edible education

An absolutely brilliant article by Alice Waters, The Fate of Our Nation Rests on School Lunches.

  • The idea of school lunch as an egalitarian mechanism to nourish our nation’s potential has long been discarded and devalued. We are faced with an enormous crisis of health, education and inequality.
  • We need to have the courage and conviction to establish a nutritious, sustainable, free school-lunch program for all.

Her video, above, speaks volumes with the young expressions being the most compelling feature. These kids are having a great time learning about food, where it comes from, how to prepare it, and how it sustains them. This is change we NEED.

extra credit:
What’s in It?: The Domino’s Smart Slice Goes to School
Former USDA Child Nutrition Director Resigns in Protest from School Nutrition Association
Michelle Obama Pledges To ‘Fight Until The Bitter End’ For Lunch Standards
Paul Ryan’s heartless idiocy: How to defeat GOP’s school lunch politics

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fatty liver

This morning’s NY Times contains a very disturbing article: Threat Grows From Liver Illness Tied to Obesity.

Medical professionals have been predicting this problem as they watched our collective waistlines balloon. The problem we speak of is “fatty liver”:

  • Doctors say that the disease, which causes the liver to swell with fat, is particularly striking because it is nearly identical to the liver damage that is seen in heavy drinkers. But in this case the damage is done not by alcohol, but by poor diet and excess weight.

The article contains quotes from several afflicted people:

  • With no drugs to offer him, Gavin’s doctor warned that the only way to reverse his fatty liver was to exercise and change his diet. “They told me to stay away from sugar and eat more fruits and vegetables,” Gavin (13 years-old) said. “But it’s hard.”

Now, one can be unsympathetic to “it’s hard,” but for a 13-year old boy who probably isn’t in control of what is put on the table, you can see the dilemma. He eats what is put in front of him whether it be at home or at school.

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school lunches

The struggle continues as the House Committee votes to allow schools to opt out of the nutritional program mandated by the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. Somehow we’re not surprised by this action. How much money do you think changed hands for those votes?

It seems, however, that things are just about to get interesting.

• The Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing next Thursday on reauthorization of the child nutrition programs, including school meals, a full year before those programs need to be reauthorized.
• Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., supports the healthier meal rules, and her decision to hold the hearing a year early seems to be a reaction to the House proposal.

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gospel

In my humble opinion, the nutritional gospel we’ve been fed is a load of crap. From the USDA food pyramid or now, my plate, to The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease, we’ve been fed a lie all of these years to line the pockets of a few (Big Food, lobbyists, etc) at the expense of the many—that would be us, people, the general public. Fortunately, more and more information is coming to light in books like The Big Fat Surprise and movies like Fed Up:

• For the past 30 years, everything we thought we knew about food and exercise is dead wrong. FED UP is the film the food industry doesn’t want you to see. From Katie Couric, Laurie David, and director Stephanie Soechtig, FED UP will change the way you eat forever.

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paleo

I had an opportunity to listen to this outstanding podcast, The Truth About Paleo yesterday courtesy of Boomers rock radio talk show with host Tom Matt. Dr. Loren Cordain, the man behind paleo, was the guest, and it was a very informative discussion.

I’ll wet your appetite with this morsel, but make sure and give it a listen. It’s worth your time.

70% of all calories consumed in a Western diet come from 4 food groups:
• Refined sugar
• Refined grains
• Refined oils
• Dairy

disturbing

A recent NY Times article, An inconvenient truth about our food by Mark Bittman, talks about the newly released movie, Fed Up.

• The problem at hand, of course, is the standard American diet, especially in its current iteration, which took shape in the early 1980s after the commencement of the official “eat food lower in fat” recommendations. Those recommendations led to a 25 percent increase in the per-capita supply (and indeed consumption) of calories.
• Many of those calories were from sugar, on which “Fed Up” focuses (oversimplifying matters a bit, as far as I can tell, but we can live with that), and the high consumption of which contributes or leads to obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and worse. The vested interests profiting from this situation are Big Food and its allies, who will, it seems, go to any lengths to maintain the status quo — even at the cost of our collective public and financial health. (It’s expensive to treat these chronic diseases, and we’re all footing that bill.)

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Swank diet

When Bob told me that the Swank diet was nonsense, I had already come to the same conclusion myself after reading the publication. The Swank diet basically believes that people with MS should not intake fat; the Wiki says “low in saturated fat,” but the people who I knew who were on it back in the mid to late 90s said they avoided all fat. The mere idea of someone who is having the myelin stripped from their central nervous system avoid fat is bizarre. Myelin is by definition 70-80% lipids (fat) . How would one ever hope to repair the myelin if the weren’t consuming the building blocks necessary to do so? Oh, that’s right. Back then, the common belief was that you simply DIDN’T remyelinate. I never heard Bob say that, however.

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paleo bandwagon

I received an email recently from an web-based Italian-type food store where I used to purchase pasta etc. prior to discovering my gluten problem and going paleo. They are trying to cash-in on people practicing the paleo lifestyle by advertising food products they believe will fit in well including vinegar, tomato sauce, and honey. While I cannot consume vinegar, tomato sauce, or honey, many people eating paleo DO consume these items. Just be aware of what you are consuming and how it may impact your health.

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smoothie experiment

I’d rather eat my food than drink it as I know that your brain looks differently upon drinking calories and eating calories, and I just like chewing my food. For this reason, I embark on this experiment to include vegetable smoothies–in order that I might add EVEN more vegetables to my diet–with a bit of trepidation. I’m not particularly concerned about calories; however, if I’m not going to be satiated after drinking a bunch of kale, please remind me again why I am doing this.

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control

In a previous post I spoke of my aunt, my mother’s sister, being diagnosed with RA. Her daughter, my cousin, was also diagnosed with RA last month. This in turn led to long discussions about family history and I found out the following:
• both my maternal great-grandparents had RA
• of their 6 children only one seemed to present with RA (not my grandmother)
• of my grandmother’s 5 children, 3 presented with RA (my mother, and a younger sister and brother)
• the next generation would be mine where I and my cousin have both been diagnosed
• my cousin has two young daughters—I think we could make an educated guess about their fate, unfortunately

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