Thursday, June 25, 2009

What’s for lunch on Labor Day?

Slow Food USA is sponsoring a national eat-in for Labor Day, Sept. 7, 2009. They hope that people will organize public pot-lucks to highlight the importance of children eating healthy. Find out more about this at their website or contact the Time for Lunch campaign team site:

Thursday, June 18, 2009

American Medical Association Passes Resolution Supporting Sustainable Food System

The American Medical Association (AMA) has approved a new policy resolution that recognizes the link between better health and a healthy and ecologically sustainable food system. This resolution supports cooperative work between the AMA and health care and public health organizations in order to educate the public about the importance of being able to “provide food and beverages of naturally high nutritional quality.”
The AMA’s new Sustainable Food policy in based on a report from its Council on Science and Public Health, which notes that locally produced and organic foods “reduce the use of fuel, decrease the need for packaging and resultant waste disposal, preserve farmland . . . [and] the related reduced fuel emissions contribute to cleaner air and in turn, lower the incidence of asthma attacks and other respiratory problems.”

Monday, June 15, 2009

What do we teach in the school cafeteria?

At School Lunch Talk there is an interesting article about how school lunch is approached in France. There, food is part of a larger picture that includes making good choices, proper eating habits and good manners. The author, Deborah Lahmann, suggests that this is a way to use lunch time as an educational tool for nutrition, preparation techniques and cultural heritage whereas the typical American approach is only to use school lunch as a re-fueling time before getting back to class. She advocates making food a higher priority, and taking advantage of the cafeteria as another classroom.
A later entry deals with Italy where there is a law that mandates schools and other institutions to use local organic products where possible and to comply with the National Institute of Nutrition. Instead of parents advocating, the state is mandating. An important part of this is that the government is willing to pay, like they are in France, and the price of lunches is subsidized by the city. In fact they pay at least half the cost of every lunch, and even more if the students come from poorer economic backgrounds. Compare that to the US where the government pays much less and the total spent on lunches is significantly less.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

An interesting read

The School Food Revolution: Public Food and the Challenge of Sustainable Development is a new book about the current debates that revolve around the school cafeteria: nutrition, sustainability, social inclusion, economics, etc.
To the authors it it is becoming clear that the school food service can provide many benefits. The book examines many of the fashionable trends in foods and schools and analyzes the results that have actually been produced in diverse communities including programs like the UN’s Home Grown Program.