If you’re a child that is the product of the 90’s, then most of us (especially the public school children out there), will remember the general, over-played excitement that would come from D.A.R.E. presentations. Eager masses of elementary school eyes would focus upon the speaker, an authority figure from the police department who was trained on how to speak to us in a way that would rally us together against illegal substance use. Remember? We even got those cool little bracelets.
Today, our youth is faced with a different form of substance abuse. Our children are falling victim to the shortcut many schools are taking when it comes to supplying proper, nutritious meals for their student population. We see Frito boats and ice cream lining the plates and smudgy faces of the kids seated at the long tables inside the dining hall, complimented by servings of under-cooked vegetables that are more likely to find a permanent home at the bottom of the garbage can rather than inside the stomachs of the children. Thankfully, the fruit that is placed on the small, sectioned plastic plates embarks on a different journey. It is eaten without resistance, but sadly it is swimming in artificial cocktail juices.
This is how modern American students develop relationships with the food they are served in the institution in which they spend most of their waking day– their school. Foundations such as Food Day and the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation work to make this relationship that children and students develop with their food a healthier one.
“It provides a chance to start talking about how food education should be an integrated part of the school curriculum, and that hands-on cooking and essential food skills should be taught to every child, at every school in the country,” states the campaign details upon the webpage (www.foodday.org). “If every child had the opportunity to learn about, grow and cook food and understand the implications of food waste on the wider community, we believe they’d have the knowledge and tools to lead healthier and more fulfilling lives.”
This is exactly the type of initiative we need in our education system.