Archive for March, 2011

  • Why would someone want to dump 57 tons of white sand into an old school bus? To make a point. The point being to demonstrate how much sugar schoolchildren in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the second largest in the U.S., consume every week just from flavored milk served in school meals. The sand in the school bus stunt was part of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s attempt to confront LAUSD, which refuses to allow his ABC film crew to shoot in public school cafeterias. As of this writing, Oliver, in his second season with the U.S. broadcast of “Food Revolution” has taken to the streets of LA with outdoor student cookoffs and cooking classes on wheels in an effort to teach kids about nutrition. Better nutrition for school kids is also the aim of science-based Dietary Guidelines for Americans, released January 31, 2011 by the Departments of Agriculture and of Health and Human Services. (1) But will kids eat healthier food, and what about drinking water in place of soft drinks? Louise Esaian, who oversees the food service program for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) told Chicago Tribune reporter Monica Eng that while 70 percent of students choose to eat lunch at school that introducing new concepts is challenging, especially if healthful options don’t actually taste as good as processed food. According to the Tribune report, CPS brought back a spicy chicken patty sandwich in all district high schools during January 2011, because of sagging lunch sales. (2) Tribune reporters watched nine of 10 students in the lunch line at North-Grand H.S. chose the less healthy, processed spicy chicken option with the addition of ketchup or barbecue sauce and pickled jalapeno pepper rings containing more than 1,100 mg of sodium, or two-thirds the daily recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most parents know that processed food with loads of salt tastes better compared to vegetables with no salt. So chefs pushing a healthier way to eat conclude that because it takes far less sodium to make dishes like rice and beans or broccoli palatable to students than what is used in processed foods, that it’s okay to add a little salt to fresh veggies. Nutrition expert Jane Brody of The New York Times advocates gradual adaptations. She wrote recently that, “Moderation, rather than constant deprivation and denial, is the key to a wholesome diet that you can stick with and enjoy. I say this with confidence because I’ve lived this way for most of my adult life and I’ve watched my sons do the same for more than four decades.” (3) “We get so much health advice on how to eat 100 percent perfect,” Clint Carter, contributing editor to the “Eat This, Not That,” published by Rodale Inc., recently told Barb Berggoetz in an article published by The Indianapolis Star. Instead of approaching food as an all-or-nothing transaction, Carter recommends making smarter decisions. Eating at a restaurant, even at fast-food places, Carter said, doesn’t mean you […]

    Jamie Oliver Makes a Point

    Why would someone want to dump 57 tons of white sand into an old school bus? To make a point. The point being to demonstrate how much sugar schoolchildren in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the second largest in the U.S., consume every week just from flavored milk served in school meals. The sand in the school bus stunt was part of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s attempt to confront LAUSD, which refuses to allow his ABC film crew to shoot in public school cafeterias. As of this writing, Oliver, in his second season with the U.S. broadcast of “Food Revolution” has taken to the streets of LA with outdoor student cookoffs and cooking classes on wheels in an effort to teach kids about nutrition. Better nutrition for school kids is also the aim of science-based Dietary Guidelines for Americans, released January 31, 2011 by the Departments of Agriculture and of Health and Human Services. (1) But will kids eat healthier food, and what about drinking water in place of soft drinks? Louise Esaian, who oversees the food service program for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) told Chicago Tribune reporter Monica Eng that while 70 percent of students choose to eat lunch at school that introducing new concepts is challenging, especially if healthful options don’t actually taste as good as processed food. According to the Tribune report, CPS brought back a spicy chicken patty sandwich in all district high schools during January 2011, because of sagging lunch sales. (2) Tribune reporters watched nine of 10 students in the lunch line at North-Grand H.S. chose the less healthy, processed spicy chicken option with the addition of ketchup or barbecue sauce and pickled jalapeno pepper rings containing more than 1,100 mg of sodium, or two-thirds the daily recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most parents know that processed food with loads of salt tastes better compared to vegetables with no salt. So chefs pushing a healthier way to eat conclude that because it takes far less sodium to make dishes like rice and beans or broccoli palatable to students than what is used in processed foods, that it’s okay to add a little salt to fresh veggies. Nutrition expert Jane Brody of The New York Times advocates gradual adaptations. She wrote recently that, “Moderation, rather than constant deprivation and denial, is the key to a wholesome diet that you can stick with and enjoy. I say this with confidence because I’ve lived this way for most of my adult life and I’ve watched my sons do the same for more than four decades.” (3) “We get so much health advice on how to eat 100 percent perfect,” Clint Carter, contributing editor to the “Eat This, Not That,” published by Rodale Inc., recently told Barb Berggoetz in an article published by The Indianapolis Star. Instead of approaching food as an all-or-nothing transaction, Carter recommends making smarter decisions. Eating at a restaurant, even at fast-food places, Carter said, doesn’t mean you […]

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