Carpinteria School Creates Healthy Food Program

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

photo by David Petrie

Carpinteria High School in Santa Barbara County, California has developed a healthy food program that started with an organic garden. The students quickly embraced the garden and the program has continued to grow. The school’s horticulture class tends the garden every couple of days, the veterinary science students contribute their stable sweepings to the compost pile, the culinary class uses the food grown in the garden as does the cafeteria where lunch is prepared daily using the fresh organic produce.

The garden was started with the support of Carpinteria Unified School District Superintendent Paul Cordeiro who believes that health and education are related, and that garden and culinary classes play an important role in the quality of student’s lives. Carpinteria’s healthy food program continues to grow with plans for a new culinary kitchen where adult classes will also be offered and an on-campus community garden made available to families.
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Ivy League Schools Hold Real Food Summit

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Representatives from Yale, Harvard, Brown, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth and Princeton gathered to discuss university food issues at the Real Food Summit held at Yale University on February 12th. Each of the universities are actively involved in providing local sustainably grown food to their student body. UPenn and Harvard are planning their first student run gardens and Dartmouth already has a student run organic farm which provides 4 percent of the university’s food requirements. At Princeton almost half of the food purchased is produced within 200 miles of the university and Yale has an on-campus organic farm and sustainable dining program.

At the summit the university representatives discussed existing food programs as well as possibilities for the future. Representatives were enthusiastic about creating a network amongst the universities and sharing ideas about sustainability on an ongoing basis. Another summit is already planned for Fall 2010, where representatives from each university will discuss their progress.
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Milagro Allegro Community Garden Hosts LA Sprouts

Friday, February 12th, 2010

USC’s Keck School of Medicine Childhood Obesity Research Center and Loreto Elementary School in Cypress Park, CA have partnered to create LA Sprouts a 12 week program designed to reduce childhood obesity and encourage healthy eating habits. The fourth and fifth grade Loreto Elementary School students will gather twice per week at the Milagro Allegro Community Garden for gardening, nutrition and cooking classes. USC plans to monitor the effectiveness of the garden program in order to develop similar programs in the area.
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Slow Food USA Pushes For Healthy School Lunches

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Slow Food USA has announced that its 90,000 members and advocates are rallying the public to tell Congress to get serious about ending child obesity when legislators begin updating the Child Nutrition Act. Last week, President Obama proposed adding $1 billion per year to the bill, which the organization
commends as “a good start.”

“President Obama’s proposal to add $1 billion per year to the Child Nutrition Act is an important step forward,” stated Josh Viertel, president, Slow Food USA. “But, it’s not enough to give America’s kids a healthy future, especially when nearly one third of our children are overweight or obese and when Congress spends at least $13 billion per year subsidizing the production of unhealthy processed foods. The public needs to speak up and tell Congress to make real improvements to school lunch.”

Right now, Congress gives schools $2.68 for each lunch served, of which only about $1 goes towards ingredients. President Obama has proposed adding $1 billion per year to the Child Nutrition Act, but the money will need to be split up between many critical programs. At most, schools would receive an
additional 20 cents per meal, which falls short of what they need to serve a healthful lunch with sufficient fruits, vegetables and whole grains. School nutrition directors and advocates agree that this would cost $1 more per lunch. Hence Slow Food USA is asking Americans to tell their legislators to add at least $1 billion to the Child Nutrition Act, and strengthen nutrition standards and help schools start farm-to-school programs.

“The math speaks for itself,” continued Viertel. “Obesity and diabetes costs our nation $263 billion per year. And school lunch is so under-funded that most schools can only afford to serve the cheap processed foods that fuel obesity and diabetes. Investing at least $1 billion in child nutrition programs is the smart thing to do. Otherwise, we’re continuing to put our kids, our economy, our health care system and our quality of life at risk.”

Time for Lunch makes it quick and easy for anyone to send emails to their legislators. Slow Food USA has set a goal of sending 100,000 emails to Congress.

Welsh School Plans Eco-makeover

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Edwardsville primary intends to become one of the greenest schools in Wales by opening three outdoor classrooms. Grant funding has paid for the outdoor classrooms, environment and development projects and the garden’s permaculture design as well as a gardener. The children will not only learn to grow, harvest and prepare their own food, but the garden will be used as a basis for learning other subjects such as math, science and history. School administrators feel that outdoor learning not only addresses poor eating habits and obesity issues, but also helps raise children’s self esteem and confidence. There are even plans to invite the surrounding community to grow food on a portion of the school’s land in the future.
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Brooklyn College Creates New Garden

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Brooklyn College is creating a new garden which is intended to serve a “broad spectrum of academic and sustainability initiatives for faculty and students”. The local community will also be invited to plant on individual plots. The objective is to embrace the surrounding community by inviting them to utilize the college grounds, while allowing faculty and students to explore issues surrounding health, nutrition, and organic and sustainable farming.
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Brooklyn’s Edible Schoolyard

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Work AC, Edible Schoolyard NY and Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Foundation are collaborating on the design of a new Edible Schoolyard in Brooklyn at PS216. The objective is to teach sustainable food production while also using the facility as a basis for learning math, science and history. This $1.6 million facility will include a mobile greenhouse to extend the growing season, a space for composting and a chicken coop. The building will produce energy, collect rainwater and sort waste with an “off-grid infrastructure”.
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Communities Embrace School Gardens

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Inspired by Michelle Obama’s White House garden and Alice Water’s Edible Schoolyard, communities across the country are embracing the value of school gardens. The Seedlings Project in Springs, NY was started by two parents who happened to be chefs. With the help of organizations like Project MOST, they were able to secure enough funding to expand the project by adding a greenhouse and employing a full-time gardener who also assists teachers in utilizing the garden in their lesson plans.
Parents and teachers are particularly interested in the nutritional education that their children are receiving. With obesity hitting epidemic proportions in the U.S., connecting kids with the food that they eat is well worth the effort. But their education extends beyond nutrition. One instructor at the Bridgehampton School has her high school design students use 3D animation software to design their landscape projects, then they head to the garden to build them.
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The Docks: Zero Energy School with Gardens

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

Paris based architects Mikou Design Studio recently won a competition with their design for a zero-energy school and sports complex in Saint Ouen, France. Slated to begin construction in 2012, the building’s south-facing orientation will make the greatest use of passive solar energy and promises to make a strong ecological statement. Multiple gardens are incorporated into the terraced design, including primary and nursery school gardens.
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