October 16, 2011- Blog Action Day

Sunday, October 16, 2011

On this years Blog Action Day, I’m choosing to discuss the food issue of lunches served in out public schools. Living in LA, I can tell you, from what I see at my daughters school, that the food is not fit for human consumption, much less  our precious children who are trying to be educated while their growing bodies are trying to fend off the onslaught of toxins they ingested at lunch. My daughter enjoyed the novelty at first of school hot lunches, but soon would complain of stomach aches after lunch. My investigations led me to now insist my kids lunches are packed at home with plenty of ( try to) good organics and wholesome fare.

British chef Jamie Oliver this past year based his “Food Revolution” on showcasing the tragedy of children’s obesity and diabetes in America, and zeroed in ( as a start) on American public school lunches. What he found was appalling, and the city he first started with was ( you guessed it) Los Angeles. At first the LA Unified refused to let him into the kitchens. It’s amazing to watch if you can get to the episodes ( I believe on hulu.) But you can find more about his findings, and ways to get involved here at his website.

Where the government can quickly spend a million dollars on one Patriot Missile , but can’t adequately fund our future generation’s public education, and the food that is served to these kids, it’s no wonder demonstrations are starting in protest of the American system.

Food being advertised and sold to kids has been a long issue of mine, from when I refused to be in the Cartoon Network McDonalds commercial promoting Kids Happy meals. I got a lot of Time Warner and Cartoon Network exec’s pissed off at me, but we have to start addressing this epidemic our kids poor eating habits. Cartoon Network and other kids networks have started rallying around the problem in the last couple of years ( and I’m not for shows getting on a soapbox to spout lessons.) But I did find it ironic for them to mention to me a joke we made involving food, that we should be more responsible about promoting good eating habits, and then funding the show with McDonalds and Burger King commercials.

The only way we can start making a difference is to start getting involved. Go to Jamie’s website. Investigate your own school’s lunch program. Speak out. Some schools are getting on the bandwagon and  changing the menu’s. They are finding that it doesn’t cost any more, it’s just about making choices and not having corporations dictate volume buying decisions.

Get involved! Check it out!

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6 Responses to October 16, 2011- Blog Action Day

  1. Hmm… You know once I think about, I guess my city’s high school doesn’t really have the best food section (or it could improve). With a nice food installment with all these Delicious goodies to fest on, it’s hard for kids to pick the salad. If they do, then they buried in Salad Dressing and Croutons. (I not going to lie, I do the same). It’s not that schools don’t have heath foods, but it’s not appealing enough for kids to want to eat. They’re a lot of healthy foods out there, but maybe our schools just need to think outside the box. Serve a little more then just salads and carrot sticks. I think I’ll look more into it. 🙂

  2. jestoon says:

    hey joe,
    I totally agree. i actually wrote a paper on this in health class last week… i think its crazy that it costs roughly the same, but they aren’t willing to make an effort….

  3. Nichole says:

    Thanks for posting this, Uncle. I’ve always admired your ability to stick by your convictions and stay true to your beliefs.

    I didn’t know yesterday was Blog Action Day. As fate would have it, I started a new, kind-of-actiony blog yesterday at http://liverhythm.blogspot.com/.

    Thanks again for posting. I enjoy your words and work immensely.

  4. Right on Joe!

    Although part of this comes down to the parents as well. It’s a case of why:

    Why are they not providing the kid’s lunches?

    If not, why are they willing to let the school sell them utter junk?

    It’s not all about cost (as you mention, jamie Oliver found success on that front) it’s also to do with the level of involvement of the parents and their role in the education system.

    I’m willing to be the low level of PTA and school board membership plays a role in all of this.

  5. Joe Murray says:

    I agree with you Charles. In the sense of what our kids eat, what they watch etc. Parents often look to the providers of these things to change what is being offered, instead of looking to their own power of saying no. It takes more time to make a good lunch than to hand them money to buy it for the day, just as it takes more time engage with a child rather than plop them in front of a TV or gameboy. Parents need a more active role.

  6. Ziggywolf5 says:

    You might be interested in http://fedupwithlunch.com , Joe. A teacher forced herself to eat the same lunches her kids were served for a full school year. She’s since become a bit of a campaigner.

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