Saturday, March 28, 2009

Alice Waters: The Edible Schoolyard

">I’ve just watched the best story on 60 Minutes and can’t wait to share it with all the Recess Blog Readers! As we all know obesity is a problem, not just for our children but the nation.

One revolutionary woman, Alice Waters, has been campaigning for the cause of healthy organic eating for well over 30 years. She first started by opening her restaurant Chez Panisse, in Berkeley, CA. The Chez provides all its menu items with locally organically grown produce. The organic and farmers market movement is recently getting more attention and taking off in the main stream.

Her actions towards this movement, however, began long before “childhood obesity” was a recognizable term or epidemic. What may interest you the most in this story is a pilot program she has set up in a Berkeley middle school. It is called The Edible schoolyard. The program is designed “as an effort to bring kids into a new relationship to food," she explained. In this class the kids learn about growing food right on the school grounds. With topics such as composting, planting, weeding etc. One child who was planting in the strawberry garden, enthusiastically said that The Edible Garden was his favorite class. Not only do they cultivate the food in the garden, but they also prepare the food as part of the class. Another student commented that he tried a piece of toast with mushrooms and spinach from the garden that he prepared and was quite shocked to discover that he enjoyed the flavor!

Please take the time to watch this fabulous video about this visionary who has been passionately working to change the eating habits of people in her community, as well as the nation. She has got support and recognition from the Mayor of San Francisco, who raves about her. She’s got lofty goals for the White House and I hope she gets the opportunity to speak to President Obama about her vegetable garden goal.

Click here To watch the video clip and read the detailed transcript of the story.