TEDx. x=independently organized TED event

Changing the Way We Eat 

This Saturday at 10:30am -5:45pm

Just a quick reminder that TEDxManhattan “Changing the Way We Eat” is happening this Saturday, January 21st, at the Times Center in New York City. If you aren’t planning to be there, you can join a local viewing party or tune in on your own.

 To watch online, please visit www.livestream.com/tedx from 10:30am to 5:45pm eastern.

For more information or to find out if there’s a viewing party in your area, please visit www.tedxmanhattan.org/viewing-parties.

Pizza is not a Vegetable

Last week congress put its energy into ripping apart a bill that would have greatly improved school lunches. The frozen food industry and its lobbyists are thrilled.

Pizza will continue to count as a “vegetable”, lessening the need for real vegetables. Sodium will stay high, whole grains low, and french fries can stay every day. Really, is this the best we can do?

At a time where childhood obesity is a national crisis, one would have hoped congress would support the long overdue USDA measures, and make school lunch look more like their own recommended food “plate”.

It’s a good thing we are capable of doing better on a local level. Let’s stick with it!

Make a call to Mike Fitzpatrick and tell him what you think. (215) 579-8102

In case you missed it, here are some great articles on the topic.


Washington Post 


Food Safety News

National Post

Ted Talks : Jamie Oliver: Teach every child about food

Jamie Oliver : TED TALK

The Slow Food Thanksgiving Planner

Bourbon Red Turkey

The Slow Food Movement has a great section on their website on how to plan a delicious, local, clean and fair Thanksgiving for your family and friends.

Check out the great  Slow Food Thanksgiving Recipes, including information on Heritage Turkeys and why they are so important to save.

I bought my turkey last year from Happy Farm on Gallow’s Hill and it was tasty! I know there are many other great options locally too, please feel free to write with suggestions and I’ll add them to a new post. I am still hoping to get the community section up and running, but here is a good start if you are looking for local farms and markets to buy from directly – Pennsylvania’s BUYFRESH-BUYLOCAL guide.

Top 5 tips to a Slow Food Thanksgiving:

  1. Shop for fresh, seasonal, and LOCAL foods at a farmers market
  2. Take the time to learn about where your food comes from and how it was raised
  3. Give thanks for the labor that brought your food to your table and the earth that grew it.
  4. Get all hands on deck in the kitchen. Teach others what you know and learn from them.
  5. Sit back and savor the meal with family and friends

National Food Day! October 24th

It’s National Food Day, October 24th. Eat something REAL tonight!

Food Day’s goal is nothing less than to transform the American diet—to inspire a broad movement involving people from every corner of our land who want healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way. In other words, we want America to eat real.

Janet Link, Michael Lynch, the Porter family and I went to see  Cafeteria Man last Wednesday in Bethlehem. We had a great discussion afterwards and all left inspired to do something to help make real food a priority in our schools. There are so many great things happening from the ground up right now in school food across the country. My next post will be hi-lighting some of these programs – they are all so interesting and creative! I will also post what is happening with our Wellness Committee so far. Look for these posts in the next day or so.

And again, I would highly recommend the film. Here’s an article about it that came out today in the Bethlehem Patch.


Sports Drinks : Not for Children or Adolescents says AAP

Since I saw the sports drinks in the lunch lines at the Middle School and the High School, I have been doing a lot of research and talking to people. Clearly, the millions of dollars spent promoting these drinks has been effective, because people are confused and children and adolescents are downing these drinks like water. Yet, it only takes a few hours of research to learn that these drinks are yet another disaster for our children’s health. They are the new “health-washed” soda – along with all the phony “water” drinks that are little more than expensive sugary chemical cocktails – and we need to get them out of our lunch lines and out of our schools. Currently, they are in both our high school and middle school lunch lines, in vending machines at the high school and possibly soon in a vending machine at the middle school, and of course at every sporting event –  tempting our children with their splashy colors and massive marketing campaigns with their favorite sports heroes.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children and adolescents drink sports drinks rarely – if at all – and if they do drink them they should be watered down and only after long bouts of vigorous activity (90 consecutive minutes). They should never be served with meals.Basically the message was this: Given the current epidemic of childhood overweight and obesity, we recommend the elimination of calorie-containing beverages from a well-balanced diet, with the exception of … fat-free milk, because it contains calcium and vitamin D, which are particularly important for young people.

Here is a link to the report:


Ingredients from a blue Powerade go something like this:

Water, glucose, fructose, citric acid, mineral salts (sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, calcium chloride, potassium phosphate), flavourings, acidity regulator (potassium citrate), stabilisers (acacia gum, glycerol esters of wood rosins), sweeteners (sucralose, acesulfame K), colour (brilliant blue).

Not only is it another source of concentrated sugar – which is the last thing our kids need –  but it’s a blast of salt and a nice cocktail of controversial chemicals attributed to behavioral disorders. Yes, there are electrolytes – that are may be beneficial to a professional athlete who has participated in vigorous activity for extended periods of time. Considering the obesity and diabetes crisis in our nation and our community – serving these drinks – or any of these useless sugary drinks in the schools to impressionable children is – in my opinion – irresponsible. I hope the wellness committee – and parents – can convince the administration to start eliminating these products from the schools.

Here are some helpful links on the topic:

Healthy Future for Kids : Gatorade not fit for Gators or Kids




Fed up with lunch: Chicago teacher exposes state of school food

Anonymous teacher/blogger  – Mrs Q of  www.fedupwithlunch.com – revealed her identity on Good Morning America and The View this week. Sarah Wu is a 34-year-old speech pathologist who photographed and ate all the lunches at her elementary school for one year.  She figured if the kids had to eat it, she should too, and she was appalled. Each night she went home, wrote about it anonymously and posted it on her blog .www.fedupwithlunch.com .  She has now written a book, and her school’s food is beginning to improve. Well written, thoughtful blog!

Michael Pollan _ Thoughts on School Lunch

National School Lunch Week, October 10-14, 2011

The School Nutriton Association has dedicated this week to promote school lunches. This year the theme is “Let’s Grow Healthy” and fresh and local is being promoted as the new direction of school food. I’m not sure if there was something special done in the cafeterias in honor of this obscure week, but the Wellness Expo is a good start in the direction of healthy, fresh and local and we hope the food services continues its efforts to add fresh fruits and vegetables to the line and to find ways to get them on children’s plates. Pictured below are nice fresh vegetables in the Durham Nox line. I have heard that between this and the salad bar the kids at Durham Nox are eating more fresh vegetables and fruit.  This is huge and I hope we will continue to see more changes as the year progresses. This is going to have such an enormous impact on these children’s futures!

One great way to celebrate this week is to have lunch with your child in their cafeteria. You can then see for yourself what the children are eating and what is available. If you can’t do it this week, you can do it any time, just contact your school to see what their policy is. Please let me know if you go and if you have comments or suggestions I could use in the blog.


“Cafeteria Man” Oct 19th – Broughal Middle School – Bethlehem

Another great story about changing the school food! This looks fantastic and is showing next week in Bethlehem.

“Cafeteria Man” is a story of positive movement.  It’s about the aspiration of social activists and citizens coming together to change the way kids eat at school.  It’s about overhauling a dysfunctional nutritional system.  And, it’s the story of what it takes and who it takes, to make solutions happen.

The feature documentary film chronicles an ambitious effort to “green” the public schools diet serving 83,000 students in Baltimore, by replacing pre-plated, processed foods with locally grown, freshly prepared foods. Parents, teachers, administrators, school board members, farmers, chefs and dozens of creative and motivated students form a “village” to transform school food.

“Cafeteria Man” will be viewed at 7:00 PM on October 19th at the new Broughal Middle School auditorium, 114 West Morton Steet, Bethlehem.

Prior to the showing, there will be a reception highlighting local farmers starting at 6 PM.  At 8:20 PM, a discussion panel moderated by Meagan Grega, MD and Eric J. Ruth, co-founders of the Kellyn Foundation with panelists Richard Chisholm, Co-Director of “Cafeteria Man”, Edward Docalovich, Principal of Broughal Middle School, Robert Irving from Sodexo and Jeffrey Frank, a local organic farmer will take place.

Check out his website and watch the trailer.