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MLK-National Day of Service in Food History; Camps Offer Obese Children Reprieve; Swiss Lobsters Now Suffer Less Pain, Maybe; Obesity Among Pets, All Unhappy and Unhealthy

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Feeding the Civil Rights Movement: Georgia Gilmore Spotlighted

Image result for potluck civil rightsThe story of Rosa Parks, when she refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala. bus in December 1955, has long been proselytized as the spark, or, at least one of many, which led to the successful surge of community activism as Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and others continued to organize and lead the Civil Rights Movement. Yet the story of Georgia Gilmore, a Montgomery cook (and midwife) whose activism consisted mainly of feeding all those hard-working and courageous souls who participated, is rather less well-known, though just as important as any contribution made during that time. It is like I always say, the people have to eat, so someone’s gotta cook!

Image result for georgia gilmore“When King and others held meetings of the Montgomery Improvement Association at the Holt Street Baptist Church, Gilmore was there, selling fried chicken sandwiches and other foods to the African-American men and women…Gilmore poured these profits back into the movement, as John T. Edge recounts in his book The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South.” – NPR, the salt

To learn more about Georgia Gilmore and her contribution to the bus boycott protests, read the full article on NPR here or check out the Equality Archive.

Obese Kids Struggle with Weight-Gain While Camps Offer Partial Solution to Poor Eating Habits and Lack of Exercise 

Directed by “Mighty Ducks” scribe Steven Brill from a script by pre-mogul Judd Apatow, the film follows a fat camp and its lovable inhabitants as they suffer through a rebranding from maniacal self-help guru Tony Perkis (Ben Stiller).

“Weight-loss camps usually run for three weeks, six weeks or eight week sessions, and they cost about $7,500 for the entire summer…Campers get about 1,500 calories a day, and campers generally spend three to four hours a day doing some kind of physical activity, as well other activities like drama or arts and crafts…They use pedometers and are told to aim for a minimum of 10,000 steps a day. The overall goal is to change eating habits and make new ones. There are weekly weigh-ins and regular classes in nutrition and cooking. Most camps offer sessions for campers to explore their feelings about food and weight. But critics worry that the camps are not run by people who have the necessary credentials to handle children with serious emotional baggage, and that the sessions are too short to change a lifetime of bad habits.” – NY Times  “Self-control is a process in behavioral terms — keeping track of target behaviors and systematically evaluating these behaviors and goal setting,” said Dr. Daniel Kirschenbaum, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern, who helped design the program but has no financial involvement in the camps. Dr. Kirschenbaum said self-control could be taught like any other skill through instruction, modeling and encouragement.

According to the NY Times article, the camps have been rather successful. One study showing that 91 percent of a sample of campers had maintained the weight or continued to lose six months after camp ended; the weight loss afterward averaged 7.4 pounds.

Creating a healthy meal plan for you and your family can seem overwhelming but there are tips and tricks you can use to make this process easier and fun for everyone!

Still, I would agree that the most significant factor for success is the level of parental involvement. Camp is not enough, if the child returns home to where the bad eating and exercise habits live. There needs to be a change at home too, for the success to continue. My hope is that in 2018, we all continue to work towards a more plant based diet, high in vegetables, fruits and whole grains, and low in junk food, GMO’s pesticides, sugar and artificial anything! High in daily exercise and low in screen time, high in love and low in hate, high in freedom and low in oppression, high in community and low in walls. 

Swiss Scientist Suggests More Humane Killing

This week, the government of Switzerland kicked off a debate among citizens after a ruling that lobsters and other crustaceans can no longer be dropped alive into boiling water. The recent order comes after one scientist’s foundational research, which suggests that dropping lobsters alive into boiling water causes them pain. Although it is not 100% certain, there’s enough reasoning to replace this traditional method of killing lobsters by a more humane method. What that is, I’m not sure? Some are suggesting stunning, but how do you do that at home? Image result for fish fear

Of course, there has been mounting evidence, as there was with fish, to prove that these hard-shelled creatures do feel pain. In particular, one study has actually shown that crustaceans will guard their wounded limbs and avoid areas where they’ve been shocked.Image result for lobsters boiling water

If lobsters are a part of your diet,  (apparently it’s one of the few remaining animals that people still kill in their own home) then you might want to check out this commercial device called a Crustastun, which “zaps the animal with electricity, promising to kill it instantly.” 

Read the full news article here in the NY Times.

Showing Love Through Food May Be Making Our Pets Obese And Unhappy

“As with humans, obesity in pets is at epidemic proportions. Over half of the dogs and cats around the globe battle the bulge. While overweight pets may not face the same social stigma as humans, medical and emotional damage is being done all the same. Obesity in animals can cause complications in almost every system in the body, with conditions ranging from diabetes to osteoarthritis…Another study shows that obesity indeed has emotional consequences for pets. Overweight pets have worse scores in vitality, quality of life, pain and emotional disturbance. However, the good news is those values can improve with weight loss.” – NPR, the salt

It’s Hard to Study if You’re Hungry by The New York Times

Last fall, the group Students Against Hunger reported findings from four campus-based organizations which showed data that nearly half of all college students struggle with food insecurity, even at flagship universities. In order to broaden the understanding of campus food insecurity, the group compiled surveys from students across a wide range of regions and school types. Ultimately, achieving their goal to “foster a more expansive understanding of campus food insecurity and its impact on students, while also bringing national attention to this critical issue.”

Immediate action has been taken before, as students at two of the nation’s premier historically black colleges went on a hunger strike to pressure their schools to allow students to donate unused meal plan vouchers to those on campus who needed them. 

 

About Bhavani Jaroff

Bhavani Jaroff is a Natural Foods Chef, Educator, Radio Host, and Food Activist. She has over thirty years experience cooking healthy, fresh organic food. Read More


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