Un Cambio de Paradigma en las Cafeterías Escolares de Mississippi

Por Ligia V. Henríquez para Change Food

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En su charla de TEDxManhattan, Good Food Can Change Everything (La Comida Buena Puede Cambiar Todo), Sunny Young, ganadora del Reto TEDxManhattan 2014, describió el programa de granja a la escuela llamado Buena Comida Para Las Escuelas de Oxford (GFOS por sus siglas en inglés). Hoy, estamos contentos de compartir una emocionante actualización de su labor.

Foto 1. Sunny Young en TEDxManhattan 2014. La diapositiva muestra a la estudiante de segundo grado, Samaria, comiendo col rizada después de haber conocido al granjero que la produjo y al chef que la preparó. TEDxManhattan.

Foto 1. Sunny Young en TEDxManhattan 2014. La diapositiva muestra a la estudiante de segundo grado, Samaria, comiendo col rizada después de haber conocido al granjero que la produjo y al chef que la preparó. TEDxManhattan.

A través de GFOS en el Distrito Escolar de Oxford en Oxford, Mississippi, Sunny contribuyó a atraer y empoderar al personal, estudiantes y familias de las escuelas para que mejoren su alimentación.

Cuando ella dio su charla en Marzo del 2014, GFOS había ya ayudado a transformar la comida en cafeterías escolares de las siguientes maneras:

  • Incrementando el porcentaje de alimentos preparados “desde cero” servidos en las comidas escolares de un 30% a un 75% en un año
  • Incrementando las porciones de comidas frescas de productores locales
  • Eliminando las freideras de las cafeterías escolares
  • Introduciendo barras de ensaladas en todas las escuelas del distrito
  • Llevando a granjeros y a chefs a las escuelas a enseñarle a los niños acerca de comida saludable

Una madre reportó que su hija, Samaria (ver Foto 1), quien antes no probaba frutas ni vegetales, ahora le insiste que le compre frutas, en lugar de productos altamente procesados (Consejo: ver la charla de TEDxManhattan: Marketing Food to Children [Publicidad de Alimentos Dirigida a Niños], donde Anna Lappé explica las tácticas publicitarias que incitan a los niños a insistir por ciertos productos).

Las estadísticas que Sunny compartió en su charla muestran la necesidad de un cambio de paradigma en la alimentación de los niños de Mississippi:

  • Mississippi es el estado con los índices de obesidad mas altos del país
  • 40% de los niños en Mississippi comen menos de una fruta o vegetal al día
  • 40% de los niños en Mississippi sufren sobrepeso/obesidad
  • 74% de los padres no están preocupados por el peso de sus hijos

Como ella explicó, los esfuerzos de los programas de la granja a la escuela son importantes ya que tan sólo en el Distrito Escolar de Oxford, el desempeño académico y bienestar general ha disminuido en los niños que sufren sobrepeso, mala alimentación, y/o enfermedades relacionadas con la dieta. Estudiantes muy jóvenes, de apenas cinco años de edad, han sido diagnosticados con Diabetes Tipo II, una enfermedad antes solo identificada en adultos.[i]
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Chicken Soup Series: Remedies for the Food System Part I: Soup and the History of Restaurants

By Ligia V. Henriquez

Versión en Español

On these first days of October, New York City is cloudy and temperatures are starting to fall. New Yorkers are avoiding the sneezing and colds of their colleagues and fellow subway riders. For a little homemade comfort, at Change Food we decided to partner with amazing chefs to bring you the series Chicken Soup: Remedies for the Food System.

These recipes are not guaranteed to cure the common cold, but will definitely help keep you warm. We open the series today with restaurateur Danny Meyer’s TEDxManhattan 2015 talk, “The Convergence of Casual and Fine.” Danny Meyer is the CEO of the Union Square Hospitality Group, which has opened numerous acclaimed restaurants like Gramercy Tavern, and launched the casual burger spot, Shake Shack.

Danny Meyer, restaurateur and CEO of the Union Square Hospitality Group, giving his talk “The Convergence of Casual and Fine” at TEDxManhattan 2015.

Danny Meyer, restaurateur and CEO of the Union Square Hospitality Group, giving his talk “The Convergence of Casual and Fine” at TEDxManhattan 2015.

At the beginning of his talk, Danny Meyer took us back to France, where he believes restaurants originated from places that served “bouillon” or soup. “The original concept of restaurants,” he said, “came from the French ‘to restore’ and the whole notion of going to a restaurant started at restaurants that were called bouillons, because there was nothing more restorative– there still is nothing more restorative– than a good bowl of consommé: bone broth!”

For our series Chicken Soup: Remedies for the Food System, Danny Meyer contributed the following recipe from the cookbook Family Table: Favorite Staff Meals From Our Restaurants To Your Home authored by Michael Romano & Karen Stabiner:
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Sopa de Pollo: Remedios para el Sistema Alimentario Parte I: La Sopa y el Origen de los Restaurantes

Por Ligia V. Henríquez

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En estos primeros días de Octubre, la ciudad de Nueva York está nublada y las temperaturas están empezando a bajar. Los Neoyorquinos están evitando los estornudos y gripes de sus colegas y de los pasajeros del metro. Para aportar un poco de confort casero, en Change Food hemos decidido colaborar con estupendos chefs para traerles nuestra serie Sopa de Pollo: Remedios para el Sistema Alimentario.

Estas recetas no están garantizadas para curar la gripe común, pero definitivamente le ayudarán a mantener el calor. Abrimos la serie con la charla de TEDxManhattan 2015 del restaurantero Danny Meyer acerca de la convergencia entre la comida casual y la elegante. Danny Meyer es el Director Ejecutivo del Union Square Hospitality Group, el grupo que ha abierto numerosos aclamados restaurantes como lo es Gramercy Tavern y que lanzó el lugar casual de hamburguesas, Shake Shack.

Danny Meyer, restaurantero y Director Ejecutivo del Union Square Hospitality Group, dando su charla acerca de la convergencia entre la comida casual y la elegante en TEDxManhattan 2015.

Danny Meyer, restaurantero y Director Ejecutivo del Union Square Hospitality Group, dando su charla acerca de la convergencia entre la comida casual y la elegante en TEDxManhattan 2015.

Al principio de su charla, Danny Meyer nos llevó al pasado en Francia, donde él considera que los restaurantes tuvieron su origen en lugares que servían “bouillon” o sopa. “El concepto original de los restaurantes”, dijo, “vino del Francés ‘restaurar’ y toda la noción de ir a un restaurante inició en restaurantes llamados bouillons, porque no había nada mas restaurador– ¡no hay nada mas restaurador— que un buen tazón de consomé!”

Para nuestra serie Sopa de Pollo: Remedios para el Sistema Alimentario, Danny Meyer contribuyó con la siguiente receta del libro de cocina Family Table: Favorite Staff Meals From Our Restaurants To Your Home (Mesa de Familia: Las Comidas Favoritas de Nuestro Equipo Desde Nuestros Restaurantes Hasta Su Mesa) escrito por Michael Romano & Karen Stabiner:
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A Last Hurrah for TEDxManhattan

by Kelly Mertz for Change Food
September 29, 2015

Tedxmanhattan

In today’s digital age, it is easier than ever to learn about any topic that peaks your interest. Thanks to dedicated, passionate professionals like our very own Change Food Founder, Diane Hatz, series like TEDxManhattan make educating ourselves all the more accessible. You may have heard of TED Talks – educational lectures featuring experts on just about anything, with the goal of sparking insightful conversations. They’ve gained popularity in recent years, self-describing themselves as “Ideas Worth Sharing.” TEDx events are TED sponsored, but independently organized, and can feature live speakers and pre-recorded TED Talk videos alike.

Beginning in 2011, TEDxManhattan “Changing the Way We Eat” hosted speakers from around the world on topics ranging from hunger, to sustainable farming initiatives, to gastronomy and to the connection between art and food, and beyond. Word spread, and between 2011 and 2015, TEDxManhattan just kept growing– from an initial 50 viewing parties in its inaugural year to over 170 in 2015. Furthermore, its reach was able to expand past the stage, eventually including events like tours of farms in Upstate New York and cooking classes for children in New York City. Ken Cook, founder and president of the Environmental Group, put it this way: “This institution, TEDxManhattan, has changed the food movement.” Continue reading

A Happy Oyster Season: Revitalizing Ecosystems and Communities

by Kelly Mertz for Change Food                                                                                                   September 10, 2015

Photo Courtesy of Samuel Alves Rosa

Photo Courtesy of Samuel Alves Rosa

For most of us, the passing of Labor Day represents the end of summer—a last call for beach days, vacations, and sweet summer produce. However, when one door closes, another one opens. On land, September brings a lush harvest of figs, pears, apples, eggplants, beets, green beans, cucumber, and so forth. In the water, and on the shores of Long Island in particular, September means oyster season, which runs through March. The mineral-rich mollusks are beginning to fatten themselves up to prepare for the brisk Northeastern winter, making their edible flesh meatier, more flavorful, and ready to be harvested and eaten by shellfish lovers around the world.

Oysters are an integral part of the ecosystems of both the Long Island Sound and the Great South Bay, as they thrive on the hard sea floors and saltiness of these waters. As a main agricultural product of the region, oyster harvesting is a mainstay in the economies of Long Island’s coastal towns, begetting township names such as Oyster Bay. About 35 miles from New York City, Oyster Bay has been the home of the Oyster Festival since 1983, which last year drew a crowd of 215,000 people. So for the people, animals, and environment of Long Island, oysters are a big deal.

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A Make-Over for the Food Drive

by Brittney Edwards for Change Food                                                                                            September 2, 2015

August 15 2015 - Ralston Farm and other 256This month’s community connection in the Change Food network is Pat O’Neil, founder and CEO of Amp Your Good. Pat grew up in a small family restaurant business which doubled as their rural community’s informal soup kitchen.  His childhood lesson of the importance of getting high quality food to those facing tough times led to his development of Amp Your Good and crowd-feeding.

In celebration of Food Day 2015, Pat and Amp Your Good decided to give the tired, old food drive of canned and boxed donations a make-over.  Amp Your Good’s unique approach has reinvented this service from being strictly limited to non-perishable foods, into a food drive that accommodates and celebrates real food, calling it the REAL Food drive Campaign.

This campaign allows organizations to hold food drives that raise REAL Food as donations – fruits and vegetables, locally grown produce, whole meals, and other healthy foods. Organizations can set up and run their food drives directly through Amp Your Good’s crowd feeding website. Here people can purchase food to donate to their chosen organization, and Amp Your Good will deliver the food donations directly to the food pantry, shelter or soup kitchen the food drive is supporting. The method is simple for organizations and donors, while also enormously increasing the usual reach of food drives.

The implications of this new food drive go far beyond supporting food access and healthy food. Organizations hosting a REAL food drive will also know the food they’re donating is organic, locally grown, restaurant quality and other types of REAL food. The consequence of this is the REAL Food Drive supports other causes within the food movement, such as local farming, reducing food waste, and protecting the environment.

The REAL Food Drive Campaign will last from September 15th to November 25th with Food Day (October 24th) in the middle, giving everyone in the food movement a chance to share their love of food with those who need it most. To help spread the word and get more info, you can visit www.RealFoodDrive.org.
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Eating with Kids: Family Meals Matter

by Brittany Barton for Change Food
August 28, 2015

From the 2011 TEDx Manhattan event titled

From the 2011 TEDx Manhattan event titled “Changing The Way We Eat” held February 12, 2011 in NYC. Photo by Jason Houston.

As summer winds down, families gear up for the back to school routine. This means earlier mornings, shuttling kids to and from school, fitting in basketball practice, dance class, piano lessons, homework and time with friends. Each family is stretched for time and something critical is missing, family dinner.

August is Family Meals Month. In 2011, Laurie David presented at TEDxManhattan on the importance of healthy, family meals in a world where eating right has become increasingly difficult. The dinner table is where we learn our first lessons of civilized behavior. With kids spending more than seven hours per day on electronic devices, they are missing out on key lessons gleaned from human connection. Laurie mentions that entire families living under the same roof are leading separate lives under the influence of personal electronics.

Connected family time is moving toward extinction and children are suffering for it. Studies show a decreased risk in drug and alcohol use, teen pregnancy, eating disorders and depression when families share a meal at least three times per week.

The regular act of sitting down and eating together creates a safe, predictable time with ritualized access to one another. This is a time for real connection away from electronics where children learn values and manners. Continue reading

Celebrate the Peach!

August 22nd is National Eat a Peach Day. Each day of the calendar year is Nikiko_Masumoto_2015smlincreasingly being used to celebrate or to bring awareness to a variety of things: like Earth Day for major environmental issues, and World Breastfeeding Week for a critical international women’s right. In the food world, each day has also been selected for a food product; sometimes, even not-the-healthiest treats have their day. Today, healthful peaches are the stars.

At Change Food, peaches remind us of Nikiko Masumoto, a beginning, Asian-American peach farmer from the Central Valley of California. In March of 2015, she was a speaker at TEDxManhattan with her talk “Reigniting the Soul of Farming”. On stage, Nikiko delivered a powerful and inspiring account of her life as a farmer. In less than 15 minutes, she was able to transport viewers to her family’s famous farm, the Masumoto Family Farm, and inspire all her listeners to “remake our food system”. After watching her talk, it is impossible to eat a peach without appreciating not only the fruit’s juicy, sweet taste, but also the dedicated labor that farmers like her put in year-round to harvest and deliver healthy, flavorful peaches in the summer.

Nikiko_n_SRitz2015 copyLike most farmers in the Central Valley, Nikiko and her family are facing the challenge of growing produce in the face of a prolonged drought, and historically warmer temperatures. To help conserve water, the Masumotos decided to cut down on the irrigation of their peach orchards. The result so far has been both a blessing and a struggle: smaller peaches that are more flavorful.

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Reunited and It Feels So Good!

2015-06-21 07.07.32Steve Ritz, El Capitan of Green Bronx Machine stopped by Masumoto Family Farm to get a tour from fellow TEDxManhattan speaker Nikiko Masumoto.

Steve is a South Bronx educator who believes that students shouldn’t have to leave their community to live, learn and earn a better one. A Top Ten Finalist for the Global Teach Prize and the 2015 TEDxManhattan Award recipient, Steve is now focusing his energy on building the National Health and Wellness Center at PS 55. Learn more about Steve and see his inspiring talk here.

Nikiko Masumoto is a farmer, artist and creator. Born in the Central Valley of California, Nikiko spent her childhood slurping over-ripe peaches on the Masumoto Family Farm where she still works to this day. Her passion for arts and activism is woven with her love of the land and dreams of a sustainable future. See her full talk that had the TEDxManhattan audience in tears here.

Masumoto Family FarmA very special thank you to Steve and Nikiko for sharing these breathtaking photos. Check out all of the photos here!

Facing Factory Farms Salon Recap

Facing Factory Farms (large)

On June 16th, 2015, Change Food reunited with TEDxManhattan 2015 speakers Michele Merkel of Food & Water Justice and Kendra Kimbirauskas of the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project in New York City to host the Facing Factory Farms Salon. Joined by a diverse group of attendees, we sought to accomplish three goals:

  1. Generate actionable ideas on how to fight the growing presence of factory farming in the U.S.
  2. Discuss how to involve urban residents and students in fighting factory farming and other food issues.
  3. Use this Salon as a template for other interested individuals to create their own event around a food issue.

After showing Kendra and Michele’s talks, each speaker gave a brief update (below) on their work.

Despite Kendra Kimbirauskas’ work as an anti-factory farm organizer and the growing number of people increasing their involvement and education on the issue, factory farms continue to expand, affecting more and more communities . CAFOs dramatically degrade the land, and excessive waste and poor containment severely contaminate water sources. Further, AgGag laws make it illegal to take photos and document animal cruelty on CAFOs, making it difficult to expose factory farming practices.

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