving vegetables by continuing to count tomato paste on a slice of pizza as a vegetable. To think we are going to stop, prevent or reverse childhood obesity by serving the same overly processed meals is foolish of us. With healthcare cost rising, we need to start to focus our efforts and funds on prevention of diseases. One way of doing this is through healthy meals to our children. We are allowing industry, NOT science to dictate how we care for our children. And that is wrong!
There are great role models out there who have shown that we can feed our kids healthy meals that taste good, in affordable way. I met Toni Geraci, aka Cafeteria Man at a conference in 2010, where he shared his story of turning Baltimore school system from the average junk food ridden school lunch, to a place where local produce was on the school lunch plates, inner city youth plant and harvest vegetables at the school’s 33-acre teaching farm, and students developed practical job skills through a citywide culinary vocational training program. A more famous Jamie Olive’s Food Revolution is showing the side of change in our school system where it is difficult for all to give up our “usual ways” but inspired many local parents and teachers to be advocates for health meals for their children. Jamie Oliver recently appear on Jimmy Kimmel expressing his disappointment in Congress’ recent actions, despite all the awareness that has been created around childhood obesity.
My challenge for you this week in the Thanksgiving spirit is to join me in supporting The Center for Science in Public Interest and Take Action. By clicking the Take Action, you will be brought to a page that will ask you to email your Senators and Representative. Take 5 minutes out of your day to let them know that you’re disappointed in Congress’s actions to undercut these important improvements to school meals. Those 5 minutes could make a huge impact on the health of our children. Good food is something we all can be thankful for.