Monday, June 28, 2010

Starting a School Food Revolution

By Ed Bruske
aka The Slow Cook

A revolution needs to eat, right?

I felt bad dragging people out into 98-degree heat for our first meetup of Parents for Better D.C. School Food. The reward was this lovingly prepared, pot-luck buffet: Laura Marks' local fritatta, Constance Newman's current muffins, Tara Flakker's quinoa and veggie salad, and my own rutabaga souffle (we harvested some gorgeous rutabaga from the garden recently).

Add a little bubbly Prosecco and you have one heck of a meeting.

Amidst the gnoshing and getting caught up, we did manage to hone our agenda for the coming months:

* Get involved with the local wellness committee and make sure the D.C. wellness policy reflects our goals of removing sugary foods from schools and replacing processed convenience foods with meals made from whole ingredients.

* Make the job of improving school food a community effort. While we are bird-dogging school food service and exposing bad food, we also need to help formulate and support positive changes. We can't just sit back and wait for school officials to pick up the slack.

* Salad bars may be our best bet to connect kids with fresh local foods they will actually eat. How do we get a salad bar in every school?

Parents are busy and difficult to organize. We can't be pulling them in too many different directions. We need clear goals and a clear plan of action that gets everyone involved.


  1. Love the ideas and thanks for coming together. How to move forward? Committees? As a group? Engaging others?

  2. Sorry I missed it. Looks fabulous.

  3. I know you don't like chartwells, I work for compass group in their private school division.
    What I can tell you is they are receptive to your concerns and needs, its just that the feds have made such a mess out of school foodservice, and the money is next to nothing....there is so much fat in the whole school system not just in their fees.....but meet with them, get the DM involved, if they don't make you happy talk to the regional VP...they are decent people who want to do a good job. It could be much worse, you could have aramark of sodexo.
    all the best and keep up the good work!

  4. Looks exciting ! Like your targeted agenda!! I am a chef who attended the June 4th Chefs Move to the Schools event. Would like to talk with you about how we go about implementing the next stages of the initiative ! There is a ground swell of excitement & well intended good wishes ...but I think it needs focus, and direction !

  5. Janis, you can reach me at euclidarms(at)yahoo(dot)com.

    Ed Bruske