First, some good news: Earlier this week, the DC City Council unanimously approved the “Healthy Schools Act.” The measure creates strong nutrition and exercise standards in a city with one of the highest rates of childhood obesity in the country. Among the highlights, the new legislation will:
- Mandate lower-calorie, lower-fat nutrition guidelines be met;
- Triple the amount of exercise school children get in physical ed;
- Provide free breakfast in the classroom for high-poverty schools;
- Establish a farm-to-school program and provide extra funds to encourage schools to source local and organic produce;
- Establish a school garden program.
This is clearly a huge win for all involved (kudos to Councilmember Mary Cheh, the sponsor, the DC Farm to School Network, and others!) and a good example for other school districts around the country. The only downside is that the legislation did not include an effort to curb sugar. Read more about the sugar-laden DC school meals at the Better DC School Food blog (caution: you may get sugar shock simply from viewing the breakfast pictures), and read Marion Nestle’s take on the issue here.
If you haven’t yet, be sure to sign Jamie Oliver’s petition supporting better school food for kids.
And now, some more links for your weekend reading:
- On the subject of Jamie Oliver, are you all following 30 Days to a Food Revolution over at the W.H.O.L.E. Gang? Lots of helpful information and tips for anyone looking to clean up their diets.
- It’s rhubarb season at the farmers market! Check out the drool-worthy assortment of recipes over at food52 for inspiration. On my list: Rhubarb Curd Bars, one of the finalists by local foodie Rivka of Not Derby Pie.
- Speaking of local foodies, check out the pictures from opening day at the Farmers Market by the White House by Adventures in Shaw. (And no, I didn’t make it over for some of Chef Jose Andres’ legendary giant paella — bummer!)
- If you needed more enticement to head out to the farmers market for fresh strawberries (here in DC anyway, apologies to those further north!), La Vida Locavore reports that California has given preliminary approval to a pesticide (methyl iodide) that is used to induce cancer in labs, and causes miscarriages. Please, please, buy organic strawberries!
- On a lighter note, if you’re making strawberry shortcake for a mother in your life this weekend, check out Rick Bayless’ Strawberry Tres Leches Shortcake for a new spin. Yum!