LAUSD recently turned down Jamie Oliver's offer to work with a Los Angeles school to help improve the school lunch program. LAUSD replied by saying, "While we appreciate your interest in our school meal program, we believe our direct work with nutrition experts, health advocates, the community, schools and students is the most effective strategy for our continued success and improvement," That's funny, in past months, our dedicated board member and caterer extraordinaire, Jennie Cook, has tirelessly joined in the chorus of advocates, policy makers, parents and students who do NOT think school lunch is healthy or palatable enough. We applaud those who have fought hard to make important policy changes around school food, yet READ THIS STORY and you'll see - we are still standing at the end of the school lunch line where policy and current national health standards are not translating into truly healthy options for students.
We don't expect LAUSD to make the changes alone. RootDown LA and other grassroots nutrition, food advocacy, healthy cooking and garden orgs. across the city are working their tails off to build preferences for healthy food. Our kids WILL eat healthy food when it tastes great and is the food that is readily accessible. What a great opportunity now for the school district to start -even with small steps- to start to meet this increasing demand for fresh, unprocessed, unsweetened, no-additive, great tasting food.
Heck, just this week, our kids our Youth Leaders managed to get over 100 kids to eat a tuna salad chock full of carrots, celery, chilis, cilantro, onions, cucumber, and fresh lime juice. Cheap, healthy, and HIGH in protein, fiber and nutrients. Not a drop of added sugar! The bowl was swiped clean by students clamoring for the last bites. Who says kids don't want to eat healthy food?!