Friday, May 14, 2010

Want to see healthier standards in Public Schools?

The more I learn about how our food is made, processed, marketed and the political forces behind it all, the more frustrated and infuriated I get. Yep, I said infuriated. The whole system is backward. Many of the people put into leadership, who are supposed to be protecting us the consumers, have also worked as lawyers and lobbyists for the very companies that are putting local farmers out of business and pushing genetically modified foods!

Buying organic and hoping it sends a message doesn't seem like enough. Being one person makes me feel so helpless! Do you ever feel that way too?

I've found that there are a few more things we can do, one of which is writing or emailing our representatives in Congress and the Senate (actually, let's just say I hope this helps. I don't have a lot of faith in the politicians....). I have got to believe that every vote for quality food will help to send a message, right?

Slow Food USA is behind the Child Nutrition Bill and sent out this information:

The progress we've made on the Child Nutrition Bill is in jeopardy.

Why? Senate leaders are thinking about postponing the bill for another year or two. Instead of new funding for healthier food, stronger nutrition standards, and grants for Farm to School programs -- which are all in the current bill -- schools could end up with the same-old system next year.

A "Dear Colleague" letter is circulating in the Senate, urging Senate leaders to schedule time for the bill. The letter will be submitted to the leadership on Wednesday, May 19 -- so our Senators need to sign it ASAP.

Over the last year, hundreds of thousands of people have spoken up for helping schools serve healthier food. The result is a Child Nutrition Bill with the most new funding and strongest standards in the sixty-year history of the National School Lunch Program.

It's still not perfect, but we need to get the legislation moving -- otherwise we risk starting over next year with zero funding, no standards and no grants for local food. Our goal right now is to show the Senate leadership that child nutrition is a priority, and that Senators want to address it -- that's the reasoning behind the "Dear Colleague" Letter.

When this bill reaches the Senate floor, we're hoping Congress will improve it by increasing the funding for healthy food to at least $1 billion per year. But we can't get there unless Congress makes child nutrition a priority.

If you are interested in supporting better quality food in the public schools, go HERE to send an email asking your Senators to sign the petition.



CarrieM said...

Thanks for this post. This is an issue I care about myself! I was surprised however, when Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution played on ABC, and I saw just how different food is in different areas. Our elementary school lunches are by no means perfect in Salem, OR, but the children have several choices of fresh food and vegetables every day, and I know it wasn't like that when I was growing up here. Why is it better here/now? Because parents spoke up!

TwinMom said...

Read the recent NY Times article on organic foods. Genetic modification is feeding the third world. It allows less use of pesticides and permits plants to thrive with less water in drought-stricken regions of Africa. You might be wealthy enough to pay a premium for organic, but billions of people aren't. Let's figure out how they can eat too.