Saturday, April 17, 2010

Tomato? Potato? Calling for a Real Food Revolution

This video hints at why I so appreciate "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution". (Please click on that link and take a few seconds to signal your support for healthier eating.) I've had similar experiences with kids in elementary schools, and it is always surprising to learn how little they know about fruits and vegetables. Wouldn't a curriculum with food at its thematic center have cross-disciplinary value in life skills, health, social studies, history, reading, writing, math, science, and art? We all have to eat. (Oh, and economics, too.)

Every March, I serve Fruits of the World to fourth graders at the Lotus Blossoms Bazaar, in a booth sponsored by my food co-op. I'm shocked by how many have never tasted a kiwi, a mango, or even a mandarin orange, grapefruit, or tangerine. Some kids can't pull themselves away from the booth once they get a taste of real fruit. They bounce back all day long with a twinkle in their eyes, letting me know they are ready for another sample. Bounce, twinkle: fruit energy is palpable.

I think children have a craving for real food. We use their so-called aversion to new tastes as an excuse for under-nourishing them, and it's just laziness (and selfishness – greed) on the part of adults. We have a responsibility to do better, and Jamie Oliver is pretty adamant about that. It's so good to see this on tv. Can it make a difference? That's up to us.

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