Tag Archives: healthy eating

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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Offstage at TEDxManhattan: David Binkle

David Binkle, Director of Food Services at Los Angeles Unified School District, was interviewed offstage at TEDxManhattan 2014 about obstacles to changing the way kids eat.  Hear what he had to say, or watch his full talk.

TEDxManhattan Speaker Update: Anna Lappe

We’ve been checking in with former TEDxManhattan speaAnna Lappekers to get an update on their work.  Below, Anna Lappé, founding principal of the Small Planet Institute and Project Director at Food Mythbusters, talks about her ongoing efforts to combat food marketing to kids.  You can see Anna’s 2013 talk here.

What have been the most exciting developments in your work since TEDxManhattan?
[We’ve launched] our next mythbusting movie based on the themes of my TEDxManhattan talk. People can see the full movie and learn how to get involved.

What are your biggest plans for the 2nd half of 2013?
We’re launching a big sustainable food movie contest in October 2013. Anyone can participate and the movies will be judged by an A-list crew–including Michael Pollan, Padma Lakshmi, and Robby Kenner.

Where can we learn more about your work going forward?
People can sign up for our newsletter at www.realfoodmedia.org to get the latest info on our projects. Or connect with me on Twitter @annalappe.

What impact did TEDxManhattan have on your work?
I’ve heard from people all around the world who’ve seen my TEDxManhattan talk. I think the message resonated with so many moms and dads who had a gut sense that something was wrong but who hadn’t understood the extent of marketing before. It’s been amazing and so gratifying. People are getting fired up to take action to fight back against unfettered marketing of junk food and soda to kids.

Change Food is a nonprofit whose mission is to connect and transform the food we eat, the people who produce it, and the world in which it is grown. To read and learn more, visit The Guide to Good Food blog. 

TEDxManhattan Speaker Profile: Anna Lappe

Anna Lappe

Anna Lappé

As TEDxManhattan approaches, we’ve asked this year’s speakers to introduce themselves by answering a few questions.  Today we feature national bestselling author Anna Lappé, a founding principal of the Small Planet Institute.

Join Anna on a special TEDxManhattan Twitter chat on Jan. 24 at 4 pm!  We’ll be using the hashtag #TEDxMan.

1) What’s the topic you’ll be speaking about?

I’m going to be talking about the 2 billion dollars spent every year by the food industry to hook kids and teens on high-fat, high-salt, high-cholesterol foods–and what we can do about it.

Consider that the Corn Refiners Association (makers of high-fructose corn syrup) spent as much as $20 million in 2008 in a public relations campaign about the “natural goodness” of HFCS, including television ads aimed at moms. To put that in perspective, that’s nine times more than what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allocated that year for its entire 5-a-Day fruit and vegetable promotion program.

In this talk, I’m taking on the myth that those of us promoting broccoli and bananas are “food nannies” and that the growth in fast food is just a reflection of what consumers really want: I want to show just how much the food industry constructs demand and how, when given a real choice, kids, teens–all of us really–gravitate toward health and good nutrition–and broccoli.

2) Why do you feel this is important?

As a mom to two sprouting daughters who seem to eat their weight in food every day, I constantly think about the messages they’re getting about what foods are good for them. I’m up against a multi-billion dollar business–and some of the highest paid minds in advertising. A tall task. Luckily, there is a movement of people working to get the word out about what healthy food really looks like (hint: It’s not wrapped in a SpongeBob package) and protecting our kids from the most egregious marketing. Emerging across the country there are great examples of communities, kids, and teens spreading the good food gospel and promoting the kinds of policy changes that are transforming our food landscape.

3) Are there other projects you’re also passionate about right now?

Yes, getting passionate about the food marketing messages is part of my bigger passion project: exploring the big questions we have about our food and some of the biggest myths about sustainable food. I’m working on a series of “mythbusting” videos, the most recent one taking on the myth that we need GMOs, chemicals, and synthetic fertilizer to grow enough food to feed the world.

4) Which other TEDxManhattan speakers are you excited about hearing?

All of them. Seriously. This will be my first TEDx in the audience–so I’m excited to be there for it live–and so that someone other than my kids can hear it when I applaud.

I’m especially excited to see Ann Cooper–she is always a dynamo. If only she could bottle her energy and share it with the rest of us!  I’m also excited to hear Gary Hirschberg speak. I saw him talk about GMOs on Bill Maher and it was the single best segment I’d ever seen on the issue–and hilariously funny

5) Where can more information about your project be found?
People can find out more about my work at www.foodmyths.org   and www.smallplanet.org.

Anna Lappé is a national bestselling author and a founding principal of the Small Planet Institute and Small Planet Fund. Anna’s most recent book is Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It, named by Booklist and Kirkus as one of the best environmental books of the year. She is the co-author of Hope’s Edge, which chronicles social movements fighting hunger around the world, and Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen, with seasonal menus by chef Bryant Terry. A popular educator about sustainable food and farming, Anna has participated in hundreds of events, from hosting community dinners to delivering university keynotes to emceeing a food-focused fundraiser at Sotheby’s. She is currently the director of the Real Food Media Project, a new series of myth-busting videos about the real story of our food.

Change Food is a nonprofit whose mission is to connect and transform the food we eat, the people who produce it, and the world in which it is grown. To read and learn more, visit The Guide to Good Food blog. 

Asking Questions – Part 2

Fleishers MarketLast week we gave you tips for asking questions at farms and farmers’ markets so you can find the best food for you and your family. This week we continue with information you need to shop at stores and restaurants.

Because the vast majority of stores buy their food from distributors, they’ll be less likely to know as much about the food as the farmer does. But don’t let that stop you! Don’t forget that your questions are sending a message up the supply and distribution line. If we all start asking for something, we will greatly increase our chances of getting it.

I often use my mother as an example when I’m speaking. She’s not an activist or a foodie, but she wants what she wants. She happens to know the owners of a dairy in Lewes, Delaware, which is very close to where she lives in Rehoboth Beach, and she loves their milk. She went into her usual grocery store and asked the manager if he would start selling some of their products. He said no. She went back a week later and asked again. He agreed to sell a couple of containers of milk, which quickly sold out. I was just down visiting and went to buy milk for my parents and saw that Lewes Dairy now has several shelves of milk on display in the milk section, and people were literally grabbing it up while I was there.

When my mother told the dairy owners what she’d done, they said they’d been trying for years to get their milk sold locally. And it only took one customer asking two questions to change the milk supply in the Rehoboth Beach area.

So if you have a favorite local sustainable food item that you don’t see in your grocery store, ask the manager to stock it. You could even go so far as to find a suitable farmer to supply the product to the store. A word of advice, though – if you are going to get a store to stock a particular item, please make sure you purchase it. Grocery stores work on slim profit margins and shelf space is limited, so make sure you really want what you’re asking them to stock.

If you’re unsure about meat, poultry and dairy items sold in the store, download Sustainable Table’s Questions for a Store Manager, Meat Manager and/or Butcher (which includes answers also). It supplies questions like, “Do you know how the animals were raised?” You can also download Questions for a Farmer and see if the store is able to answer them.

If the store manager or butcher doesn’t know the answers to your questions, ask them to ask the distributor. The same applies to vegetables – talk with the produce manager about where the fruits and vegetables come from. Ask if any are grown locally. I was pleasantly surprised when shopping in Decherd, Tennessee, last year. I asked the very young produce employee if any of the food was raised locally, and he went through the whole produce section and pointed out which was grown close by, which was from Tennessee, and which was from other nearby states like Georgia. If the employees at your store can’t answer these questions, just keep asking until they find out. You may be surprised, though, at the depth of knowledge store employees have these days.

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