Dishing Up More News on School Lunches
Last week I wrote about legislative blocks to creating sustainable school gardens and serving healthy lunches for children AND for elders living in the neighborhood. This Aging in Community strategy is greener, more efficient and more effective because it uses existing public infrastructure to address the nutritional needs of youth and elders alike, and equally important, it creates pathways to build intergenerational relationships and social capital at a very local level.
Perhaps this is not such a far-fetched idea. A reader informed me that William F. Benson, a Washington-based aging and public health consultant and former Deputy Assistant Director for the Administration on Aging during the Clinton Administration, wrote an amendment to the Older Americans Act in the 1990s that encouraged such innovation to ease the overburdened senior nutritional programs. Unfortunately, the amendment did not survive the Bush Administration.
But if the Obama’s new chef Sam Kass has any influence, perhaps there is hope yet. According to a recent NYT story, Obama’s New Chef Skewers School Lunches,
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/29/new-white-house-chef-skewers-school-lunches/?em , he is vocal with his disgust in what we serve our children in the National School Lunch Program and how politics influences that choice. Something tells me he would not be too impressed with what we are serving some of our frailest community members either. Indeed, slop is slop!
Kass has been serving as executive chef for the Jane Addams Hull House in an effort to re-invent the soup kitchen by using quality produce and shunning empty calories. A vocal advocate for community gardens that produce fresh, local and organic food, Kass would likely prefer a White House Kitchen Garden. Kass founded Inevitable Table, a private chef service that prepares meals with the following in mind:
We aim to promote a healthy lifestyle that focuses on the quality and flavor of food to encourage good eating habits. This philosophy provides consistency and balance to ensure you thoroughly enjoy your food experience. We believe that people have a stake in each other’s health. This link is what binds us together as families, communities and a nation. Nowhere are we more powerfully bound together than in the daily cultivation and preparation of food.
Amen to that, Chef Kass!
Here’s to Good, Healthy Eating for All Ages!