by Marion Nestle
Jan 25 2012

Books worth reading

I’m at the Emma Willard school in Troy, NY today and will miss the noon USDA conference call announcing new school nutrition standards.  I will post on them tomorrow.  In the meantime…

Sarah Wu (aka Mrs. Q), Fed Up With Lunch: How One Anonymous Teacher Revealed the Truth About School Lunches–and How We Can Change Them!  Chronicle Books, 2011.

I did a blurb on this one:

Only someone who has actually eaten what our kids are fed in school—every day for an entire school year—could write so convincing an expose.  Mrs. Q did not set out to be an activist, but her book is a compelling case study of what’s wrong with our school food system and what all of us need to do to fix it.  Her account of what one person can do should inspire every parent to advocate for better food for kids in school as well as out.

Novella Carpenter and Willow Rosenthal.  The Essential Urban FarmerPenguin, 2011. 

This book is a must for anyone interested in growing food plants in urban environments.  Carpenter wrote Farm City about her own inner city farm in Oakland, CA and teams up with the founder of City Slicker Farms, also in Oakland.  They cover everything you can think of, from dealing with contaminated soil to growing enough food to start your own business. 

They illustrate the how-to with photos, diagrams, and line drawings that make it all look easy.  Urban farming IS easy, at least in miniature (tomatoes, lettuce, herbs, and blueberries flourish on my Manhattan terrace).  It doesn’t have to be a big deal.  Go for it!

 

 

 

Comments

Marian, I’m an organic farming granny running an online petition in Ireland to secure a moratorium on GM-crops. Would you be able to help me with my quest to get a sense of the educational path (rather than career path) of people who work in food safety, including what the Continuing Professional Development trends would focus on. The above as relevant to the US or North America for people who would take up roles with FDA-type organisations would be perfect but if you have other relevant information that would be welcome too. Looking forward to hearing from you. Stella Coffey in Ireland

  • Andrea
  • January 25, 2012
  • 4:10 pm

I just finished this book. Inspiring. I spend quite a bit of time in my daughter’s elementary school cafeteria. A group of parents initiated deep recycling and composting in the school. We are working hard and have lots of help from the principals, food director, janitors and kids. Reading the book showed me how good we have it. Our kids come straight to lunch from recess. The lunch director is really trying to give the kids healthy options, whole wheat breads and pasta, fresh fruits, sweet potato fries substituted for french fries. There is still a lot of waste.

At home, I love cooking with great ingredients from local farms. Check out my green “green” enchilladas.
http://escleali.blogspot.com/2012/01/veggie-inspiration-favorite-enchilada.html

  • justthefacts
  • January 25, 2012
  • 5:09 pm

@Stella

Please look in the right hand column and locat GM (Genetically Modified) to see Marion’s view.

——

There is no compelling scientific reason to suspect that GM is harmful to human health. I may sound creepy at first and no one likes what Monsanto does with this technology, but that is a separate issue. Electricity sounded creepy to my great-grandmother and she wanted none of it. Monsanto could be regulated out of existence for all I care, but I would not take GM plants away from countries where it is feeding starving people–or from farmers who like these crops–there are many.

[...] post: Food Politics » Books worth reading « #10: Dead End in Norvelt #1: The Hunger Games [...]

  • Chic
  • January 29, 2012
  • 3:30 pm

I think all teachers, where there is a school lunch program, should be required to eat that lunch at least one day a week. One of two things will probably happen. 1) they will complain bitterly and publicly about having to eat this terrible lunch. 2) they will join any group wanting to greatly improve the food quality of these lunches.

  • Hellen
  • July 20, 2012
  • 5:37 am

The above as relevant to the US or North America for people who would take up roles with FDA-type organisations would be perfect but if you have other relevant information that would be welcome too. Looking forward to hearing from you.

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