Dear Casey Coates,
Food Tank just released an article on 3 Exciting Initiatives for Changing School Food in the United States. And while the examples we highlighted—including LiveWell@School Food Initiatives, the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food, and The Kitchen Community—are exciting innovations, they, unfortunately, are not the norm in many schools.
According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, 75 percent of beverage options and 85 percent of snacks are of poor nutritional quality in both middle and high schools in the U.S. Despite recent interest in healthy school lunches, students have limited access to nutritious options and many end up consuming sugary beverages and high-sodium and high-fat meals.
As a result, obesity and overweight are at epidemic proportions among students—nearly 20 percent of children are obese in the U.S.
The Center for Ecoliteracy, however, has developed a planning framework, Rethinking School Lunch, which identifies 10 ways administrators and parents can improve food options in schools, including a downloadable school lunch guide. And The Lunch Box is an online toolkit, including recipes, tutorial videos, a list of helpful resources, and technical tools for bringing better food to schools.
The healthy school meal revolution isn’t only taking place in the U.S. In many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, 60 percent of children come to school in the morning without eating breakfast, if they attend school at all. The World Food Programme feeds more than 20 million children in schools in Africa, and simultaneously provides an extra incentive for parents to send their children to school because they know they'll get at least one meal. And Project DISC (Developing Innovations in School Cultivation) helps primary school students in Uganda grow their own produce, providing children with an education in agriculture as well as nutrition.
Slow Food’s European Schools for Healthy Food has brought together a coalition of schools across Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Romania, and Spain. The project promotes consumption of healthy food in schools by working with educators, parents, and the private and public bodies in charge of education policy – all via a social networking website which allows these groups to update and share their progress.
What do you think are the best ways to change food in schools? How can we put more fruits and vegetables on students’ plates around the world? We will create a column on Food Tank to share your comments.
All the best,
Let's Change the Food System. JOIN FOOD TANK
Climate Change Has Severe Implications for the Future of Agriculture
Higher than average temperatures around the world over the past year have caused severe damage to crops, illustrating how climate change will likely have serious ramifications for agriculture on a global level.
5 Ways to Eat More Healthful and Sustainable Chicken Products
Most chickens raised for meat and eggs in the world live in small cages in massive facilities known as factory farms. These operations have been linked to animal cruelty, environmental degradation, ‘superbugs’ from antibiotic overuse, and poor working conditions.
Study on Food Stamps Highlights Need for New Metrics
An interesting new study finds that food stamps are successful in reducing hunger and improving health in children. But how can we improve opportunities for low-income families so that food stamps aren't necessary?
From Farm to Landfill: World Food Waste
While developing countries lose a lot of food because of poor infrastructure and lack of proper storage facilities, consumers in wealthy countries waste food because they tend to buy too much, are picky about its appearance, or don’t understand expiration dates.
When Food Strikes: Falling Victim to Foodborne Illnesses
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in six Americans (or 48 million people) contract a foodborne illness every year, and 128,000 people become hospitalized and 3,000 die.