Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Chicago Chefs Help Bring to Light the Obstacles to Introducing Healthy Foods to CPS Lunchrooms

With the passage of the Healthy, Hunger-free Kids Act earlier this month, many of those advocating for the introduction of healthy, fresh foods to kids in the lunchroom have been re-energized and re-inspired to continue their work to make changes in the lunchroom. But it’s not just isolated pockets of society, or a handful of organizations finding new inspiration with the passage of this bill, as shows. In a recent article by Chicago Tribune writer Monica Eng, the process of getting healthy, freshly prepared foods onto CPS lunch tables for one of these groups, the Chicago chef based Pilot Light program, is described.

Visiting a Chicagoland school lunchroom this past fall, the Pilot Light program chefs were determined to use their skills to deliver tasty, healthful meals to replace the processed, pre-made foods that they saw the children were being offered. Working together to plan a day of demonstrations and a Thanksgiving-themed lunch for the children of Disney II Elementary Magnet School, the program seemed to be off to a great start.

However, amidst the excitement among school faculty and parents, the Chicago Public School System administration put the day’s events on hold to discuss exactly what these chefs were setting out to do. In the end, CPS allowed the event to take place as a “tasting” rather than a full-fledged “lunch,” offering the chefs’ culinary offerings alongside regular CPS lunch fare. And while Pilot Light chefs offer a wealth of ideas and vehicles in which to incorporate recipes for fresh and healthy lunch options for kids, CPS administrators have pointed out the contractual and budgetary constraints, but are open to ideas and input from Pilot Light.

While this effort was a valiant one by the chefs of the Pilot Light program, the reaction excitement and apprehension that they received from parents and faculty, and administration, respectively, was not a first. The obstacles that the program faced in making their non-CPS contracted food available to children is what happens in districts all over the country, and is something that we at the Organic School Project are very familiar with. As Monica Eng reported in an article this fall, when Chef Greg Christian requested that the food grown by children in their Alcott elementary school garden be served in the schools cafeteria for lunch, district administrators denied the request on the grounds that the food wasn’t safe, as the food was not approved or supplied by the CPS contracted foodservice provider, Chartwells.

We at the Organic School Project think that this most recent article is great at illustrating the process, which can be difficult at times, in getting healthy foods into schools. While the passion and creativity to bring this food into the lunchroom is far from lacking, the administrative and contractual elements required to make these changes is a bit harder to work around, as this article illustrates well.

Stay tuned for our exclusive interview with the writer of this article, Chicago Tribune reporter Monica Eng.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Volunteer Opportunity

OSP is working on the final push to complete our publication, Grow Teach Feed: A Complete Curriculum to Inspire Healthy Lifestyles in Schools and we need your help!

OSP is looking for volunteers as we seek to provide a comprehensive resource for foodservice providers, educational policymakers, kitchen staff, teachers and parents, to ensure the needs of our children are being met, both in the lunchroom and the classroom.

The Grow Teach Feed Collection, a culmination of five years of work by organic visionary and author Greg Christian, seeks to provide school and kitchen staff, as well as teachers and parents, with the resources to Grow, Teach and Feed every child.

The first volume, Grow, teaches school staff how to connect kids to the earth and their food source by converting a portion of their school ground into an organic garden that serves as an interactive classroom. The second volume, Feed, is a comprehensive training manual for schools to develop a healthful and natural–based, sustainable school foodservice that provides kids with healthier meals. Finally, Teach, the third volume, supplements these meals with lessons on nutrition and environmental stewardship to help kids make healthier choices. Read a more comprehensive description here.

Give back during this generous season and volunteer your time, gaining valuable experience while assisting a socially conscious organization help improve the quality of food served to our nation’s school children.

Throughout the month of January, OSP staff will be taking the great, kid proven recipes created by Chef Jerry, and verifying their compliance with dietary guidelines via menu planning software used by many school cafeterias. This opportunity asks for help with data entry and training in menu planning software.

Come work closely with our Grow Teach Feed Collection team and learn how school cafeterias ensure nutritional standards are being met while keeping the price affordable!

For more information, or to volunteer, send us an email at

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Organic School Project Partners with Door To Door Organics

Great news! Organic School Project is partnering with Door to Door Organics for a holiday fundraiser. For every boxof

organic produce that is purchased through this program from December 15th through December 31st, Door to Door Organics will donate 50% of new customer produce box sales to Organic School Project. Door to Door Organics delivers a wide variety of organic produce and a selection of great local grocery items to your door. You choose what box size best suits your needs and then every week Door to Door Organics emails you a seasonally appropriate menu that you customize with up to five substitutions.
Order now and ensure your own access to healthy food, while also helping to reform school lunch and improve the way our children eat. Sign up with special discount code, "organicsc

hool2010" and you'll have organic goodies showing up on your doorstep in no time. And best of all? There's no commitment, you can cancel or put your subscription on hold at anytime.

Note: New customers only. Subject to delivery areas listed here. 50% donation is good off the customer's first organic produce box ord
er only.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Youth Farm and Market Project

Courtesy of Youth Farm

A non-profit organization in Minnesota is working with youth from ages 9 to 18 to connect them to their food.

“It’s about a new way of bringing quality healthy food to urban neighborhoods and exploring culinary traditions from around the world – cooking and distributing over 11,000 pounds of fresh, local produce. It’s about community involvement – engaging over 400 volunteers in over 4,000 hours of service to their community,” says the website.

They focus on three main areas: urban agriculture, project LEAD, and cultural nutrition.

Urban Agriculture

Work with kids on 2+ acres of land spreading across plots on vacant lots, public housing high-rises, private lands, and churches to grow vegetables and sell the crops at different neighborhood markets.

Project LEAD

Offer paid internships and summer employment for 25 teenagers ages 14-18 where they can develop power and public leadership skills in their neighborhoods. They then can apply the skills through their work on producing and distributing local produce. They also supervise, mentor and create strong relationships with younger kids.

Cultural Nutrition

Using food as a means to educate the kids about different cultures, Youth Farm works with young leaders to learn how to grow, cook, and distribute traditional foods found in South and Central America, Asia, Africa, Europe and other countries.

The video shows several perspectives from kids and leaders where they talk about the benefits. Great program to keep kids engaged and encourage growth outside of school.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Giving Back Locally, Globally

TED recently posted a video of a man named John Hardy and how he came about creating a school that employed sustainable practices and educated students so they would become sustainable leaders.

In Bali, the Green School’s classrooms have no walls so air can pass through and natural light can come in, teachers write on bamboo blackboards and the desk are not square.

John said they aren’t happy about being on the grid. Then an alternative energy company from Paris wanted to help take them off the grid with solar power. They built a vortex, the second one to be built in the world. And when the turbine drops in, the vortex will produce 8000 watts of energy.

That was only part of the first half of the video. The second half addresses food, what the kids learn in school, scholarship funds, volunteers, and more.

Check it out because it really is interesting.

And check out the Green School here.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Photo source: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Today, after a bleak outlook last night, Congress passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act! Through it, nutritious meals will be made more accessible to students in public schools. And for the first time, it will include a Farm to School Program that will help communities establish farm to school networks, create school gardens, and get more local food into the cafeterias with the $40 million in mandatory funding.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Act will provide $4.5 billion in new funding allocated over the next 10 years to improve access to healthier meals, even when kids are out of school; so, hunger gaps during the weekends, after school, and even during summer break will be closed.

The act will expand eligibility for school lunch programs, establish nutritional standards for all school meals, and encourage schools to use locally grown food. The Agriculture Department will write those new standards, which will support eliminating fat injected items in cafeterias now to foods with less grease, sugar, and empty calories. Changes like switching to whole wheat and choosing leaner meats will help improve classic cafeteria options. Another improvement will be that vending machines and school stores will stock less candy and high-sugar beverages.

The bill will also make it easier for lower-income children to have these better meals because the number of school lunches that are subsidized by the government will increase.

This is amazing!! Not only will kids get better food, but they will also be supporting local farmers, meaning they will be helping the earth by being more sustainable.

This is right up the Organic School Project’s alley because we believe in connecting kids to their food. Needless to say, we’re pretty excited over here… =]

Read all the specifics here.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Healthier School lunches on the chopping block in Washington D.C.

Photo courtesy of: Inhabitots

Amidst the ever-strengthening movement toward school lunch reform, voters in our nation’s capital made great progress toward that goal when they passed a tax on soft drink sales in the District this past May. The money from this tax would go toward the “‘Healthy Schools’ initiative, providing more money for school food, as well as funding local produce in school meals and establishing grants to expand school gardens and increase physical education,” as reported by Grist. But this story has changed a bit since May.

In attempts to reduce the $188 million gap in the city’s budget, Washington D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty has suggested that these designated funds be eliminated, and put toward that budget gap. Since it’s passing in May, the funds from the tax bill have been accumulating, payments to purchase every breakfast, lunch, and locally grown food component have been made, and this proposition would halt the distribution of these funds.

But many organizational activists in the D.C. area, as well as those nationally, have begun to voice their voices of opposition. Coordinator of the D.C. Farm to School Network, Andrea Northup, stated that "For the Fenty administration to champion the Healthy Schools Act as a model for the nation, and then to cut funding for the act, they have done a grave disservice to the children of the District of Columbia."

What do you think? If the plug is pulled on these healthier school lunch options today, will it ever be reinstated in D.C., or anywhere else?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act Policy Update

Congress returned for a short work session Monday following the mid-term elections, and has a brief opportunity to pass strong child nutrition legislation that reauthorizes funding and improves standards for school food.

Under review by the House of Representatives, the Senate’s version of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill would help increase access to healthy meals and would require necessary improvements to nutrition standards for school food. Even though the First Lady, White House legislative staff, and members of the Domestic Policy Council are all working hard on the bill and regard its passage as a top priority for the Administration, significant barriers still remain. Concern by Democrats about restoring the SNAP ARRA offset…

[In order to provide funding for these programs fighting hunger and obesity, the Senate cut funding from a temporary increase to the food stamp program that was included in the stimulus bill. However, families would not see a reduction in their benefits until 2013 and could possibly never; The White House has committed to finding a way restore that funding through other means.]

and concerns about increased spending from Republicans makes passing the bill challenging.

Support is needed to ensure the House leaders have enough votes to secure passage! To guarantee the bill stays on the agenda and that your representatives vote YES call Congress today by following these easy steps provided by Share Our Strength.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Nourish: Food + Community

PBS had recently aired broadcasts of a national and educational initiative called Nourish.

“Nourish is a multi-year media and education initiative. The purpose of Nourish is to open a broad public conversation about our food system that encourages citizen engagement, particularly among young people and families,” says the website.

It wants us to explore the stories behind our food by seeing the overall big picture, for us to realize the impacts our food has. Different angles like the importance of where our food comes from, who picked it, and how we, especially the younger population, can change food were shown in the 30 minute special to illustrate how we can work towards having a more sustainable system.

There are also mini videos where Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food, speaks on the government subsidizing the wrong foods like high fructose corn syrup going into processed complex creations like Twinkies instead of carrots from the ground.

And I want to know why is that, when pressing health problems such as our obesity rate is so high??

In another mini video, Jamie Oliver says, “food is like music” because food is “a creative thing.” He says food be taken in a thousand different ways, but like music, you can take it in a direction that you want and love.

Here is the trailer:

Check out the minivid where Michael Pollan touches on how much the US spends on food compared to other parts of the world and how the changes correlate to the changes in health care spending.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Recess Before Lunch Encourages Healthier Eating Habits and Better Behavior

Photo credit: Kirsten Luce for The New York Times

Not only is recess an integral part of the student’s day, its timing is also significant. A New York Times article discusses the benefits schools are observing as a result of scheduling recess before lunch- less plate waste and an increase in fruit, vegetable, milk and water consumption.

Kids often rush through their lunch in order to get outside, leaving much of their food uneaten. By having recess first, kids feel as if they have more time to eat, leading to less plate waste. Because of this, kids are less likely to become hungry or feel sick later in the day.

Schools have reported other benefits including fewer behavior problems, a more relaxed eating environment, and a reduced number of nurse visits. This is attributed to fewer headaches and stomachaches that result from physical activity directly after eating—“One child told school workers that he was happy he didn’t throw up anymore at recess.”

For some schools, recess first also means more time to teach. Typically, kids need a cool down period after recess in order to relax and refocus on school work. Since kids have a chance to unwind during lunch, teachers now have 10-15 minutes of extra classroom time.

While school staff report some logistical challenges that make them reluctant to switch—making sure kids wash their hands before lunch (which students should be doing anyways, whether it is before or after recess), distributing lunch cards while kids are coming in from recess rather than while they are sitting at their desks, and visits to lockers between recess and lunch- the pilot programs demonstrate many advantages for both students and teachers that appear to outweigh the challenges.

One important concern children’s health experts raise is that this switch may not work in many urban school districts where lower-income children come to school hungry. Programs that feed breakfast to all students are important to ensure kids are not ravenous by lunch time and can enjoy the benefits of waiting until after recess to eat.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Portion Distortion

Photo source:

It’s no surprise that obesity rates have escalated when you look at how portion sizes have changed over the past 20 years.

According to the National Lung, Heart and Blood Institute, 20 years ago, a typical bagel measured 3 inches in diameter (140 calories). Nowadays, the bagel has grown to be 6 inches in diameter and 350 calories- a 150% increase in calories per portion. In the past 20 years, we have added 400 calories to our serving size of French fries by increasing the portion size from 2.4 ounces to 6.9 ounces and have increased our spaghetti and meatball portion size (from 500 to 1, 025 calories per portion) to over half of the daily intake recommended by the USDA.

The extensive increase has caused healthy options to become unhealthy if eating the increase portion sizes for most of your meals. 20 years ago, a typical turkey sandwich totaled 320 calories, while turkey sandwiches today are closer to 820 calories.

These larger portion sizes add up. An additional 100 calories per day to your diet equals an additional 10 pounds in weight gain a year if you do not change your amount of physical activity.

Proper knowledge of portion sizes is extremely important. Not only is it important for controlling overeating, but it is also critical in ensuring daily recommendations are consumed. That is why OSP makes certain to teach kids about appropriate serving sizes, equipping kids with tools to make healthy choices.

Here are some familiar markers from eatbetteramerica to help you gauge exactly how much you are eating:

· Three ounces of red meat, fish, or poultry—a standard portion—is about the size of a flip-style cell phone.

· One cup of vegetables or an average portion of fruit is about the size of a tennis ball.

· One ounce of cheese is about the size of four dice.

· A medium baked potato is about the size of a computer mouse.

· One teaspoon of butter is about the size of a postage stamp.

· One ounce of peanut butter is about the size of a roll of film.

Take a look at your meals with these visual cues in mind. You might find that there's far more on your plate than you realized.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cool for School

Check this out!

Wellness in the Schools (WITS) is a non-profit, community based organization founded in 2005 in order to improve the environment, nutrition, and fitness in NYC public schools.”

The organization wants to fight obesity ad improve school environments. They have three programs: Cook for Kids, Green for Kids, and Coach for Kids.

Cook for Kids

WITS sends culinary school graduates to NYC public schools to educate students and families about the importance of eating whole, unprocessed food. They go into the school kitchens, make meals from scratch and serve them to 6,500 students.

Green for Kids

Works with other NYC environmental efforts. Their signature program was launched to help make sure schools used effective bio-based cleaning products that are not harmful to children and the planet.

Coach for Kids

During recess, trained coaches encourage the least active children to participate in exciting fun activities. They also help to ward off bullying.

This is a win-win situation. Culinary graduates can cook for a cause and kids can enjoy and learn about real food!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Passion about Food Science in Harvard University

A recent Boston Globe article from last week reported that the number one course at Harvard University this fall was a food science course entitled, Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science. The course was applied for by about 700 students, of which only 300 were chosen through a lottery. Some students wrote essays and appeals in attempts to increase their chance of admittance to the course.

The interest in the course came as an unexpected surprise to University directors, though the beefing up the otherwise home-economics style course with a long list of food superstars surely added to the buzz and interest. The class is being taught in a collaborative effort between Harvard professors and some of the world’s most celebrated chefs: Ferran Adria, whose restaurant outside of Barcelona, Spain, has been recognized as the best in the world; New York chefs Wylie Dufresne and Dan Barber; White House chef Bill Yosses; Chicago’s own Grant Achatz; and food writer, Harold McGee.

It is very interesting to see such a peak in student interest in food at what many consider the most prestigious University in the world.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fit to Learn

A new program “focused on innovative, practical approaches to making health and wellness a regular part of the classroom experience,” was announced by the Healthy School Campaign recently.

Through the program, teachers will become “wellness mentors,” where they will develop and share ways to integrate nutrition and fitness into the classroom that meet Illinois standards in math, science, reading, social studies, art and music!

The program is recruiting CPS K-5 teachers to participate in the new professional development program.

This is a great because all subjects are included in the integration, meaning kids with different interests can all be incorporated.

Visit to learn more!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

OSP in the News

In a recent Chicago Tribune article dated October 19, 2010, OSP Founder and Executive Director, Greg Christian, addressed policies that prohibit the use of produce from school gardens in CPS cafeterias.

“It was good enough to use for cooking demonstrations and good enough to send home with the kids but not good enough to feed kids in their lunch,” Christian stated. This quote highlights Christian’s question as to why kids had permission to eat the garden produce at home and during demonstrations, but not in the cafeteria at lunch—a question that he voiced to opposition of serving school-grown produce at Alcott Elementary School in 2007.

As writer Monica Eng correctly points out, it is harvest time and the student grown vegetables are plentiful, providing a great opportunity to inspire children to eat healthy food. As studies suggest, kids are much more likely to try and eat more vegetables and whole foods when they, or a friend, has had a hand in growing them. However, rules set by the district and its meal provider, Chartwells-Thompson, prevent the relationship between children and the food that they’ve grown at school from fully developing.
Currently, Chartwells-Thompson requires specific, certified growing practices for food grown in school gardens, if it is to be served in school cafeterias.

Amid increasing concern about the food students are consuming while at school, CPS is missing out on comprehensive, all-inclusive approach to get healthy food and nutrition education into the mouths and minds of its students.

Read the full article from the Tribune here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Free Dinners for D.C. Public School Children

Photo source: LA Times

We at the Organic School Project see that there are two main defects in the current system of feeding our nation’s kids: one being that far too many children consume processed, sugary, and generally unhealthy foods when they’re at school for lunch, and the other being that this may be the only meal that some children get all day. Needless to say, the two are very related, and both play a leading role in the childhood obesity epidemic that our country is currently facing.

One program implemented by the Washington D.C. public school system is taking a step to combat this epidemic. As reported by the Washington Post, some of the schools in our nation’s capital have begun offering free, healthy, locally sourced dinners to as many as 10,000 students.

The program was started for two main reasons: 1. Many kids staying after school for programs or activities remained at school well into the evening, missing what would normally be considered “dinnertime,” and 2. some children were simply not eating dinner at home. Due in part to the most recent recession, many families are unable to provide dinner, forcing many kids to eat their one and only meal of the day while at school.

Though the program does cost the school district an additional $5.7 million dollars, we must keep in mind that this is not money going down the drain; it is an investment in our nation’s future. And to us, the dollar amount becomes a minor detail when it means the difference between promoting nourishing versus detrimental eating habits, don’t you think?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The “Great American Salad Bar Project”

Photo source: Food Share

A recent article from environmental news source, Grist, discussed the launching of the “Great American Salad Bar Project,” and we at the Organic School Project like what we’re reading!

Along with many political and social other factors weighing on them, many public schools cannot afford the maintenance that school kitchens require, forcing them to shut down fully-equipped kitchens to replace them with heat-and-serve style facilities. This, as we are well aware, leads the to processed, poor-nutritional quality lunches for our nation’s kids, fostering anything but a healthy lifestyle and approach to food.

The project, launched by Ann Cooper, seeks to raise this money with help from partnering companies, the first of which is Whole Foods. By raising money donated from its customers at the checkout line, Whole Foods has raised $1.4 million, which will translate into 300 salad bars being set up in schools nationwide by the Salad Bar Project.

But the job does not end there: schools awarded these salad bars will not be given the funds to fill them with fresh produce. Instead, the program will provide the actual salad bar, as well as training for administrators and cafeteria staff, so that they can be better prepared to apply for grants and learn how to successfully run a salad bar, respectively.

Take a look at the full story from Grist here, the program’s website, and be sure to look out for the “Great American Salad Bar Project” next time you’re at the store—helping to bring better food to our schools is getting more convenient by the day!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Get the Scoop on Stuff

Have you heard about or watched the “Story of Stuff?”

If not, you’re about to.

The Story of Stuff project was created by Annie Leonard, an author that supports sustainability and is against excessive consumerism because of the effects. “Annie is fiercely dedicated to reclaiming and transforming our industrial and economic systems so they serve, rather than undermine, ecological sustainability and social equity,” says her bio.

The “Story of Stuff” video addresses and explains the life cycle of the materials we acquire in our lives. It’s eye opening because we don’t see how things are made or what happens to those things after we throw them in the trash; we just see them in the store, in our homes, and then out the door. There is way more to know about our things!

In a collaboration with Leonard and WGBH, the Boston division of PBS, they have created similar videos, Loop Scoops, for kids! Now kids can learn about the things they have and the impacts on the environment.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

In the News: Banning Soda Purchases From NY Food Stamp Program

As many of you have most likely been reading, a hot topic in the news this month has been surrounding NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to exclude soda and sugary drinks from the state’s list of food stamp-eligible purchases. There are plenty of opinions both for and against the ban as it relates to barring an individual’s purchasing power, the right of the individual to make decisions, etc., but what does this proposal really imply in regards to the future of our nation’s health initiatives?

We at The Organic School Project see this proposal as a great step in the right direction toward promoting better health among our citizens, especially for our children. While sodas and sugary drinks used to be reserved for only certain occasions, these beverages are now being consumed by our nation’s kids in alarming amounts, bringing with it ever-increasing cases of childhood obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.

Currently, the nation’s food stamp program bans the use of its funds from a number of purchases, such as cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, and certain prepared foods items. By the looks of this list, it’s clear that the program seeks to prevent its participants from making unhealthy purchases, of which sodas and sugary drinks most definitely qualify.

Recognized as a major contributor to both adult and childhood cases of obesity and diabetes, should the purchase and consumption of these drinks (oftentimes cheaper to buy than water!) be regulated similarly to the purchase of tobacco and alcoholic beverages? What do you think?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

National School Lunches Week

As some of you may have been aware, the week before last was national school lunches week! While there were many great events promoting healthy food in schools all last week, there are tons of great resources available to learn about, promote, and support healthy lunches in schools, every week of the year!

A great website by the School Nutrition Association where kids can learn healthy eating tips, and ways to ensure they’re eating a balanced meal:

Check out Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign website, as it is a great source for news and updates on the campaign’s progress:

Read up on the USDA’s program to promote physical activities in schools, healthy foods, and overall wellness in children:

Healthy Schools Campaign has a program of their own where they do the same promotion of healthy activities, food, and wellness for children in the Chicago Public School system:

Again, we thank HSC for putting together this great list of resources, and we love being reminded of what great company we’re in to combat childhood obesity!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Real World Marketing In the Cafeteria

The USDA is giving $2 million to food behavior scientists to find ways to use psychology in hopes of battling obesity and improve kids’ use of the school lunch program, says CBS News.

Small changes borrowed from the food and restaurant marketing world will be used. Some tweaks will be: hiding the chocolate milk behind the plain milk, moving fruits into pretty baskets, keeping ice cream desserts in freezers without glass displays, and putting the salad bars next to the checkout registers.

This new initiative by the USDA will also include the formation of a child nutrition center at Cornell University. Their focus will be in developing “smart lunchrooms” that would guide kids to choose better options even when bad options are around.

This initiative isn’t to take away options and to put healthier counterparts in their places. It’s not forcing them take the better option. It’s to help the kids choose better options on their own.

I think the incorporation of real world marketing in the cafeterias is so clever. One thing I know is I am definitely one of those customers whose eyes happen to investigate the items scattered around the checkout counter and make unneeded impulsive buys. Imagine if kids’ eyes fell upon veggies such as baby carrots or grape tomatoes…

Read more about the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service and Economic Research Service.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

HSC’s Chef in the Classroom Day

We at The Organic School project love the idea of bringing food—real, healthy food—into the hands and mouths of today’s school children. And that’s exactly what Healthy Schools Campaign’s Chef in the Classroom Day is doing!

October 4, 2010 was HSC’s official Chef in the Classroom Day, bringing over 60 chefs into the classrooms of elementary schools all over Chicago. HSC gave a breakdown of what the day consisted of:

  • 67 chefs
  • 67 schools
  • 4000+ students
  • 300+ pounds of fresh vegetables (my rough estimate)
  • 1 coordinated nutrition education curriculum
  • Dozens of supportive partners

The day was put on in partnership with the Go for the Gold campaign, a campaign dedicated to supporting Chicago schools in their efforts to bring healthy food, physical and nutrition education to students. This effort goes hand in hand with the Healthier US School Challenge set by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Check out HSC’s more comprehensive report on the day, including a video, photos, and a map of the participating Chicago schools. What a cool event!

Friday, October 8, 2010


On Halloween from 6 to close, you can get a discounted burrito, bowl, salad or tacos for $2 at Chipotle if you dress up as a processed food!

It’s to help raise a million dollars to go towards Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.

Think of all the possibilities…it’s almost scary.