MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS BATTLE TO SEE WHO WINS THE IRON CHEF CONTEST
Some time back, I posted a link to this wonderful seven-minute documentary of a classroom “Iron Chef” contest at Willard Middle School in Berkeley, but I wasn’t embedding videos then and few of you saw it. So, here’s a second chance to see evidence of the great results classes in healthy cooking and gardening are having in Berkeley, where all students get such instruction beginning in kindergarten. Kudos to Susanne Jensen, cooking teacher, along with Tanya and Vana and to seventh grade reporter Danny Hogg, who is wonderfully at ease in front of a camera, and to all the students who are becoming good cooks. Not to give away too much, but the secret ingredient is beets.
We’ve been doing meatless Mondays in Palo Alto for 23 years, but recently there’s a growing worldwide movement toward eating less meat, starting with once a week on Mondays. We know that the livestock industry contributes enormously to greenhouse gas emissions–just to pick one of many reasons to eat less, or even no meat. Opinion leaders as varied as Michael Pollan, Al Gore, Yoko Ono and chef Mario Batalli have endorsed meatless Mondays. Watch this video to see Paul McCartney’s pitch, and if you’re in the Bay Area, join us on Mondays in Palo Alto, all welcome! Click here to find out about a Meat Free Monday Meetup group.
For more than ten years, Berkeley public schools have led the way in teaching healthy eating and cooking, beginning in kindergarten. My friend, Susanne Jensen, who is also a natural foods chef, has been teaching cooking at Willard Middle School since the program began. She forwarded this YouTube link to a wonderful seven-minute documentary about one of their classroom Iron Chef contests. It’s inspiring, amusing and entertaining all at once. At a time when fewer people are cooking at home, it is good to know that at least in Berkeley, kids are cooking in school. Watch, and feel better about how the younger generation is doing!
THE NAKED CHEF BRINGS FRESH FOOD TO THE UNHEALTHIEST CITY IN AMERICA
Can Jamie Oliver, England’s naked chef, turn around the eating habits of 50,000 people in Huntington, West Virginia, the unhealthiest city in America? That’s the premise of a new reality TV show debuting on ABC Friday, March 26th at 9 p.m. I don’t watch much TV, and you probably don’t either, but having seen the previews, this is one show I’m going to follow.
More and more of us are turning to the internet for recipes. But what about cooking classes? That too. Here are links to 24 fun 3-5 minute video cooking classes. Teacher for these classes is Mark Bittman, author of “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian,” “How to Cook Everything,” and New York Times blogger and food writer. A number of these classes are vegan and feature whole grains and whole grain flours. You’ll access many of the recipes in the videos by clicking on the related article. And keep in mind that Mark is a bit of a character!
“FOOD, INC.” DOCUMENTARY IS NOW AVAILABLE ON DVD
If you’re a reader of this blog, you are no doubt aware of how off-track is the American food industry. It produces abundant, apparently cheap food, but the hidden costs are high. It treats animals like objects, degrades the environment, eats up huge government subsidies, and directly contributes to health care costs which will bankrupt the country if something doesn’t change. Needless to say, it’s a system which makes huge profits for a handful of corporations. Even if you are well-informed already, see this disturbing, informative and inspiring documentary and get fired up all over again. If you saw “Food, Inc.” in a theater, buy the recently released DVD and share it with family and friends. Having grown up on a family farm, I empathize with the often unsavory choices farmers feel forced to make, and this is a topic I promise to return to often. Find out more about “Food, Inc.” or watch the trailer here.