Learning to love fruits and veggies

September 9th, 2005 § Comments off

Today’s most promising culinary trend isn’t raw food, small plates, or sous vide. It’s the growing number of school lunch programs that feature healthy but delicious meals, locally-grown produce, and, on occasion, schoolyard gardens. The New York Times has an article today about a particularly deluxe version at a private charter school in Harlem:

Ebony Richards, a confirmed hamburger and Tater Tots girl, knows the rules of the lunch line at her school, the Promise Academy in Harlem.

When confronted with whole-wheat penne covered with sautéed peppers and local squash, she does not blurt out “That’s nasty.” If she does, she goes to the end of the line.

Although seconds on main courses are not allowed—someone has to show children what a reasonable portion is—Ebony can fill her tray with a dozen helpings of vegetables or bowls of Romaine lettuce from the salad bar. Any time in the school day, she can wander into the cafeteria for a New York apple.

Free, locally-grown apples all day long! Brilliant. Every school should be doing that. And although this school’s lunch program is more expensive than most, other groups, including Alice Waters’ Edible Schoolyard, are working to put similar programs in public schools.

In England, there was recently a documentary series in which Jamie Oliver overhauled a British school’s terrible lunches. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be released in the US anytime soon.

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