''Greasy to gourmet: Seattle chefs help schools trade corn dogs for couscous''
"School lunch in Seattle has come a long way since I was a public school student. In the ’90s, lunch was only a dollar, and the cafeteria served up square, rubbery pizza, scoops of mushy spaghetti, and Belgian waffles (everyone’s favorite!). Fast-forward more than a decade: Elementary school lunch now costs $2.75, and for several years the Seattle School District has inched toward healthier offerings.
For most of public-school history, cafeteria food was something to be endured and then forgotten immediately upon graduating. But in recent years, many parents, health advocates, and doctors have targeted school lunch as one of the aspects of our food system most in need of scrutiny and reform. Since then, many of us have come to see bland, processed-food-heavy cafeteria cuisine less as a necessary evil and more as evidence of the way in which our government’s love affair with Big Ag takes a toll on public health. Not that revamping school lunch has proven easy: Public school districts struggle with extremely limited budgets, and the byzantine logistics of preparing and distributing food for thousands of children are especially tough to change."
March is National Nutrition Month, a time to focus new energy on giving kids healthy food options throughout the school day. Students consume up to half of their daily calories in school, so access to wholesome meals and snacks is important to their overall health. In fact, research shows that students living in states with strong nutrition laws gain less weight than those in states without such policies.More info
Jessica Donze Black, director for the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project, calls the modification change a “pragmatic and scientifically sound decision,” and San Francisco-based school food reformer Dana Woldow agrees: “[The calorie caps] will automatically limit the amount of potentially fatty protein and grains going into the meals. I think the days of seeing giant cheeseburgers the size of your head in school cafeterias may be over.”More info
It was food delivery day at Glen Landing Middle School in Blackwood, New Jersey, and the 42-year-old walk-in freezer went kaput. Again.More info
This is the second in a series of reports that summarizes how schools are putting in place updated U.S. Department of Agriculture, or USDA, meal standards and the challenges they must overcome to reach full implementation.More info
infrastructure. More info
Schools would be better able to serve healthy, appealing meals if investments were made in new kitchen equipment and infrastructure.More info
Only 1 in 10 school districts nationwide (12 percent) has all the kitchen equipment needed to serve healthy foods, according to a new report issued by the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project. The report makes recommendations for how schools, policymakers, industry, and philanthropic partners can work together to make these investments and provide healthy, appealing foods more efficiently. It is the first national assessment of districts’ kitchen equipment and infrastructure needs.More info