Healthy Choices from the Ground Up

The National Farm to School Network (NFSN) has brought local foods, health education, and hands-on gardening to over 40,000 schools in the America. This empowering organization has expanded immensely since its start in 2007, and is now taking place in each of the 50 states. The NFSN teaches children and their families how to support their local communities, while nourishing their bodies with fresh food choices. From creating school gardens to farm field trips, children in Pre-K through twelfth grade are invited to get back to the roots of their fruits and vegetables. The farm to school movement promotes a three-win relationship among kids, farmers, and communities.

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This organization could not have grown without the communications media. Today, even our soil needs media awareness. Stacey Malstrom, PR & Outreach Manager for NFSN, shares these five tips for building better media relationships and getting word out about your farm to school program.

NFSN is also hosting a webinar on March 10, 2015, called, Making Change: How you can support farm to school policy this spring. Register to learn how you can help NFSN get the support it needs from Congress.

Starting a Food [Education] Revolution

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution aired on U.S. television between from March 2010 and June 2011. Its star was English celebrity chef and restaurateur Jamie Oliver and the show documented Oliver’s attempt to help Americans fight obesity. Oliver’s mantra was “start a revolution with real people and real change.” The first episode takes place in Huntington, West Virginia, one of the unhealthiest towns in the U.S. The show documents Oliver trying to improve the eating habits of the residents—but not without opposition.

In the second season of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Oliver visits Los Angeles, California, on a mission to change school meals. Oliver clashes with cafeteria staff over the pizza served for breakfast and the chicken nuggets and flavored milk for lunch. The show depicts the difficulty in introducing change within one of the largest school systems in the U.S. Despite the show winning an Emmy Award in 2010, it was cancelled in 2011 and Oliver was ultimately barred from filming at any Los Angeles public school. The audience is reminded that the daily schedule, student motivation, and the bureaucracies of the school system cannot be separated from the wider social, political and economic contexts in which they exist. In other words, schools are complicated organisms.

You can watch Jamie’s inspirational TED Talk, “Teach Every Child About Food” [21:53] below: