Friday, February 23, 2007

Grow it, pick it, eat it

A lot of American kids, specifically urban and suburban, think that food comes from grocery stores.
And that's it. A lot of parents, again, more urban and suburban, don't buy introduce their kids to things like kale, eggplant, and other produce because they don't know how to cook it and they don't think their kids will eat it. A school district in North Carolina is tackling the problem admirably. They've partnered with a local foodbank to create a school garden program where kids plant seeds, water them and take care of them, then harvest the produce and it's used in the school cafeteria. But they don't stop there. They also offer cooking demonstrations to the kids and their parents. They send home packages of freshly grown food on the weekends with kids from limited resource homes. They get the kids involved in the local farming community, taking them on field trips to local farms. There's an article about it here.

They're dealing with so many issues at once, and looking at them on a holistic level. Childhood obesity, malnutrition due to lack of knowledge, malnutrition due to lack of resources, raising lifelong healthy citizens, contributing to the local economy, helping the local environment - it's truly an awesome program. I'd love to recreate it in my area. I'd love to send my kids to a school like that.

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