Maybe you've heard of the Chicago school that banned lunches from home. Honestly, when I first read the headline, I thought it was an article from The Onion. But, alas, it's actually real. Unbelievably real.
Obviously there are a host of issues that go along with this. Government telling us how to live, parents perceived apathy regarding their children's waist lines and health, school systems feeding garbage to the underprivileged, who knows what's best for who...I could go on and on.
The second season of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution starts tonight on ABC. I watched the last season with great interest and I'm looking forward to how he tackles the LA schools. This is clearly an important issue, even our First Lady has jumped on board, but I fear that, as with everything else in this country, it will be slow going. People love to resist change for some reason, even when our health and well being is at stake.
I'm one to talk, of course. I've gained weight since I began to cook. I'm not always eating healthy and I'm struggling to get back into an exercise routine. BUT! I'm not so fat that I can't get up on my soapbox and spout about my headbanging ideas for our nations children.
Every school should have a garden! I don't care if you're in suburbia, the sticks or an urban jungle. All you need is seed, sun and dirt. Cafeterias should be composting as much as possible, creating their own rich growing medium and supplying the students with the freshest veggies possible. Opportunity to learn some practical science? Anyone?
And while I'm at it, change the school calendar! Take the winters off and go to school in the summers! That's when the growing season occurs! Back in the day the kids were needed in the fields, but now they need to be back at school picking, pruning and canning for the days ahead! Am I crazy? Yes. But can you imagine a generation of Americans able to grow their own food? Take THAT agribusiness! Talk about a practical education.
This is totally doable. It just takes some outside the box thinking. It takes guts, balls and bravado. You know, those traits that pioneering people have. And now we're at a point in our existence that these things are quite necessary for our survival. We can't live without food. It's about time we empowered ourselves, starting with our children, to take control of the supply chain. To BECOME the supply chain. It's time for us to reconnect with the earth and it's cycles and return to the natural organic life that we are meant to be living.
How's that for an education?
Contact your local school board and ask them to consider a garden in every school yard.