Raising Funds Through The Food Revolution Giving Assistant

Raising Funds Through The Food Revolution Giving Assistant

Fri 04 May 2012

Story by Rina Salaka
 

When I first saw Jamie's post about the Food Revolution Giving Assistant which helps to raise money for food education in America, I thought "yes, America does need to eat better!" and I installed the app immediately.

I am Japanese and I was living in Tokyo, Japan, with my American husband and my baby son until the earthquake shook wide part of Japan and tsunami destroyed cities and the nuclear plants. My husband had been checking the US government news and kept in touch with the US Embassy. As soon as the US government announced that they would evacuate families of military and government workers, we bought flight tickets to America and flew the next day.

That was exactly a week after the earthquake. We packed only few days’ worth of clothing and things we wouldn't be able to replace. We bought return tickets, hoping that the situation would get better but in spite of our hope, the conditions of nuclear plants were far worse, so we decided to settle down here. People are still living in Japan but considering the effect of radiation to our then 4 months old son, it was the right decision.

I have been living in Florida just over a year now, and quite often I have been put off by what food most of the community eat- lots of deep fried or greasy food with no or little vegetables, too much soda, too many artificial food colorings, flavors and preservatives, not to mention 'Pink Slime'!

I have been most surprised by how long the sell-by-dates are for loaf of bread (about 10days here, compare to 5 days in Japan) and for milk (almost a month, compared to 10-15 days in Japan). Living in America reminded me of the differences in food culture and how generally people eat very healthily in Japan.

My son is 17months now, and in few years’ time he will go to preschool, then elementary school and middle school. It worries me to think about the food he may eat whilst he is at school. School meals are often high sodium, high calorie and high sugar and with 1 in 3 children either overweight or obese in the US, these school lunches are not helping the situation.

My hopes are that things that to change before my son enters the school system and so when I saw Jamie's Food Revolution browser app, I thought that this would be a good way of contributing to get people in America eat better.

Given my worries over school meals I am thinking about making Japanese style bento for my sons lunches a couple of times a week, when he starts at school. These bentos would contain either rice or a sandwich, three to four different vegetables, along with some fruit, either meat or fish (or both) and egg (omelette or boiled egg. They would also be low in sodium and fat. By making bento, I can be sure that my son eats well-balanced food at school.

About the author: Rina Salaka moved with her husband and son from Tokyo to Florida over a year ago following the earthquake which shook wide part of Japan and tsunami which destroyed cities and nuclear plants.

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