The New York Coalition for Healthy School Food (NYCHSF) recognized their Cool School Food partners at their Annual Fall Gala this past Wednesday. It was a wonderful celebration with over two hundred attendees, all enjoying a room full of vegan delicacies and great music. As many of you know, the school lunch program was revamped this year, requiring fresh fruits and vegetables on the menu. This has been a challenge for many schools because traditionally that is not what kids like to eat, so coming up with recipes that taste delicious and familiar to them has been a challenge. NYCHSF has developed many delicious recipes that are being enjoyed by many students, not only in New York, but around the country. iEat Green was one of the food vendors at the gala, serving up our famous Japanese Stir Fried Vegetables with Sesame Rice Noodles.
This week, Michael Pollan came out with an article in the The New York Times Magazine, looking at Proposition 37 (the upcoming California ballot initiative on GMO labeling) and recognizing that this is a pivotal point in the local food movement for the whole country. This could be the moment where the Local Food Movement crosses over from being a grassroots sentiment to a full blown political movement. As I mentioned last week after the screening of Jeffrey Smith’s new documentary Genetic Roulette, the health issues around genetically modified foods are so profound and disturbing, that it makes my blood boil when I think that our government did nothing to protect us. Proposition 37 would require mandatory labeling on all foods containing any GMO ingredients. This week, Nutiva is sponsoring free, online screenings of the full movie. Please watch and share the link with all of your friends and family. It is a very important movie for everyone to see, especially anyone living in California.
The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is slated to bring the the gunk oil from Alberta, Canada, all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico, and then shipped to China. Last summer, I was a part of a large, civil disobedience protest in Washington DC, to stop the pipeline. We managed to get it postponed, but it is not dead yet! Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org and the man leading this movement, is traveling across the country, gathering support and raising awareness about the dangers and risks of Climate Change and the Keystone Pipeline. The tour is called, “Do the Math Tour” and it will be coming to a city near you. Each event will be unique with artists, actors, and musicians, as well as special guests. The power we can generate when we all come together, is the only way we can challenge the fossil fuel industry. Please go onto their website, and sign up to attend one of the shows.
For the past three years, I have had Girl Scout troops come to my garden, to learn about growing organic vegetables, planting garlic and eating healthy. We have shared many conversations over the years about unhealthy Girl Scout cookies and the annual tradition of fund raising and selling them. I suggested the idea of selling organic seeds instead of cookies, or at least making the cookies healthier, using all natural ingredients, and free of any GMO’s. Yesterday, in The New York Times, there was an article that caught my eye. It was about re-vamping the image on the Girl Scout cookie box, highlighting the 5 benefits of the Girl Scout Cookie Program: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics, as well as their commitment to greener living and sustainability. The pictures of Girl Scouts working in community gardens, cooking, and dancing are all fine and dandy, but no where do they address the lack of healthy ingredients in the cookie recipes. All of the cookies contain high fructose corn syrup, genetically modified ingredients, artificial coloring and flavoring as well as the use of palm oil, which is the least healthy oil around. I think they missed the boat.
Wednesday’s article in The New York Times raises the concern that eggs from urban farms contain high levels of lead and may not be safe to eat. While the FDA has not established a safe limit for lead in eggs, the European Union has, and these eggs were above that limit. This may be true, but can you trust eggs coming out of a carton in the food store? Where do they come from and who is testing them? The article examines both sides of the issue, and I would probably side with the urban father raising his own chickens in the backyard, rather than buying into the fear of lead poisoning. These days, we can find something wrong with almost all of our food sources because everything is polluted. Therefore, I am going to stick to my philosophy of varying my diet and not eating too much of any one thing. This way I will have a fully balanced minimally toxic body.