Week 4 - School Lunches


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  • Teachers taught a variety of subjects through garden activities. Students practiced writing by keeping planting journals and writing compositions about the garden. Math skills were acquired by counting seeds, measuring garden plots, and determining the appropriate soil depth for planting. Students learned botany and entomology by observing plants and insects and their interrelationships. Geography and history came into play when students studied the origins of fruits and vegetables and planting customs among different cultures. The gardens provided inspiration for drawing, painting, and performing music.
  • Children in New York City work in their school's World War II victory garden.
  • Brooklyn
  • Since the 1970s, the popularity of school and youth gardens has grown steadily. California took the lead in 1995 by launching the “Garden in Every School” program.
  • National School Lunch Act - Harry Truman signed National School Lunch Act in 1946 to provide low cost or free school lunch meals to qualified students through government subsidies and surplus agricultural provisions – 7.1 million children. Child Nutrition Act – President Johnson; to help meet the nutritional needs of children; Special Milk Program incorporated into the act; established the School Breakfast program (low-cost to free breakfasts); “good food is essential to good learning”The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are jointly issued and updated every 5 years by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). They provide authoritative advice for Americans ages 2 and older about consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices, and being physically active to attain and maintain a healthy weight, reduce risk of chronic disease, and promote overall health. Current regulations require schools to meet the Dietary Guidelines - that no more than 30 percent of an individual's calories come from fat, and less than 10 percent from saturated fat. Regulations also establish a standard for school meals to provide one-third of the Recommended Daily Allowances of protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, calcium, and calories. Foods Minimal Nutrional Value – US law refers to foods that may not be sold in competition with the school lunch and b’fest programs. These are foods that USDA has determined contain little if any nutritional value. For example, sugar candy, soda pop without fruit juices, and chewing gum are considered to be foods of minimal nutritional value. Candy containing nuts or chocolate is considered to have some nutritional value.The USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program encourages consumption of fruits and vegetables by making fruit and vegetable snacks available at no cost to all children in participating schools;program  has since become a permanent program that was expanded to cover selected schools in all 50 States, as part of the 2008 Farm Bill.Child Nutrition and WIC – nutrition education and physical activity to prevent childhood obesity; local wellness policies; encourages children to consume cow’s milk; continuation and expansion of fruit and vegetable pilot program; ensures food safety; strengthens partnerships between local farms, school gardens, and child nutrition programs.
  • 94 percent of all schools participate in NSLP and within the school 60 percent of the students participate in the program
  • The federal government began to subsidize school lunches as a way to manage giant farm surpluses, while simultaneously supporting asuffering population.
  • >23 Million (1/3) of US children and teens overweight or obese. - 3 fold increase in childhood obesity btw 1980 & 2000 Diabetes expected to affect 40% children born in 2000.Life expectancy predicted to drop for first time since the Great Depression.Coronary Artery Disease - new study shows children have plaque of 45 year olds; 100,000 new cases of CAD by 2035 directly attributable to childhood obesity epidemic.
  • The Anatomy of a Domino's Smart Slice – Domino’s School Lunch Program
  • Chef Ann Cooper’s Meal Wheel
  • DGA – Dietary Guidelines of America
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVfAWbitBTs
  • “No savings” is important to note because schools often claim that “scratch cooking” is more expensive than the system they have now because it takes more time and labor… Why is this allowed to happen? Part of it is that school authorities don’t want the trouble of overseeing real kitchens. Part of it is that the management companies are saving money by not having to pay skilled kitchen workers. And the rebate deals with national food manufacturers cut out local farmers and small producers like bakers, who could offer fresh, healthy food and help the local economy.
  • Center for Science in the Public Interest – sending food to be processed often means lower nutritional value! A 2008 study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that by the time many healthier commodities reach students, “they have about the same nutritional value as junk foods.”
  • Discussion – from your readings…
  • Including vending machines and student/school stores… use example from my junior high – nachos and candy bars…
  • Alabama – students oversee chicken operations; learn the business and science of raising livestock
  • Private school where children raise chicks like 4-H – classroom chickens
  • Farm/ chicken tours – petting zoos
  • Children see the entire process – tree or seed, to fruit or vegetable, to harvest, to market, to lunchroom
  • Students learn through cooking the vegetables – “ask a chef” day… homemade pizzas are a big hit
  • Students see and taste local vegetables and fruits before they are processed – learn the names…
  • Farm to school – internally in the lunchroom – scratch cooking
  • Cooking classes- other chef-like programs
  • School produce stands and farmer’s markets
  • Week 4 - School Lunches

    1. 1.  “A Community of Gardens” – role of community gardens in US during war, economic depression, and recession  Example – Victory Gardens  First school garden – 1891; Boston  Nationwide movement – 75,000 school gardens by 1906  Way to get children outside, physical activity, teamwork…  Gardening classes – agricultural training  Various subject taught in garden
    2. 2.  1914 – Federal gov. established Bureau of Education’s Office of School & Home Gardening – How To’s  The School Garden Army – WWI “A garden for every child, every child in a garden”  Important contributors to war gardens – $1,000’s in produce  Promoted schools that sold locally grown fresh fruits and veggies
    3. 3.  Post-war housing boom 1950s-60s – increased interest  USDA – Urban Garden Program in 1976 to grow food in major cities  Concern for disconnect between children and nature – unaware of where there food comes from  1970s – Community Garden movement  Rising food prices  Increased environmental awareness  Desire to revitalize neighborhoods plagued by crime  Turned vacant lots into productive green spaces
    4. 4.  1946 National School Lunch Act  1966 Child Nutrition Act (Breakfast, summer)  1980 Dietary Guidelines for Americans  1983 Foods Minimal Nutritional Value  2002 Farm Act Fruit/Veggie Pilot  2004 Child Nutrition & WIC Reauthorization Act
    5. 5.  Mission: “promote the health and well-being of the Nation’s children”  More than 100,000 Schools  28 million lunches a day / 5 BILLION lunches a year  94% of ALL schools (avg. 60% participation in NSLP)  Food based vs. nutrient based  Studies suggest link – NSLP and overweight children  Low income children participating in NSLP:  2/3 of participants  More affected by obesity
    6. 6.  Students receive “SURPLUS” of Agriculture  Policies originally addressed malnutrition due to poverty  Same policies have contributed to obesity rates by encouraging excessive eating at school  Often consume more calories than needed  Children can decline certain parts of the meal (i.e. fruits and vegetables)
    7. 7.  Children’s Health –  Obesity  Heart Disease  Diabetes  Life Expectancy
    8. 8.  Both USDA and DGA advisory committees have numerous ties to industry  DGA 2005: Kraft, Mars, American Egg Board, American Cocoa Research Institute, Sugar Association, NCBA Kellogg, National Dairy Board  USDA 2004: National Cattelman’s Beef Assiociation and ConAgra Foods (packaged foods industry)
    9. 9.  Children’s health vs. Agribusiness  “Cutting costs through privatization” – ¼ of school’s nutrition program  Outsourced to food giants – Aramark (Philadelphia), Sodexo (France), Chartwells (Britain)  Work hand-in-hand with food manufacturers like Tyson and Pilgrim’s – PROFIT DRIVEN
    10. 10.  Schools that hire private food-service management firms - spend less on labor/food; more on fees/supplies = NO SUBSTATIVE ECONOMIC SAVINGS*  Food processors give rebates to management companies in exchange for school contracts – schools charged full price (rebate abuse – NY $20 million settlement)
    11. 11. 1). USDA pays $1 billion a year for commodities like fresh apples, sweet potatoes, chickens, and turkeys 2). Schools get free food 3). Schools pay processors to turn healthy ingredients into fried chicken nuggets, fruit pastries, and pizza… ~$445 million in commodities are sent for processing each year! Ex: Michigan – free raw chicken worth $11.40/case; sends it for processing into nuggets at $33.45/case California - $14.75 to make French fries out of $5.95 worth of “free” potatoes
    12. 12.  Gives USDA authority to set nutritional standards for all foods sold in schools  Maximum calories for school meals  Require more fruits, vegs, whole grains; limit trans fats  Additional funding to schools that meet new nutritional standards  Establish local farm to school networks  Improve nutritional quality of commodity foods  Sets basic standards for school wellness policies
    13. 13.  “Smaller lunches at higher prices” – price increase of 10 – 15 cents per meal  “Hungry and unhappy students” - Reduced portions of bread and protein; 1% flavored milk replaced by fat- free milk…  “Children aren’t’ obese from school lunches – it’s lack of exercise”  Increased food waste – “kids won’t eat broccoli”  Food management companies lobbied against it – “children may not want to eat healthier food”  Blocked limit on starchy vegetables; continued to allow pizza sauce and French fries to count as vegetables
    14. 14.  Frisco Elementary – 16 pounds of produce  Over 300 students/youth groups visit in summer  School season not summer growing season  How to get this into the curriculum at school?  Ex: DVE School garden and dome
    15. 15.  Getting healthy, locally, sustainably produced foods into Colorado schools  Helping children understand how food is produced  Transition from processed and precooked ingredients to whole foods – more control over nutrition  Example Programs:  Special meal once a month (Colorado Proud)  Scratch Cooking – local foods with minimal processing  Source single item as a pilot program  Salad bar or baked potato bar  Local, frozen ground beef
    16. 16.  “School gardens and related educational activities may be just as important as serving local food in cafeteria”  Potential educational component:  Farm tours  School gardens  Nutrition education in the classroom  Cooking classes and demos (Chef in the classroom)  Local food or farmer posters in cafeterias  Special meals (Colorado Proud)  Farmer visits to the classroom  Youth farmer’s markets  Incorporating garden production into culinary, science, math, and other academic curriculum