Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Thursday's Thinking of Food

Food News this Week--and I want to hear YOUR opinions on some of this stuff!

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*Should Happy Meal toys be banned from your child's fast food meal? That very question is being examined in Santa Clara County, CA. (Incidentally, this is the county where I taught school when I lived in CA--you know, the same one that I mentioned served sushi as a daily option on the public middle school lunch line--I loved it there!) Anyway-"Ken Yeager, the Santa Clara County Supervisor, presented a law at yesterday's county board meeting to ban toys given away with unhealthy food. He believes the toys are used to encourage children to eat fatty, sugary, high-calorie meals that can lead to childhood obesity, according to the Silicon Valley Mercury News." What do you think? Is it the toys that make the kids eat unhealthy? Would the parents take the kids to the unhealthy restaurants even if there were no toys in the meals?

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Healthy Carolina Farmers Market at USC

*The State paper ran an article Sunday called "The greening of SC: Local food crops up." The article mentions the All-Local Farmer's Market as well as the Healthy Carolina Farmers Market at USC, as well as highlighting some local farmers. I am so excited to see South Carolinians embracing such change and growing (no pun intended) such an important local market for food.

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*Are School Lunches Worse Than Fast Food? Earth Fare's blog, Tomato Talk, addresses this question in yesterday's post. Pretty disturbing answers point to yes--did you know currently schools only have about $1 per student to spend on actual ingredients for lunches. Meat that KFC won't buy because it's from "old birds" is being put on school lunch trays! What!? This should outrage parents--and anyone who cares about kids. And it should also outrage us as tax-payers--why, in a country where we have a huge obesity epidemic and we're spending billions of dollars on illnesses related to obesity, are we feeding our kids crap and calling it lunch?

BUT...we can do something about it right now...Slow Food Columbia's recent blog post reminded me recently that we can contact our legislators and ask them to Strengthen the Child Nutrition Act by investing in healthier food, strengthening nutrition standards and linking schools to local farms. Click here to e-mail your representatives asking them to support helping schools serve healthier food.

*Health Care reform includes a provision requiring chain restaurants and vending machines to include calorie counts. Love it--I think this is really powerful and important. What do you think?

*Local restaurants are Going Green by recycling cooking oil. Midlands Biofuels, in Winnsboro, is using waste cooking oil, (Waste Vegetable Oils or WVOs), to make biodiesel fuel. Click here to see a video about this cool endeavor...local restaurants participating include Kristian Niemi's Rosso and Gervais & Vine. Click here to see a more comprehensive list of local participating restaurants and businesses.

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*And finally, I am reading the book The Butcher and the Vegetarian: One Woman's Romp Through a World of Men, Meat, and Moral Crisis, and though it took me a minute to get into...I am really enjoying it now. I also really enjoy the author, Tara Austen Weaver's, award-winning blog, Tea and Cookies.

Whew--that is a lot of information. I would love to hear from you on these issues...


  1. I attended Healthy Carolina's Farmers Market yesterday on Green Street! It's so great to give the option to students & faculty. I plan to go next week too! Cajun boiled peanuts -- yummm!!

  2. Hey Becca! Ok, my opinions: don't take the happy meal toys away! My kids chow down on some apple slices now and always have milk with their meals. Take away the french fries before taking away the toys :) BTW did you know that McDonalds soaks their ries in beef broth? *cring*
    I will definitely be writing to my representatives about school lunches. They are going to be tired of hearing from me ;)
    Lastly, love the nutritional labels for fast food/vending machines.
    Love the blog, you're doing a great job!

  3. Posted this a day early--whoops! But thanks for the responses!

  4. Wow, since I dont have children I really had no idea what they were being served in daycares and schools until recently.

  5. Thanks so much for the book mention! Hope you continue to enjoy it. :-)