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Whole Gourmet Natural Cooking

Alison Anton's Natural Cooking Blog offers healthy recipes, inspirational food articles and culinary advice for the natural chef, and features dessert recipes from her upcoming cookbook, Desserts for Every Body.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Healthy Kids - Farm to School Program

I thought I'd post this blog, after hearing yesterday about the recall of 143 million pounds of beef from the California slaughterhouse being investigated for animal abuse. Cows too sick to walk were filmed being shoveled up with fork lifts and dragged across floors with metal chains.

Sad to say it, but I believe that this kind of treatment is typical for commercial slaughterhouses. It really backs up the necessity to purchase meat from local, organic humanely treated sources. Small farms are best.

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Now more than ever, there's a looming concern about whether or not our kids are getting the right nutrition at school. Are they eating meat from commercial, large-scale slaughterhouses? Has the produce been sprayed with dangerous chemicals? Are they serving milk with hormones and antibiotics? Are kids eating processed junk food high in fried fats and refined sugar? Inquiring moms need to know.

In an effort to increase nutrition at schools and provide kids with lasting education in nutrition and health, an organization called Farm to School is sweeping the nation. These programs connect local farms that provide fresh, seasonal and organic foods (including produce, meat, eggs and dairy) to school lunch programs. Kids not only get to eat the food, but also get involved in how it grows. Students visit the farms, start gardens, and implement recycling and composting programs at school.

And it's good for the farmers too. Schools implementing the Farm to School program buy shares in the farms, ensuring that the farm has the resources for the growing season ahead. It's a win-win for everyone: Farms, schools, kids, parents, communities and Mother Earth share the wealth.

All but nine states now have at least one Farm to School Program, and those numbers are growing fast. The Farm to School website has clear resources for how to get a program started at your child's school, including state and federal policies, funding opportunities, forums, publications and links.

Check it out!


At 6:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great site. I just went onto your site and found a wealth of information. I liked your article about healthy kids and the farm to school program which is something that I personally and professionally support.
Thank you...Anne Z.


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