Thursday, March 18

Food Revolution

"One of the most widely used color additives comes from an unexpected source. Cochineal extract (also known as carmine or carminic acid) is made from the dead bodies of small bugs...the little bugs are collected, dried, and ground into a coloring additive. It takes about 70,000 insects to make a pound of carmine, which is used to make processed foods look pink, red, or purple" - Chew On This!

gross. really gross.

As many people know, I teach high school in the poorest city in Massachussettes, 23rd poorest in the country. Across the street from my buidling there is a: Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Dunkin Donuts, Wendys, and Subway. On average, I would say 99% of my students interact with fast food on a daily basis...either they eat it for a meal or they work there or both. What do these two things have in common? Well, I certainly have my own opinions on the topic, but for the sake of not alienating people, I'm going to stay somewhat neutral. Politics aside, what this issue is really about is kids today and food.

There seems to be a food revolution of sorts happening, which I find to be very exciting. Two big things I've seen happening are the First Lady's Let's Move Campaign, an initiative she has started to fight childhood obesity and revamp the foods served in schools and Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution who is battling a similar platform. I love Jamie Oliver. Men who can cook are sexy. No contest.

Let us digress for a moment, shall we?

Jamie Oliver

Rocco DiSpirito

Todd English

Sam Talbot (I pine. I perish. I swoon.)

Mario Batali

(how can you resist a man in crocs? ha. just kidding. but the man CAN cook!)

I certainly cannot leave out my favorite chef who makes the most amazing pork tenderloin ever. He also makes a mean mango Margarita. and tequila lime shrimp. and pesto salmon with wild rice. yummmmmmm....

Whew! Okay, what was I saying? Oh yes. Food Revolution. Food is something I love. In the past year or so, I've gained a newfound appreciation for GOOD food (and by good I mean delicious, fresh, healthy for you but tastes like its not type of food). This is something I often share with people, like you lurkers (and yes, you are all lurkers, because I only ever get one commenter, so I just keep writing in the vain hope that there are secretly hundreds of you out there waiting with bated breath for my next posting).

So I want to share all of this with my students. I need to chose a novel to read for 4th quarter and I'm leaning towards Chew On This. They know more about the fast food industry than anyone and I also think there's a lot of multi-media stuff I could tie into it. But herein lies my dilemma, knowing that this is a population that lives off fast food, both literally and figuratively, is it wrong to ethically wrong for me to verbally destroy it? Or am I doing something good here and showing them that the crap they put into their bodies everyday is horrible?

I truly believe this is a conversation worth having with them...I'm just not sure if I should have it. Thoughts?


Preppy in Polka Dots said...

First, I can vouch for the delicious mango margaritas and can't wait for sean to be stateside so we can have more. I think he should look into a Cinco de Mayo appearance.

Second, I think that its a great idea for you to teach this book and I definitely think that you can do it in a way that creates a dialogue and not verbally destroy it! Do people still read The Jungle in high school? That turned me into a vegetarian for like 3 years!!

Marie said...

I think in normal high schools they do- but not in ours. You are correct though- I think I should teach it.

and I second Sean coming here to make us margaritas. Preferably Memorial Day weekend. Sean?

Rachel said...

My kids read Chew on This... I don't know how seriously they took it though! I think you should try to expose them to it, maybe if they make just one more healthy choice it would be worth it.

Survive or Thrive, right? :)

Sean said...

Misss, It is a great idea, push the subjet with your students. you will be the teacher who makes an impact on their lives. The teacher that they look back and say, 'Mis Evans was the best teacher I ever had'.
We are at the for-front of a food revolution. They will take what they learn in the class room and use it in their homes. They are the generation who needs the influence the most. I don't want to pay huge taxes to vocer healthcare for people who eat cheap junk. Good diets, health lifestyles, and self appreciation, hard work and families are all related.

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