Back in July, School Food Policy published an article on its blog about the dire condition of school lunches in America thanks to the School Nutrition Association and it's annual dog and pony extravaganza, the Las Vegas Food Show. Writer Deborah Lehmanns slogged through the show, where school lunch organizers across the country flock to sample the latest industry products, and uncovered some really frightening new developments that could show up on children's lunch plates in the near future: stuff like bubble-gum flavored apples, heavily processed beef and chicken, treats that provide half of the daily recommended dose of fat and sodium, and foods that are altered to increase calories so that overal percentage of calories from fat can be limited. It's really sort of disgusting.
Slow Food USA picked up the article, and shortly afterwards launched its own campaign to try to turn school lunches in another direction. Time For Lunch is the result, and it's aim is pretty simple: to improve the overall quality and nutrition of school lunches by increasing the amount of money schools have to spend; providing local, healthy alternatives to cheap processed foods; educating children on proper nutrition and using farm to school programs; and protecting children from high-calorie fast foods and junk foods. Slow Food argues that if these things aren't done, America's children will continue to lead the Western world in obesity rates and in ailments such as diabetes.
So what can you do to help Slow Food with its cause? Well, this Labor Day, Slow Food is organizing a National Eat-In. All across the country, people can show their support for Time For Lunch by attending an Eat-In nearby or organizing their own. By doing this, Slow Food helps to increase support for its Time For Lunch initiative, and send a clear message to congress: that we desperatley need to get real food into public schools.
There are a handful of Eat-Ins already scheduled across Florida, including meet ups at Whole Foods in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale, as well as ones in Delray Beach and Jupiter. Contact information for each of the organizers is available on the website.
Slow Food Glades to Coast's official Eat-In will be at the Cason Methodist Church in Delray at noon. Just bring a dish to feed 10 people plus plates and utensils for yourself. It should be a fun and educational afternoon, so get out there on Labor Day and participate.
Also- Slow Food Glades to Coast is sponsoring a free screening of the film Fresh at the Hollywood Branch Library at 2600 Hollywood Blvd., tomorrow at 1 p.m.