What started as a few concerned parents and chefs poking into what’s actually being served in the cafeteria is teetering on transforming a country’s perception of food.
The attention being paid to what our kids eat everyday is not only making daily news headlines as Congress debates The Childhood Nutrition Act, but thanks to chef Jamie Oliver, grabbing national attention via his reality television show Food Revolution. Then you’ve got chefs like Ann Cooper who aren’t waiting for government support but rather changing school lunches via grassroots action. Top it off with a teacher’s blog documenting her year of eating in the school cafeteria everyday—and people who considered chicken nuggets washed down with chocolate milk a nutritious meal might, just might, reconsider.
The Child Nutrition Act currently before Congress would provide the first real funding increases in more than 40 years and support school gardens, local farms and organics. As children learn what vegetables are (many elementary school children can’t identify basics like a potato or zucchini) and their health benefits, they will demand them at the grocery store. Take this to the next step and education will teach the benefits of organic agriculture.
I know, a bit pie in sky that we will go from not being able to identify a tomato to opting for organic, but this school lunch issue that is getting real attention at multiple levels could prove the catalyst for some real change.