Locus Focus on 07/12/10

Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 07/12/2010 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
The school lunch revolution


In April a report was released showing that more than 9 million young adults, or 27 percent of all Americans ages 17 to 24, are too overweight to join the military and that national security in the year 2030 is "absolutely dependent" on reversing child obesity rates. Authors of the report are urging Congress to eliminate junk food and high-calorie beverages from schools, put more money into the school lunch program and develop new strategies that help children develop healthier habits.

On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Lisa Bennett, Communications Director for the Center for Ecoliteracy in Berkeley, CA, about how schools across the country are revolutionizing their cafeterias to reduce obesity, while improving classroom learning in the process. For nearly 20 years, the Center has advocated for improving school lunches; using gardens as a way to encourage kids to eat healthy foods; and teaching young people about the connections between food, health, and the environment.

We'll learn about the new, healthier choices available in schools across the country and how they compare to traditional cafeteria fare. We'll also discuss the growing popularity of farm to school programs that are providing healthy, organic food for children, while supporting local farmers, and the proliferation of school gardens.

Lisa Bennett is communications director of the Center for Ecoliteracy and co-author of SMART BY NATURE: Schooling for Sustainability (Watershed Media/U.C. Press, 2009). A former fellow at Harvard University's Center on Press, Politics, and Public Policy in the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Lisa has written for many publications, including the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Huffington Post, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. Lisa has spoken at the National Press Club and appeared on the BBC, C-SPAN, Hardball, and many other programs.


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