The stars seem to be lining up for school food reform. At least it seems to be a hot topic these days, what with Jamie Oliver taking millions of television viewers inside a school kitchen for the first time.
Here are seven reasons why the time is ripe, one of them being parent groups like our organizing and speaking out. And here's the take from USA Today, quoting our own Ed Bruske.
Jamie Oliver has been taking some heat for his "Food Revolution" reality show focused on the eating habits of Huntington, W.Va. Here, a professional food consultant defends Oliver, saying the scenes of woeful, processed school food and indifferent cafeteria workers are only too common across the country.
Oliver also defends the show, saying he is definitely helping. He points to a study of his program in England showing that better food has led to improved academic performance and less absenteeism.
It's time for Congress to re-authorize the Child Nutrition Act, which includes funding for federal school meal programs, and Marion Nestle explains why it's such a mess of mixed missions and garbled standards.
A New Jersey auditor accuses school food services companies Sodhexo and Chartwells of over-charging 10 school districts hundreds of thousands of dollars for workers compensation and liability insurance. Chartwells provides the food service for D.C. Public Schools.
A study indicating that lab rats get fatter on high-fructose corn syrup than on regular sugar has been getting lots of attention. Getting less attention: The study also showed that sugar raises triglyceride levels.
A story in the Washington Afro-American quotes D.C. Schools Chief Operating Officer Anthony Tata at some length on where Chartwells is taking school food service in the District. Tata also talks about introducing local produce into school meals, but deflects criticisms about the quality of food Chartwells is serving.
School meals in the District contain too much sugar, and there are fears that the current epidemic of childhood obesity could lead to an epidemic of diabetes and an explosion in health care costs down the road. In Thailand, turns out the sugar they put in their food has resulted in a rate of diabetes rate that even exceeds the one here in the U.S.
Japan stubbornly continues to hunt whales, supposedly for "research." But since most Japanese don't eat whale meat any more, there is a growing surplus of whale meat. Guess how they're dealing with it?
If you said serving it to children in school, you would be correct.
10 hours ago