Urging Food Education and Cooking Classes in US Schools

Urging Food Education And Cooking Classes In US Schools

Mon 08 Jul 2013

Story by The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation Team

Back on Food Revolution Day on May 17, the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation and Food Day joined forces to promote food education and cooking classes in schools across America. The nationwide campaign, Get Food Education in Every School, will raise awareness about the critical importance of food education as a means of reducing obesity and diet-related disease in children.

After 6 weeks, the campaign already has 50+ groups and almost 3,000 individuals signed up to support the initiative and with the official launch of our press release today, we hope to see these numbers grow some more!

“This is a chance to start talking about how food education should be an integrated part of the school curriculum,” said Jamie Oliver “Hands-on cooking and essential food skills should be taught to every child at every school in the country. Healthy diets are critical to healthy lives but our children lack the knowledge to make the right food choices or the skills to create healthy, wholesome, and nutritious meals.”

Providing children with food education has never been more vitally important than it is today.

• Today’s children may be the first to die at a younger age than their parents;
• One-third of children in the United States are overweight or obese;
• Fewer than 20 percent of adolescents aged 12 to 18 eat the recommended five or more servings of fruits or vegetables each day.

“The names and logos of junk-food giants like McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and Chuck E. Cheese’s are firmly imprinted on kids’ brains, yet as Jamie has shown, some kids can’t identify tomatoes, cauliflower, or eggplants,” said Michael F. Jacobson, the founder of Food Day and executive director of the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest. “Food education is too important to be left to soda companies, fast-food chains, and other junk-food advertisers.”

Together we hope to replicate success stories such as The Food Trust’s school nutrition education program in Philadelphia, which provides more than 50,000 children in 100 schools with nutrition classes, and build support for laws similar to Mississippi’s Healthy Students Act, which mandates a minimum amount of nutrition education and physical activity per week.

If you haven’t already then you can sign up to show your support here and join the conversation online using the hashtag #FoodEd.

The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation Team

Image: Stacy Whitman


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