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    Program ID - bo020905

    School nutrition: educating kids to make healthy choices

    Making sure children get a balanced diet of fresh and healthy meals is a top concern for any parent, so why are our schools mainly serving junk food?

    This Wednesday on Beyond Organic, we'll see how aggressive corporate food marketing is contributing to an epidemic of child health problems -including obesity- and teaching bad dietary decision making skills that continue into adulthood.

    We'll hear from Marion Nestle, leading nutrition studies expert and award winning author, on the convergence of economic, cultural and social issues that have influenced lunch programs that continue to fail school children.

    We'll also learn about some inspiring initiatives to reverse the trend by giving children better options in their cafeterias. These include a push for healthy vending machines backed by the country's largest organic yogurt company and the Farm to School Program. Operating in over 20 states, this inovative approach is tapping local small and organic farmers to provide healthy salad bars.

    Join host Jerry Kay, publisher of the Environmental News Network, as we explore changing school food policy.

    This Week's Guests:

    Marion Nestle — Author/Professor of Food Studies, New York University

    According to Marion Nestle, school food policy is a constant balancing act between corporate interests and children's health advocates. "The nutritional health of American children has changed during this century, improving dramatically in some ways, but not in others," she said in a recent article for the Center for Ecoliteracy.

    Professor Nestle has been involved with food policy work for over 30 years. She is the author of "Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health" and "Safe Food: Bacteria, Biotechnology, and Bioterrorism" (University of California Press, 2003), Currently, she teaches at New York University where she is the Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health.

    Elise Annes — Principle, Grassroots Communications & Marketing

    In 2003, Elise Annes partnered with Stonyfield Farms to create a new public affairs program. Called "Menu for Change," it combined a variety of creative and effective strategies to improve nutrition for students including a Healthy Vending Machine pilot program.

    Elise Annes is a principle at Grassroots Communications & Marketing, a small public affairs firm that works with socially responsible businesses and nonprofit organizations on strategic projects.

    Anupama Joshi — Program Manager, Center For Food and Justice

    Anupama Joshi is the Program Manager for the National Farm to School Program. So far, the program has connected over 400 school districts to small, local farmers. The program is a project of the Center for Food and Justice, a division of the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College.

    More information:

  • Read Marion Nestle's article
  • Read more on Stonyfield's Menu For Change program
  • Get Involved with Farm to School

  • Resources for Journalists:

    Journalists who are interested in researching stories related to any Beyond Organic show topic are encouraged to contact Straus Communication for additional resources, including trend data, background materials, experts, statistics, images and more. The service is free.

    Please contact Michael Straus at 415-777-1170 x 302 or email for more information.



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