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The School Garden as a Component of a Locally Sustainable Food System

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MT Thoren

on 16 June 2013

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Transcript of The School Garden as a Component of a Locally Sustainable Food System

The School Garden as a Component of a Locally Sustainable Food System
Problem Situations
Inadequate access to nourishing foods
Inadequate Access to Nourishing Foods
The Delicious Revolution
"What we are calling for is a revolution in public education – the Delicious Revolution. When the hearts and minds of our children are captured by a school lunch curriculum, enriched with experience in the garden, sustainability will become the lens through which they see the world."

~Alice Waters
Reliance on heavily processed convenience foods
Lack of Funding for Improvements
Federal Reimbursement:
$2.86 per meal for free lunches to children <130% FPL
~$30,000/yr. - family of 4
$2.46 per meal for reduced-price lunches for children 130-185% FPL
~$30,000 - $43,000/yr. - family of 4
$0.26 per meal for full-price lunches to children >185% FPL
National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
Improvements via the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010, but industry lobbyists pushed back

Tomato paste on pizza counts as a vegetable
French Fries remain classified as a vegetable
USDA can't limit servings/week
Sugar-sweetened, flavored milk and yogurt remain acceptable
What can that buy?
Staff? Equipment?
Probably not enough to cook fresh meals in house
Central kitchens prepare & distribute
Ingredients
Commodity Products
Surplus is driven by subsidies
http://www.fns.usda.gov/fdd/schfacts/
Processed, Prepackaged Foods
Low spoilage loss
Central Kitchen or Food Factory?
Lack of funding to improve school lunches
Lack of connection to nature
Limited Learning opportunities
Excess sugars, excess refined grains, high fat
Inadequate intake of fruits and vegetables
Unprecedented childhood obesity epidemic
Unprecedented chronic diseases in young children
Lack of Connection to Nature
From Blight . . .
Case Study
. . . To Bounty
What key principles are illustrated by the photos?
Succession
Diversity
Species/Ecosystem Diversity
Economic Diversity
Functional Diversity
Educational Diversity
Species/Ecosystem Diversity
1995: Empty asphalt lot
Today: Thriving Garden
"more than 100 varieties of seasonal vegetables, herbs, vines, berries, flowers, and fruit trees"
Economic Diversity
New means to attain dietary inputs
School Lunches
Family meals
New means to fund school programs
Plant sales
Farmers market
Functional Diversity
Increased Dietary Diversity
(and Physical Activity)
Educational Diversity
Math
Fractions - measuring ingredients
Volume - filling raised beds
History
Native American "Three Sisters" garden
Traditional irrigation practices
Ecology
Natural Cycles
Composting & Worm bins
Improved Physiological Functions
Full transcript