21 September 2009

Renegade Lunch Lady

Anne Cooper is the 'Renegade Lunch Lady'...

"My life work is to transform cafeterias into culinary classrooms for students — one school lunch at a time"

Excerpt from Participant Media newsletter, August 2009

Cooper's latest book, Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children, is filled with strategies (and recipes) for parents and school administrators to become involved with the movement to bring healthy foods into schools. She is also a past president of The American Culinary Federation of Central Vermont and a former board member of the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Organic Standards Board and Chefs Collaborative.

Last month, the self-proclaimed "Renegade Lunch Lady" launched the "School Lunch Revolution" program with Whole Foods. The national campaign enables schools to revolutionize and improve the way children eat, and includes a new website, The Lunch Box, which provides the necessary resources for food service directors to make tangible changes in their cafeteria menus. It also provides nutritionally analyzed scalable recipes, tools to help schools work with smaller scale food vendors, and resources for procuring real, natural foods regionally and locally."

Eating habits are learned behaviors, so what your children learn to eat at home early in life sticks with them well into adulthood.

Today we are disconnected from our food sources in a way that is unprecedented in human history," Chef Cooper says. "Fewer Americans cook meals from scratch often because of time and money.

The good news is that there are things you can do to help your kids eat more healthy foods and get more healthy foods into schools."'

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