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Berkeley school food revolution's secret ingredient: parents


Eric Weaver's son is a freshman in college now. Back when he was in
kindergarten, Weaver volunteered at his school, where he couldn't help
noticing that the kids were sneaking into the teachers' snacks.

Not only were kids hungry because they hadn't eaten breakfast, Weaver
discovered, but what the schools were serving them for lunch was hardly
appetizing. "It was atrocious," Weaver says. "They had this grilled
cheese heated in a plastic wrapper that was all mush. Corn dogs. The
peanut butter and jelly was just crackers smeared with this stuff."

Senators, Rachael Ray, first lady push for children's nutrition programs


WASHINGTON -- Sen. Bob Casey Jr. has been an advocate for child nutrition programs for years, but Pennsylvania's soft-spoken Democrat will be the first to admit he doesn't have star power.

So when first lady Michelle Obama and celebrity chef Rachael Ray both held events Tuesday to call for federal action on child obesity, Mr. Casey saw the benefits of the limelight.

"Getting something substantial done isn't just policy and bills and what happens in Congress -- we have to have other ways to engage people," Mr. Casey said.

Fighting obesity: ditch the deep fryer and try organic gardening


Washington -- Eat better. Exercise more. And, kids, tell your school principal to swap the cafeteria's deep fryer for a salad bar.

If you don't, your doctor, teachers, parents, community and government will remind you to, because it's time to get in shape.

That was the message Tuesday from first lady Michelle Obama and a task force that unveiled its "action plan" to reverse a 30-year trend -- and return this nation's childhood obesity rate to 5 percent by 2030.

Alice Waters push for local, organic setting national agenda

San Francisco Gate.com

Food crusader Alice Waters is making the rounds to promote her new cookbook.

McDonald's, she told Bill Maher on his TV show, "Real Time," "is never the answer," not even for impoverished families trying to put food on the table. Then, in her signature breathy voice, she lambasted the microwave.

"That's not cooking," Waters said, somewhat flustered that Maher would even ask about the common kitchen appliance. "I don't know how to relate to it. I need a little fire."

Leading Schools



La Farge Area Schools:

the winner of OTA's Organic.
It's Worth It in Schools

The movement to make school food better


Nobody is against serving better food in schools, certainly not when First Ladies and English celebrity chefs are making the case so convincingly. But actually displacing bland, over-processed food-like entrees and with healthy menu items that are more often fresh, local or organic is another thing altogether.

To read the full article, click here.

The sweetener lobby: still a powerhouse in the school lunch debate


"Healthy Schools" legislation written by D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh comes up for its first committee vote today after months of deliberations and with one very conspicuous missing element: no regulation of sugar in school meals.

Scenes from a school cafeteria


To understand the problem of school lunch in America, try the following experiment. Go to the supermarket and buy ingredients for a single meal for your family -- or a group of friends. Limit yourself to 90 cents per person. If that sounds like too little, consider that it's about what cafeteria administrators have to spend on the ingredients for kids' lunches each day.

Lessons from Michelle Obama's historic obesity summit


When President Obama established a "Presidential task force on childhood obesity" in February, Grist's Tom Laskawy wondered  whether our nation's first federal food policy council had quietly sprung into being. In a food policy council, the key stakeholders of a region's food system come together to assess the current food situation and envision ways it might be improved. Food policy councils are a growing phenomenon at the state and municipal level, but such a thing had never existed before at the national level. Does it now?

No-Oreo zone: kids at school can't bring processed food

AZ Central.com

TUCSON - As her second-grade students take out their lunches, teacher Leticia Moreno quickly spots two with forbidden food - a burrito and quesadilla made with white flour tortillas.

"I will get them peanut butter
and honey on whole wheat," Moreno says, taking away the offending meals.