Tuesday, April 12, 2011 School Lunch Controversy

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.



Miss K said...

Garden at school = more work. The question is, who is gonna do it? "Not it..."

Miss K said...

I wish my motivation was stronger, but... I ate too many trans fats! lol

Headbanging Hostess said...

Good question...because I'd HATE for it to be a punishment for the misbehaving children. It should be part of the curriculum, like gym, art and music \m/ It works perfectly in my imagination :)

I think there are consulting firms that help cafeterias become self-sustaining...

Speaking of trans fats...I just ate another Faux Boy! Mmm, mmm, mmm...

Miss K said...

There's this high school in New Haven called Common Ground that I was trying to get a job at when I got out of college... Public magnet school w/ a farm.


Like you were saying, they made gardening part of the curriculum -- well, central to the curriculum!

As for my own school, I think the main deterrent to a garden is that it would be a bit of work for the teachers organizing it -- getting the supplies, coordinating w/ administration and custodial staff about where the garden would go, figuring out which staff members and students would be caring for the garden and when, what would happen over the summer... I tossed the idea around w/ a co-worker, but it hasn't gotten off the ground. At the end of the day, I'd rather just make a garden in my yard! Sigh...

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