Three Cheers for Chef Jamie Oliver, and all of his efforts to improve our food system! The season finale of his ABC show aired last night with a mixed bag of positive impact and government roadblocks. This is a great time for Jamie to be raising awareness of the need for vast change in the way we feed our children. The new Federal School Lunch Bill is awaiting a vote in the Senate. The group Mission: Readiness, made up of retired military officers has weighed in with the release of their report this week showing how obesity in America's youth has become a problem for military recruitment. The group is petitioning the government to support better food in our school system. I feel like some real threshold has been crossed when the Mission: Readiness group has turned it's attention to the poor quality of our school lunches. Read the A.P. article here, or the somewhat more informative NPR story here.
Click Here to sign Jamie's petition for better food in America's public schools. You can roll over each state and see how many people from each state have signed. Virginia has almost reached 12,500. That puts us a couple thousand below North Carolina, and about 50 thousand behind California. As for West Virginia, the state that played host to Jamie's Food Revolution Television show... they are at 5,343 signatures, interesting stuff. Check out Jamie's Food Revolution website to track progress and learn more on how you can help. The site even has a two week school meal plan with recipes included.
Locally, our new Richmond chapter of Slow Food has made transforming the food in our area public schools part of their mission. To learn more about Slow Food Richmond, and maybe join in, click here.
If you want more info here are some related reports from The Institutes of Medicine of The National Academies: