VEGETARIAN JOURNAL

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Vegetarian Journal 2002 Issue 4

Note from the Coordinators

Pushing Healthier Food in Schools


A few months ago the Bush administration announced a new, innovative one-year program starting this fall in which free fresh produce would be distributed in 100 schools in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Iowa. The program does not dictate how the food should be distributed. Also, the produce can come from either supermarkets or local growers.

The goal is to get children to choose fresh produce over junk food as a snack. The project was created in response to statistics showing that 13% of children are obese today. Nutritionists say youngsters who get in the habit of eating fresh produce usually continue to do so throughout their lives.

Senator Tom Harkin, chairman of the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, would like to make the program permanent and extend it to all schools when the lunch program is reauthorized in 2003. For this to happen, the Agriculture Department must give its stamp of approval after reviewing this pilot study. Let's all hope the program is approved and expanded!

This past summer our 4-year-old son attended an excellent day camp on the campus of a progressive Quaker school. Lunch was provided. Though we didn't expect to see vegan lunches served every day, we were surprised at the weekly menus we received. Other than the occasional peanut butter and jelly sandwich (with the option of soy nut butter), the daily offerings included ham and cheese sandwiches, deli subs, bologna sandwiches, etc. An announcement was made that vegetarians could request a special lunch. We inquired and were told that this "special" lunch would be either a peanut butter and jelly or cheese sandwich. Fortunately, our vegan son was happy to eat the meals we prepared for him. Nevertheless, most of the other campers were left eating high-fat meals most days.

Now that the Federal Government acknowledges that too many children are obese, it is even more advantageous for vegetarians to promote healthy lowfat vegan diets. After all, you won't find too many overweight vegan kids. The Vegetarian Resource Group will continue to testify at school lunch program hearings and push for the use of vegan-friendly foods.

This issue of Vegetarian Journal features ideas and recipes for the upcoming holidays. How do vegan calzones, pumpkin-cranberry cookies, chocolate chip bars, sweet spiced popcorn, and cayenne pecans sound? We've also researched two topics of interest. The first is a review of the scientific literature found in medical/ nutrition journals on the subject of raw foods diets. This piece contains material found in publications throughout the world. The second article takes a look at the statistics available in reference to marketing and promoting natural foods. This information can be used by anyone considering opening a natural foods business, by companies introducing new products, or by readers who simply want to show friends how strong the natural foods industry is today.

Debra Wasserman & Charles Stahler
Coordinators of The Vegetarian Resource Group



Excerpts from the 2002 Issue 4:


The Vegetarian Journal published here is not the complete issue, but these are excerpts from the published magazine. Anyone who wishes to see everything should subscribe to the magazine.

Thanks to volunteer Stephanie Schueler for converting this article to HTML.



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Last Updated
Nov. 18, 2002



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