Photo source: The Baltimore Sun Weblogs
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.