Thursday, February 28, 2013

Food in the News #1

The last few weeks have been pretty crazy. I will go into it more later, but lets just say that I have not been too motivated to do much blogging. I have, however, been coming across some really interesting articles pertaining to food in the news lately. I think I want to start sharing what I'm reading on a weekly basis. So, here is the very first installment of Food in the News:

1. Philadelphia School Lunches: Goodbye Fries, Hello Fennel

I'm a sucker for anything concerning kids, and this story is a total heart warmer! Local celebrity chef, Marc Vetri, has developed a school lunch program called "Eatiquette". According to Vetri, this program has been designed to teach students how to eat healthy and, "interact with each other."  The picture shows a student at People for People Charter School (one of 4 schools currently participating the program) serving dessert to his fellow students. This student is acting as the Table Captain, who's duties are to set the round lunch table with a tablecloth and place settings for his peers. Then he sets out their first-course salads and glasses of water before they arrive. The Table Captain serves his peers throughout lunch, bringing the other courses to them and serving them. The meals are healthy, family-style dishes that include fresh, seasonal ingredients. All canned, processed, and frozen items have been removed from the cafeteria kitchen. There are some accompanying articles on the program that question whether or not the Philadelphia school system can afford the program as plans move forward to implement Eatiquette in several other schools in the city. You obviously know what my opinion is - they can't afford NOT to! For many of these children (80% of whom at the school pictured above) are on a free meal program and never get the opportunity to have meals like this. The personal and social skills these children are learning through this program with stay with them for their entire lives.

2. Mediterranean Diet Shown to Ward off Heart Attack and Stroke

The most comprehensive study on a given diet has published some really great results (and is probably causing a lot of Paleo and Nourishing Foods believers to say "I told you so!"). After completing a 5 year study on 7500 participants between the ages of 55 and 80, researchers have concluded that eating a Mediterranean diet (a diet consisting of good fats and proteins from olives, nuts, avocados, and fish, and low in carbohydrates and sugars derived from bread and sweets) can lower symptoms pointing to heart attack and stroke in high risk people by 30%. There are a few things about this study that excites me. One is that there the other diet studied was a typical low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet with lots of calorie counting and, frankly, little success. Many of the participants could not stick to the low-fat diet (which was a part of the study). The Mediterranean Diet, however, consisted of roughly 200 more calories per day, but had no calorie counting involved whatsoever. They only lost 7% of their Mediterranean Diet participants over 2 years.  The other point that makes me smile is that the Mediterranean diet is naturally low in wheat, sugar, and processes foods. Yay!!!! Now we know FOR A FACT that eating whole foods is ACTUALLY good for you! Thank God for scientists, aka the true captains of the obvious :)

So that's all I have for today! Tune in next week for more Food in the News!


  1. Oh, I have never thought to use fennel this way and I am going to try this. I full admit that I feed my son white potato french fries though.

  2. I am pretty much an equal opportunity french-fry eater, lol! But school lunches are long overdue for a healthy makeover, and I feel like the article above is a step in the right direction.