Table Talk: June 17

School’s out, but what’s next for school food?

By
June 15, 2010

(Editor’s note: This chat is over, but the transcript is available to read here. And join Kim for another Table Talk chat, most Thursdays.)

School’s out — but what’s next for school lunch? This week, Kim brings us up to date on the 2010 Child Nutrition Reauthorization — important legislation that Congress is reviewing this summer — and how it might affect school lunches for the next five years. In fact, all aspects of school food is up for discussion. (Ever seen Mrs. Q's blog? After reading it, you’ll probably have loads of questions.)

Kim will be joined by Eddie Gehman Kohan, the blogger behind Obamafoodorama, which handily keeps tabs on the intersection of food and the presidency.

(You may recall that Eddie and Kim chatted together in February; read the transcript.)

This school food chat is at 1 p.m. ET, 10 a.m. PT, Thursday, June 17.

Kim, a trained chef and longtime food journalist, is writing a cookbook for people trying to eat less meat. Every week, she brings ideas, tips, and recipes to her live chats — right here at Table Talk, most Thursdays.

 Table Talk with Kim O'Donnel - June 17, 2010(06/17/2010) 
9:40
Kim ODonnel: 
For most school-age kids, school's out for the summer, but where does that leave us with the state of school lunch? There's a slew of legislation up for consideration on Capitol Hill and even more stake holders, all related to child nutrition, childhood hunger and childhood obesity. At the top of the hour: Join me and my guest, Eddie Gehman Kohan, editor of Obamafoodrama for a lively hour devoted to school lunch & the diet of America's kids.
Thursday June 17, 2010 9:40 Kim ODonnel
10:01
Kim ODonnel: 
Hello, folks! We're talking the state of school lunch today & its many moving parts, as it relates to child nutrition, obesity and hunger -- and the many pieces of legislation up for review on Capitol Hill this summer.  Eddie Gehman Kohan of Obamafoodorama is my guest, so fire away with your questions and comments. It's hard to keep track of this complicated issue, so let's try and dissect some of it, shall we? Let's roll.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:01 Kim ODonnel
10:01
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
I'm here!
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:01 Jeanne in Seattle
10:01
Kim ODonnel: 
Hey Jeanne, is your kid still in school?
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:01 Kim ODonnel
10:03
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Yes, my daughter is in school until next Tues.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:03 Jeanne in Seattle
10:03
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
She always brings her own lunch because a) she is peanut allergic; and b) the school lunches are awful.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:03 Jeanne in Seattle
10:03
[Comment From Linda Linda : ] 
Hi! Can you give us a brief highlight of the issues that are up for review on Cap hill this summer and what we as concerned parents can do to support these issues?
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:03 Linda
10:06
[Comment From Shetha Shetha : ] 
I'd like to know how folks plan to address the budget gap between the current cost and cost of fresh/local foods. At our school the parent foundation funds it (and we have a chef and fresh lunches served each day at the Elementary). Will it be up to each school to come up with the money?
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:06 Shetha
10:06
Obama Foodorama: 
Hi all, Ob Fo here. There are two Bills that reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act, which will not only provide funding for school meals, but will for the first time allow the Secretary of Agriculture to set nutrition standards for all of America's schools, as well as remove junk foods from schools, in vending machines and a la carte lunch lines. The House bill provides $8billion in funding, the Senate version provides $4.5 B. Both need to pass before the President can sign anything.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:06 Obama Foodorama
10:07
Obama Foodorama: 
Details of House bill here:
http://obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/2010/06/rachael-ray-joins-dem-lawmakers-to.html

Details of Senate Bill here:
http://obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/2010/03/school-foods-bill-sen-lincoln-healthy.html
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:07 Obama Foodorama
10:08
Kim ODonnel: 
To fill in the gap a little, the House bill was just introduced by Rep. George Miller (D-Ca) last week, and the Senate version, sponsored by Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark) was passed in Senate committee, awaiting scheduling on full Senate floor.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:08 Kim ODonnel
10:08
[Comment From Shetha Shetha : ] 
Thanks for the links. Our local Elem. Chef attended Chefs Move to Schools - we are very proud of her and hope other schools will be as lucky as we are, soon.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:08 Shetha
10:09
[Comment From Cheryl Cheryl : ] 
What are the major obstacles to the Bills' passage?
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:09 Cheryl
10:09
Kim ODonnel: 
Shetha, I also attended Chefs Move to Schools! It was an amazing start to a project that has huge potential.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:09 Kim ODonnel
10:09
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
If you think about it, the school lunch problem mainly affects kids who are low income and depend on the lunches for their main food of the day. Very serious problem here.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:09 Jeanne in Seattle
10:10
Obama Foodorama: 
To Shetha: Addressing the budget gap is of course the biggest problem. For the Senate Bill, there were proposals to take money from enviironmental programs in USDA; for the HouseBill, there's already talk transferring money from farm subsidies. Everything with budgeting is contentious--and that's the biggest fights. Few people are battling over the idea that ids need healthier foods these days.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:10 Obama Foodorama
10:10
[Comment From Lizka Lizka : ] 
What are the chances for the two bills? Are members lining up to support easily?
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:10 Lizka
10:10
Obama Foodorama: 
Jeanne--actually, school lunches legislation impacts ALL kids. The new legislation sets standards for foods that aren't paid for by federal government.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:10 Obama Foodorama
10:11
Kim ODonnel: 
Jeanne, more than 31 million kids participated in the National School Lunch Program (NLSP) during 2008-2009 school year.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:11 Kim ODonnel
10:11
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Our school district is phasing out actual hot lunches made at the schools. Now everything is packaged and microwaved.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:11 Jeanne in Seattle
10:12
Kim ODonnel: 
So Jeanne, you mean no more stove/oven action or anything prepared from scratch whatsover?
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:12 Kim ODonnel
10:12
Obama Foodorama: 
Lizka: There's bipartisan support for both Bills. Senate Bill passed out of committee unanimously. No action on House Bill; just intoduced last week. But the national conversation about it all is big right now, thanks to efforts of Mrs. Obama and the many many school food advocates--and people like Kim O'd!
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:12 Obama Foodorama
10:12
Kim ODonnel: 
So airline food, basically.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:12 Kim ODonnel
10:12
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
ObFo Don't get me wrong, I get that it affects all kids. But, what I'm saying is that low income kids don't have a choice. Other parents are choosing the bad food because they don't want to make their kids a lunch, or whatever.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:12 Jeanne in Seattle
10:12
[Comment From Shetha Shetha : ] 
Regarding nutrition standards - will this be enforced/inspected bu a government agency? How will we know schools are complying with standards?
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:12 Shetha
10:13
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
I think it's important to distinguish between kids who depend on school lunches for their main food of the day and kids whose parents are making uninformed or lazy choices.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:13 Jeanne in Seattle
10:13
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Kim: the stoves and refrigerators are still there, but the food isn't being made there anymore. This is the policy of the entire school district.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:13 Jeanne in Seattle
10:14
Obama Foodorama: 
Shetha: Compliance standards now vary from state to state, and even from district to disstrict. Both Bills allow for imporved compliance, and a movement to electronic 21st century tech to monitor compliance, enrollment, and use of school feeding programs.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:14 Obama Foodorama
10:14
Kim ODonnel: 
Jeanne, do you think a chef's involvement ala Chefs Move to Schools would have an impact on those decisions?
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:14 Kim ODonnel
10:14
Obama Foodorama: 
I cant spell, btw.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:14 Obama Foodorama
10:14
Kim ODonnel: 
Laughing
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:14 Kim ODonnel
10:14
[Comment From Lizka Lizka : ] 
Regarding no cooking per Jeanne - that sounds awful (like airline food as Kim said). Wouldn't that be worse nutritionall, result in more salt perservatives, etc)?
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:14 Lizka
10:15
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
But, this legislation is so important for children--almost protecting them from poor choices made by the other adults in their lives.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:15 Jeanne in Seattle
10:15
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Well, if the district is choosing to save money by not having real food cooked on site, I'm not sure what a chef could do with that decision.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:15 Jeanne in Seattle
10:16
Obama Foodorama: 
Jeanne: I like to fantasize that most parents are not lazy, but they are very hardworking, and have been trumped by the masses of confusion that exist in food labeling and nutrition standards. That's something USDA, the White House, and Let's Move are trying to change, in an effort to make the best decisions the easier ones.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:16 Obama Foodorama
10:16
Kim ODonnel: 
Eddie, have you heard of similar action by other school districts -- phasing out cooking altogether in the cafeteria?
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:16 Kim ODonnel
10:17
[Comment From Shetha Shetha : ] 
Jeanne - do you think there are enough parents in the district who oppose that policy to fight it? - We did have to "fight" to get our scratch kitchen online. It was an uphill battle.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:17 Shetha
10:17
[Comment From Jill, The Veggie Queen Jill, The Veggie Queen : ] 
The piece that hasn't really been addressed in my opinion is the nutrition piece. I am a RD (and don't look at me about bad food in schools or hospitals) and we need to be involved to keep nutrition in the equation while serving fresh food.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:17 Jill, The Veggie Queen
10:18
Kim ODonnel: 
Jill, here's something that may interest you: the recommendations for the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans have just been released. There will be a 30-day public comment period, then Dept of Health and Human Services will issue its guidleines, which are revised every 5 years. These guidelines will impact federal feeding programs.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:18 Kim ODonnel
10:18
[Comment From Cheryl Cheryl : ] 
Are there any efforts to streamline the bureaucratic hurdles food service professionals need to jump through to get fresher food in cafs? For example, our school can't serve the food we grow in our school garden.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:18 Cheryl
10:19
Obama Foodorama: 
Cheryl--The Senate bill has provisions for school gardens, but restirctions you mention probably have to be addressed on state/local level.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:19 Obama Foodorama
10:19
Kim ODonnel: 
Wow, Cheryl. Isn't that something. Tragic. Where are you based?  Could a Chefs Move to Schools volunteer help you with something like that -- i.e. prepare food from garden for a class?
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:19 Kim ODonnel
10:20
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Also, lunch for elementary school children is a HUGE issue. Making the lunch is a hassle, the kid won't eat it because there's not enough time, or they want to go to the playground, or their peers make fun of their food. My daughter used to love brie and bread in her lunch until the other kids gave her a major hassle about it. School lunch rife with issues.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:20 Jeanne in Seattle
10:20
Kim ODonnel: 
Jeanne, have you been able to get a sense of percentage of kids at your daughter's school that bring lunch?
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:20 Kim ODonnel
10:20
[Comment From Jill, The Veggie Queen Jill, The Veggie Queen : ] 
You definitely have to "fight" to get decent food in schools. The money to support such an important issue doesn't seem to exist. As if what kids eat doesn't affect their life, well being or learning.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:20 Jill, The Veggie Queen
10:20
Obama Foodorama: 
Jeanne--Training your child to be immune to outside criticism of food choices is role of parent, not necessarily school.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:20 Obama Foodorama
10:21
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
I think if folks are educated about food in general, then they will be appalled by what their kids are eating at school. But, if they think McDonalds is OK for kids to eat for dinner, then they won't care if their kids are eating packaged food at school.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:21 Jeanne in Seattle
10:22
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
ObFo I agree. I'm not saying that it's anyone's fault. I was using that as an example of how the lunchroom works. It's tough for parents to negotiate all of that. Adds to the issues of school lunches.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:22 Jeanne in Seattle
10:22
[Comment From WhatsCooking WhatsCooking : ] 
Hi! Just saw the chat and wanted to check in.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:22 WhatsCooking
10:23
Kim ODonnel: 
Hi WhatsCooking, we are dissecting the many pieces of legislation on the table related to child nutrition, hunger and obesity & of course hashing out the state of school lunch.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:23 Kim ODonnel
10:23
Obama Foodorama: 
Jill: The First Lady's national conversation about school foods is all about the deep impact it has on academic achievement, as well as everything from health and fitness to culture. Rachael Ray's new White House video pretty much sums up the position:

http://obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/2010/06/hotshot-chefs-rachael-ray-marcus.html
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:23 Obama Foodorama
10:24
Kim ODonnel: 
I was pleased to see that new Dietary Guidelines for Americans include emphasis on plant-based diets!
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:24 Kim ODonnel
10:24
[Comment From Shetha Shetha : ] 
I think, also, that our chef has been a wonderful advocate, and worked closely with our gardening expert. Each month we celebrate "harvest of the month" to make kids aware of what is in season in our area.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:24 Shetha
10:24
Obama Foodorama: 
Shetha: Sounds like you have a great program already going on--?
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:24 Obama Foodorama
10:24
Kim ODonnel: 
Shetha, where are you located? This is great info.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:24 Kim ODonnel
10:24
[Comment From WhatsCooking WhatsCooking : ] 
Thanks for the summary, Kim. Exciting news in our district. We are getting salad bars in 7 elementary schools. They are even looking for funding to have me do activities with the schools to get the kids excited and participating...
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:24 WhatsCooking
10:25
Kim ODonnel: 
WhatsCooking, remind us where you are located again? This is very exciting indeed. Jeanne was just sharing that Seattle school districts has phased out all use of ovens/stoves, just reheating in micros.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:25 Kim ODonnel
10:25
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
I was really affected by the story in Supersize me about the school where the whole school of kids' academic achievement was turned around by having good school lunches. So important!
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:25 Jeanne in Seattle
10:26
Obama Foodorama: 
Jeanne: Thus White House efforts to get processed food companies to dramatically improve their offerings; people aren't going to stop eating processed foods, thus theseneed to be far healthier. Reduced fat, salt, sugar contnet.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:26 Obama Foodorama
10:26
Kim ODonnel: 
Jeanne, interesting you mention SuperSize me. I just watched it for first time and thought, that six years since its release, it's almost more relevant than ever. Plan to share some of those little anecdotes about the film as you just share.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:26 Kim ODonnel
10:26
[Comment From Shetha Shetha : ] 
Abernethy Elementary in Portland, OR http://www.pps.k12.or.us/schools/abernethy/308.htm
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:26 Shetha
10:27
Kim ODonnel: 
Wow, maybe I need to take a trip down to Porlland in the fall. Does the school offer summer feeding program, by the way?
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:27 Kim ODonnel
10:27
[Comment From WhatsCooking WhatsCooking : ] 
Our food service director also hopes to incorporate Harvest of the Month - how has it worked for you, Shetha?
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:27 WhatsCooking
10:27
[Comment From WhatsCooking WhatsCooking : ] 
I am in Marin County, just north of San Francisco. They are re-doing the central kitchen but still won't be able to cook in it! Deplorable. Mostly more cold storage, but we are working on getting real foods instead of the junk in plastic.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:27 WhatsCooking
10:27
Obama Foodorama: 
Shetha-- That looks good, from here!
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:27 Obama Foodorama
10:28
Kim ODonnel: 
I wonder if incorporating from scratch dishes incrementally would be a useful tactic. What about a soup, for starters? An easy way to phase in hot food....
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:28 Kim ODonnel
10:28
[Comment From Jill, The Veggie Queen Jill, The Veggie Queen : ] 
Yes, to plant-based diets. Everyone ought to start there and then expand to the other things to eat. Kids seem to really love eating what's growing in their school gardens. I did a lot with those veggies when my son was in elementary school. Taught teachers how to incorporate the foods. Lots of recipes.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:28 Jill, The Veggie Queen
10:28
[Comment From Shetha Shetha : ] 
It is a pilot program and not yet widely adopted - serving as "proof of concept". We have great hope though, as Chef Nicole rolls out more recipes. The kids LOVE Harvest of the month - it makes them feel informed and like they have a leg up on grown-up information. Over the summer we are looking for volunteers to help with the garden and harvest -- but no organized summer food program
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:28 Shetha
10:29
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
ObFo I agree totally. I think I'm not expressing myself very well--it seems as if you think I'm opposed to what you do.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:29 Jeanne in Seattle
10:29
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
I'm something of a voice in the void when it comes to nutrition in the school. Teachers (!) and parents are always bringing processed, awful food for parties, treats, gatherings, etc. They look at me funny when I talk about partially-hydrogenated oils and sodium, etc. Also, I have a peanut-allergic kid who is affected by other people's food choices every day.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:29 Jeanne in Seattle
10:30
[Comment From Shetha Shetha : ] 
Jeanne that is one policy that we still have -- no home-baked goods allowed for school functions. Prepared treats only (because homes don't have to stick to food prep standards, I presume).
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:30 Shetha
10:31
Kim ODonnel: 
Is that similar to the no-bake-sale policy that went into effect this year??
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:31 Kim ODonnel
10:31
[Comment From WhatsCooking WhatsCooking : ] 
It's ironic that we are working to improve the school lunches and there is a district wellness policy BUT parents continue to bring in crap for every holiday and birthday party. A friend who is a principal banned parents from bring food for birthdays because it was such a point of conflict.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:31 WhatsCooking
10:32
Obama Foodorama: 
Response to KOD on phasing out cooking in school cafs: Plenty of schools don't "cook" per se, but reheat with microwaves and steam pans. Schools don't have equipment, space, or $$, or, er, trained chefs. It's all part of the paradigm that First LAdy's campaign is trying to shift. thus Chefs Move To Schools. The childhood obesity task force report from the White suggests public/private interventions to change this, such as food corps donating foods tos chools, equipment makers taking on the equipment. United Fresh produce, the biggest fruit/veg lobby, has stepped up and answered the call, trying to get their producers to adopt schools in their local communities and provide salad bars.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:32 Obama Foodorama
10:32
[Comment From WhatsCooking WhatsCooking : ] 
It's a conversation that I"ll have to have with our principal - if our lunches are healthier, then we need to be consistent.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:32 WhatsCooking
10:34
Kim ODonnel: 
ObFo, maybe the school food revolution can start with soup! School Soup Day all around the country. Wouldn't that be something??
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:34 Kim ODonnel
10:34
[Comment From Jill, The Veggie Queen Jill, The Veggie Queen : ] 
Thrilled to see fresh produce as part of the plan. It's a necessity and shouldn't be an after thought.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:34 Jill, The Veggie Queen
10:34
[Comment From Shetha Shetha : ] 
yes I think a lot of this local policy is built off of conflicts like that, Whatscooking. Not on any real basis. I feel like if people want to bake, then folks need to know that it's a home-baked item and decide if it's a risk they want to take. Some kids don't deal well with not having a treat when their friends are having one, obviously. Thus the multi-faceted issue you referred to earlier, Jeanne
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:34 Shetha
10:34
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
The no-baked-goods from home policy encourages people to bring in gross treats from Costco, etc. Seriously, hydrogenated oil all over the place, plus sugar to kill an elephant.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:34 Jeanne in Seattle
10:34
[Comment From Shetha Shetha : ] 
I also think it's so important to connect local farms with schools (which is also in the bill). This helps to build community in addition to healthy kids. Wouldn't a school farmer's market be fun (fall festival)??
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:34 Shetha
10:35
Obama Foodorama: 
Produce is central to campaign: First Lady has called for massive uppage of consumption of fruits and vegetables as way of combating childhood obesity. America currently doesn't grow enough produce to meet the projected increase in consumption.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:35 Obama Foodorama
10:35
Kim ODonnel: 
Shetha, a school farmer's market is a brilliant idea. BRILL.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:35 Kim ODonnel
10:36
[Comment From Jill, The Veggie Queen Jill, The Veggie Queen : ] 
I helped set up a nutrition committee at my son's school.. I love the soup day deal. They'll all need pressure cookers and then moms can replicate it at home.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:36 Jill, The Veggie Queen
10:36
Obama Foodorama: 
Shetha: great idea. And school soup day is wonderful, too.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:36 Obama Foodorama
10:36
Obama Foodorama: 
Big fan of pressure cookers, here.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:36 Obama Foodorama
10:36
Kim ODonnel: 
Hmmm...I wonder if I should get a proposal going....I can be rather dangerous once I get an idea in my head (read: Canning Across America)
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:36 Kim ODonnel
10:37
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Also, the standard line is: "aw, it's just a birthday party. Stop being such a downer. Kids deserve treats." But, with 29 kids in class, plus all sorts of holiday parties, that equals constant treats for kids in school. Hard to control that as a parent.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:37 Jeanne in Seattle
10:38
Kim ODonnel: 
Soup is good food, as Campbell motto goes, but even better when it's homemade!
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:38 Kim ODonnel
10:38
Obama Foodorama: 
Jeanne: you need some pals at your school. I went through the same thing at my kids'school, but once I had other parents on board, the school was very responsive.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:38 Obama Foodorama
10:38
[Comment From Shetha Shetha : ] 
I think the biggest impact I've seen of my education + the schools education (on nutrition) is when my 6 year old told his granny he didn't want to go to McD's because he had used a lot of energy and needed something more nutritious. It was all worth it, then!
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:38 Shetha
10:38
Kim ODonnel: 
Wow, wow. That is huge, Shetha.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:38 Kim ODonnel
10:39
Obama Foodorama: 
Mine won't eat McD's either, which I find fascinating. I'm still a big fan of their fries. yes, I said it.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:39 Obama Foodorama
10:39
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
As a parent who is vocal and proactive and a hard worker, I am kind of exhausted by trying to get people to pay attention to what their kids eat. I am glad that finally the White House is on to this.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:39 Jeanne in Seattle
10:40
Kim ODonnel: 
Jeanne, you're not alone. So many folks have thrown in the towel. But there's an unprecedented momentum underway...
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:40 Kim ODonnel
10:40
[Comment From Lizka Lizka : ] 
That is truely awesome and amazing, Shetha!
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:40 Lizka
10:40
[Comment From Jill, The Veggie Queen Jill, The Veggie Queen : ] 
KOD, love it when you get an idea and run with it, as you really can. Please do. And don't hesitate to enlist those of us who want to help with this important issue.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:40 Jill, The Veggie Queen
10:41
Kim ODonnel: 
I do think we're onto something...who knows, maybe the first lady would be interested???
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:41 Kim ODonnel
10:41
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
KOD: yes indeed! I'm with you all the way. I would be happy to work on it with you!
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:41 Jeanne in Seattle
10:42
Kim ODonnel: 
School Soup Day.  I like the sound of it.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:42 Kim ODonnel
10:42
Obama Foodorama: 
Here's some good summer reading for anyone who has time: Janet Poppenideck's Fixing School Food In America http://www.janetpoppendieck.com/free_for_all.html

Cass Sunstein's Nudge
http://www.amazon.com/Nudge-Improving-Decisions-Health-Happiness/dp/014311526X/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1276793904&sr=1-3

The End of Overeating by David Kessler
http://www.amazon.com/End-Overeating-Insatiable-American-Appetite/dp/1605297852
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:42 Obama Foodorama
10:42
Kim ODonnel: 
Oh yeah, gotta get me a copy of Poppendieck's book. Keep hearing it's a must-read.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:42 Kim ODonnel
10:43
[Comment From Jill, The Veggie Queen Jill, The Veggie Queen : ] 
Yes, let's get the First Lady involved -- food, nutrition, vegetables. It's sounding good to me. Who can contact her?
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:43 Jill, The Veggie Queen
10:43
[Comment From Shetha Shetha : ] 
Could be Stone Soup Day here - we have so many neighborhood gardens :-) (I admit - we are spoiled!)
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:43 Shetha
10:43
Obama Foodorama: 
Vis School Soup Day: Sam Kass used to run a special soup series in Chicago, before he arrived at WH. healthy free soup, and cultural conversation.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:43 Obama Foodorama
10:44
Kim ODonnel: 
The story of Stone Soup is so powerful. Blast from the past. Shetha, is there anyone documenting the story of your school ala video or in words?
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:44 Kim ODonnel
10:45
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
One thing I have learned is that parents feed their kids what they eat. If parents don't like veggies, fruits, etc., and love candy, they will fight the notion that kids shouldn't eat candy and that fruits and veggies are gross. I've seen it time and time again. I know people who think water tastes gross (!) so they don't let their kids drink it. Weirdness.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:45 Jeanne in Seattle
10:45
Obama Foodorama: 
XLNT White House soup recipe, BTW; Exec. Chef Cris Comerford's Broccoli Soup

http://obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/2009/12/new-white-house-recipe-executive-chef.html
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:45 Obama Foodorama
10:46
Kim ODonnel: 
Okay, my synapses are officiallly fired up.  Watch out...
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:46 Kim ODonnel
10:46
Obama Foodorama: 
Jeanne--That's true. And especially the mother's eating habits, and weight, have been identified in the most recent child obesity studies as a predictor of the kids' chances of becoming obese
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:46 Obama Foodorama
10:47
Obama Foodorama: 
Kim, do you have a soup recipe from your new book that you can share?
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:47 Obama Foodorama
10:48
Kim ODonnel: 
Not today (my publisher will kill me), but it can be arranged. One of the easiest soups in the world to make though, is red lentils -- 1 cup red lentils, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 whole clove garlic or 1 small piece of fresh ginger. 3 cups of water. Bring up to a lively simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes. Lentils self-puree. Season w/ salt, pepper. Remove aromatics. Sip soup.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:48 Kim ODonnel
10:49
[Comment From Jill, The Veggie Queen Jill, The Veggie Queen : ] 
Jeanne, you are so right about educating parents, too. But I've seen it go the other way, too. From the kids to the parents. Any way that it gets done is great. Most people need to eat more fresh food -- vegetables and fruits.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:49 Jill, The Veggie Queen
10:49
[Comment From redweather redweather : ] 
you know, soup is also a great non-threatening way to introduce kids to things they may not have eaten before - lentils, fennel, squash....
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:49 redweather
10:49
Kim ODonnel: 
Oh redweather, you are so right on.  Soup is the way in.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:49 Kim ODonnel
10:51
Kim ODonnel: 
To Jill's point: One of the things shared at the Share Our Strength breakfast in DC (which preceded White House event for Chefs Move to Schools), was that kids who were learning simple little things in school vis a vis volunteers would go home, teach their parents how to prepare a dish.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:51 Kim ODonnel
10:51
[Comment From Jill, The Veggie Queen Jill, The Veggie Queen : ] 
I just made amazing 1 minute at pressure soup with summer squash, onion, smoked paprika and parsley. Unbelievably tasty and fresh.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:51 Jill, The Veggie Queen
10:52
Kim ODonnel: 
Think of the number of easy soup recipes that could be compiled for School Soup Day -- could be so wonderful.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:52 Kim ODonnel
10:52
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Kim: yes, lentil soup is an awesome soup for kids. Everytime I make it, any kid who is over will eat it. And they ask for the recipe (which always warms my heart and cracks me up at the same time).
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:52 Jeanne in Seattle
10:52
Kim ODonnel: 
See, Jeanne! Maybe those kids will teach their parents about lentils...
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:52 Kim ODonnel
10:52
Obama Foodorama: 
Let the little children lead... ;) But that's the point of the White House Kitchen Garden, too. Changing kids' palates by exposing them to new veggies...and then they go home and share it with parents.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:52 Obama Foodorama
10:52
[Comment From Jill, The Veggie Queen Jill, The Veggie Queen : ] 
I love lentils in any form. In fact, it was due to my son Shane's love of lentil soup at 3 years old that moved me to the pressure cooker. Shane's Fabulous Lentil Soup is one of my most requested recipes. Uses regular and red lentils. Kids will eat a wide variety of foods when exposed to them.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:52 Jill, The Veggie Queen
10:52
Kim ODonnel: 
Wow, Jill. Wonderful story.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:52 Kim ODonnel
10:53
[Comment From Shetha Shetha : ] 
Here is a story of our chef and kitchen: http://www.kgw.com/home/Portland-Elementary-School-Chef-honored-by-First-Lady-95160399.html (sorry I was called away for a sec)
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:53 Shetha
10:53
Kim ODonnel: 
Thanks, Shetha. Can't wait to read this.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:53 Kim ODonnel
10:53
Obama Foodorama: 
Thanks Shetha. Recipe, Jill?
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:53 Obama Foodorama
10:53
[Comment From Shetha Shetha : ] 
Smoked paprika is so wonderful - it's like bacon without all the fat and salt!
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:53 Shetha
10:54
Kim ODonnel: 
Shetha, I'm all over the smoked paprika. it's featured in many recipes in my new book, The Meat Lover's Meatless Cookbook.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:54 Kim ODonnel
10:54
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Kids are amazing in that they are literal. You tell them carrots are good for them and that they should eat one every day (or whatever), they will come home an insist on eating one every day. It's the parent's who stop it often.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:54 Jeanne in Seattle
10:54
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Kim: I made your kale chips for my daughter's birthday party. Those kids couldn't get enough of them. It was awesome!
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:54 Jeanne in Seattle
10:56
Kim ODonnel: 
By the way,  I'm working on a School Food Cheat Sheet for Culinate. It will be up later today or tomorrow on the site. Stay tuned. Thought it would be helpful to lay it all out, for reference.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:56 Kim ODonnel
10:56
[Comment From Shetha Shetha : ] 
For me the battle to eat from scratch is not with my kids - it's with my husband (but the white house will hardly concern themselves with that for obvious reasons ;-)
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:56 Shetha
10:56
Kim ODonnel: 
Shetha, your husband is a junk food junkie?
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:56 Kim ODonnel
10:57
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Yes! If kids have a hand in growing the food, they will be more inclined to eat it. We grow lettuce every year. My daugther doesn't really like lettuce, but she tries it every year because she can pick it and because she grew it.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:57 Jeanne in Seattle
10:58
Kim ODonnel: 
By the way, next week, June 24  we'll celebrate the arrival of summer -- produce, outdoor cooking, summer reads, bevs, whatever you want.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:58 Kim ODonnel
10:58
[Comment From Shetha Shetha : ] 
Not as bad as he used to be Kim -- but he's a self-professed carnarian. He would like to eat less meat but he doesn't eat many veggies, so it's hard to make it meet in the middle. Lots of legumes!
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:58 Shetha
10:59
Kim ODonnel: 
In my book, I refer to such an eater as  Mister Sausage. Can't wait for you to see my book later this summer.
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:59 Kim ODonnel
10:59
Obama Foodorama: 
Since we're getting ready to wrap up, here's a link to contact your Congressional member, to ask for a robust reauthorization of school food legislation. Enter your zipcode, and you'll get contact details

http://www.congress.org/

Also, follow Share Our Strength, SlowFoodUSA, Farm to School Network and Michael Pollan's new site for really great info. Food Research and Action Center
http://www.frac.org/ is swell, too.

Let's Move has plenty of updates: www.letsmove.gov
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:59 Obama Foodorama
10:59
Obama Foodorama: 
Everyone's excited about your book, Kim!!!
Thursday June 17, 2010 10:59 Obama Foodorama
11:00
Obama Foodorama: 
Thanks for that recipe, Jill! Just popped onto my screen! Looks terrific.
Thursday June 17, 2010 11:00 Obama Foodorama
11:00
Kim ODonnel: 
One thing that we should point out before signing off is that the reauthorization of the child nutrition act is urgent w/ regards to the timing.  The Act, which was extended from the 2004 law, is going to expire on Sept. 30.  If Congress doesn't act, the same law will stay in place for another 5 years.
Thursday June 17, 2010 11:00 Kim ODonnel
11:01
Kim ODonnel: 
From Jill: Smoky Summer Squash Soup Makes 4 – 6 servings As the season changes, you can change what goes into this soup, adding tomatoes or peppers when they are ripe. Early in the season this is all about squash, onions and garlic plus the pimento (smoked paprika). 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 medium onion, diced to equal 1 ½ cups 2-3 cloves garlic, minced 2-3 teaspoons pimenton 1-2 teaspoons paprika 1 ½ pounds summer squash, diced 4 cups vegetable broth, preferably homemade 1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste Freshly ground black pepper Garnish with fresh chopped Italian parsley Heat the oil in a pot or pressure cooker. Add the onion and sauté for a minute or two. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the pimento and paprika and stir well. Add the squash, broth and salt (using less salt if you use canned or boxed broth). Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer, cooking until squash is tender.. If using the pressure cooker, cook for 1 minute at pressure and then quick-release it. Remove the lid, tilting it away from you. Add black pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh herbs of your choice. © 2010 The Veggie Queen™, Jill Nussinow, MS, RD www.theveggiequeen.com or http://www.pressurecookingonline.com
Thursday June 17, 2010 11:01 Kim ODonnel
11:01
Kim ODonnel: 
Any last minute thoughts before signing off?
Thursday June 17, 2010 11:01 Kim ODonnel
11:01
Obama Foodorama: 
Call Congress today, tomorrow, and every day until they get MOVING.
Thursday June 17, 2010 11:01 Obama Foodorama
11:02
Kim ODonnel: 
Big thanks to Eddie Gehman Kohan, Miss Ob Fo, for joining us, and to all of you for a very lively conversation about this important topic.
Thursday June 17, 2010 11:02 Kim ODonnel
11:02
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Thanks, Eddie! A pleasure!
Thursday June 17, 2010 11:02 Jeanne in Seattle
11:02
Obama Foodorama: 
Thanks for having me Kim! Thanks to all for sharing!
Thursday June 17, 2010 11:02 Obama Foodorama
11:03
Kim ODonnel: 
Have a good week, everybody. Talk next Thursday, June 24, for an hour of summer celebration eats, drinks & reads. Bye!
Thursday June 17, 2010 11:03 Kim ODonnel
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Table Talk

Kim O’Donnel is a trained chef, nationally recognized online food personality, and a longtime journalist. She is the author of a new cookbook, The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook.

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