Jamie Oliver

forum: Campaigns and Community

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#1 Fri 19 Aug 11 7:59am

JSF

Member
Member since Fri 19 Aug 11

School food

I have just read a New York Times (17/8/11) quote from a school kitchen worker - Elida Martinez - who states "We're going to teach children how to eat again"! So keep up the fantastic work Jamie, some of the mud must be sticking!!!
Janis
thumbsup

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#2 Fri 19 Aug 11 1:54pm

pdsabo

Member
Member since Fri 19 Aug 11

Re: School food

Just got my kids' lunch menus for the beginning of the school year. What a surprise! OrganicLife is the new food service provider. Some menu items: grass fed beef meatloaf, basil smashed potatoes, oven roasted free range turkey, grass fed been enchiladas with black beans and rice, organic pastas, panko chicken, organic meatballs, it goes on and on! I am so thrilled! They also offer vegetarian alternatives. They are served with fresh organic fruits and local vegetables based on seasonality. We're hearing you loud and clear Jamie!

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#3 Fri 19 Aug 11 1:54pm

Diane Claire

Member
Member since Sun 10 Jul 11

Re: School food

I do agree in what you are doing with the school dinners, they need to be going back to healthier meals. I f there was a child in school, and their parents didn't have enough monet coming into their home, a good health school meals would insure that they would have a least good meal inside them. Pity that some parents don't get that though their heads sometimes, and open their eyes a bit more wider. Carry on the good work with school dinner's 100 % behind you all the way.

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#4 Sat 20 Aug 11 10:02pm

BeginTheChange

Member
Member since Sat 20 Aug 11

Re: School food

I am trying to change the whole food system in my school district. I want fresh meat, vegs, and fruit; problem is that we live in small town USA and in one of the poorest counties in the state of MI. Money is a big problem and I need some advice in what to do, because the board will not say yes if we have to spend money that isn't there. In the last 2 years we have layed off many teachers and closed one building. I need your help, what should I do?
Thanks,
Shana help

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#5 Mon 12 Sep 11 10:52am

hippytea

Member
Occupation Chief cook and bottle-washer
From Scotland
Member since Mon 12 Sep 11

Re: School food

Hmm.

Maybe what you need to do is demonstrate to them that they can save money this way by making up a priced sample menu.

It'll take a lot of work - first you need to find out the cost per head of the current catering - you can work this out by just getting the ingredient budget for the year and dividing by number of school days and then by number of students eating.

Then get hold of some cheap bulk recipes, find out wholesale costs of the ingredients in your area, and calculate out the cost per head. Excel would be great for this, as you can change quantities and swap ingredients in and out, and see right away the effect on the total cost and per-head cost.

Ignore fuel costs for cooking as that's just too difficult to predict. Assume it will not change. Labour is a complication, but if the school already has enough staff and equipment to produce your menu, then just omit labour cost on the basis of no change - but make sure the costs you get for the existing menu are also for ingredients only.

If the school doesn't already have the staff or equipment to cook meals from scratch, you'll have a much bigger fight on your hands.

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#6 Fri 07 Oct 11 6:52pm

prezzemolina

Member
Member since Mon 03 Oct 11

Re: School food

The important thing is to keep your menu simple.  It actually costs less to buy fresh local produce in bulk than pre-packed foods.  A simple tomato sauce will go a long way and how much does a packet of pasta cost?  You can get 6 or 7 meals out of a packet of pasta.  It's tasty and will give them the energy release they need to keep them going all afternoon.  Then you can pass to the 'piatto unico' where you get everything in one dish: pasta, vegetables, meat or fish.

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#7 Fri 14 Oct 11 10:59pm

AntheaK

Member
Member since Sun 07 Jan 07

Re: School food

I saw a show on public television that might be helpful some people writing in this thread. The show was about Alice Waters and The Edible Schoolyard Project in Berkeley, CA.

I think this is an amazing program! I thought of Jamie's Food Revolution right away. Alice has been at it for quite a while and I wonder if Jamie might have been inspired by her. Or it might just be a case of great minds thinking alike.

The Edible Schoolyard Project is not only about teaching kids to eat healthier, thereís also a curriculum at this school about growing, cooking, and eating healthy foods.

Iím passionate about the concept of changing the world by starting out with the children. This may be a bit cynical, but I think it might be too hard to try to teach all the "old dogs new tricks." Yes, some old dogs, like me, are always open to learning new ways of living and making choices in this evolving world. But that's not the norm in my experience. Many people get stuck in their ways of doing things. I believe this goes along the lines of "give a person a fish" vs. "teach a person HOW to fish." Most people agree that once you teach a person a skill, you have given them a much more valuable gift than simply offering them charity. (Iím not discounting the importance of charityÖI think you know what I mean.) And once a person understands from an early age the benefits of growing and eating fresh foods, the potentials are limitless. Healthy students with healthy minds might even change the world.

I believe it, and I'm very hopeful!

I have been developing an idea that involves prisons planting gardens to raise vegetables for the school kitchens in close proximity to the prisons. This could really be transformative for the inmates, who will be contributing to improving the health and the minds of schoolchildren. The ripple effect of this action includes reduced cost for transporting food to schools that are close to the prisons. Another ripple affect is that children who are eating well are learning more. First, a child's belly needs to be full in order to nourish a child's mind with education. Jamie talks about this concept quite a bit, too.

Iíve been doing research into the Prison Industrial Complex in the USA. How many prisons to build in the future is projected using literacy scores from elementary schools in regions. There is a direct link between literacy of elementary school children and their potential of being incarcerated within the first 10 years after high school (if they even finish high school). Yes, it's sad to learn that our government would rather budget for building more prisons to house the children who will become future inmates based on literacy scores, than to spend money to improve education so that those children receive a quality education so that they can lead productive lives and contributing members of society.

Okay, thatís about it from me. I could go on and on with this topic. Anyone out there who might be interested in becoming involved in a working group to develop a pilot project plan on inmates growing veggies for school kitchens, please contact me at celticlegra at hotmail dot com.

I live in the countryside of Western Washington and am going to head out to the local pumpkin patch today or tomorrow (between the raindrops) to pick out a nice Jack-o-lantern. Iím luck to have lots of farms and farmerís markets nearby.

A happy weekend to allÖ!

~Anthea

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#8 Fri 14 Oct 11 11:14pm

AntheaK

Member
Member since Sun 07 Jan 07

Re: School food

Ooops...information I posted earlier has moved. If you look up The Edible Schoolyard Project, you might need to click on a link a the bottom to be redirected to their new page which begins like this:

"Introducing the Edible Schoolyard Project....

This fall we will launch an initiative to build and share a national food curriculum. This online resource center will allow educational garden, kitchen and lunch programs across the nation to share their lessons and best practices. The site will also offer an interactive map  to demonstrate the growing impact of the edible education movement as well as a gathering place for educators to connect with one another.

Stay tuned for more information. We look forward to working together with you to make edible education accessible to all children in America!"

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#9 Sat 15 Oct 11 12:26am

JoyYamDaisy

Forum super champ
From Melbourne Australia
Member since Sun 12 Apr 09

Re: School food

Cheers Anthea,
What a great project!
Alice Waters is a wonderful inspiration! smile

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#10 Mon 24 Oct 11 7:57pm

prezzemolina

Member
Member since Mon 03 Oct 11

Re: School food

enlightening stuff Anthea!

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