Can Schools Save Kids’ Palates?

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  • May 01, 2012
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Cooking from Scratch in Schools—The Greatest Food Service Challenge of Our Time

Our Executive Director, Beth Collins has a great article published in the August issue of Prevent Obesity about changing the way food is cooked in our schools. Below is an excerpt from the article: 

School District Food Service Departments are faced with the enormous task of feeding children in the United States up to two-thirds of the meals that they consume during the week at school. The shift in food production since the 1970s produced a trend away from scratch-cooked foods and resulted in more meals created from processed foods. The United States has reached a tipping point where the health of the current generation is compromised by increasing health risks of diet-related disease. Schools have been identified as a critical environment in which there is an opportunity to effect change in what children eat. As a result, in the last 10 years, there has been a resurgence of interest in freshly prepared meals in schools. This article explores one chef’s transition from the private sector to the public sector and the experiences of working with school districts to successfully transform their school food service operations into a scratch cooking model.

Beth Collins is the owner of Local Plates LLC, Traverse City, Michigan, and a partner of Lunch Lessons LLC, Boulder, Colorado.

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