This Friday, two former Chewonki staff gave a presentation on their project, Food Cycle. Part of the presentation was a group of images showing a typical lunch for kids at public elementary schools in different countries. We saw meals from Asia, South America, and Europe. In each instance, the meals were cultural and balanced, healthy and with whole foods. We could see that most contained local ingredients; they seemed fresh, simple, and put together with care. When we came to America, the foods were extremely processed and the meal unbalanced: mostly meat, dairy, and carbohydrates. Where Japanese students ate miso soup, rice, veggies, and tea, the Americans had a corndog, mac and cheese, and whole milk. Adam and Leah started Food Cycle to change this trend. One of their ideas is that our education about food starts when we’re children choosing what to eat in the lunch line. In a state like Maine where lots of local farms make fresh, sustainable food a lunch option, kids should be learning what is good for their health and the earth at a young age. Another thing that they brought up was the government involvement in the current food available at public schools. They stated that the money needed to supply public schools with whole, family-farmed food is no more than that which the government currently spends on over-processed, industrially-farmed food. Through Food Cycle, Leah, Adam, and their team aim to connect farms with schools so that each benefit. They plan to bike across America and with sponsorship, start by donating a program to bring farm-fresh food to Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary school in Brunswick, Maine. “Cycling approximately 4,500 miles from Maine to California, riders will stop at small-scale organic farms and public schools along [their] route, documenting the emergent farm-to-school movement and other programs dedicated to school nutrition reform.” Read more about their ride at http://foodcycleus.com/?page_id=183 and their mission at http://foodcycleus.com/?page_id=89.
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