Daily Camera - September 5, 2009
Slow Food USA's pot luck to promote healthy foods in schools
By Scott Franz For the Camera
Carol Carlson, left, of Slow Food Boulder, talks with Dorina Miller, of Arvada, on Saturday at the Hometown Fair about Monday's 'Time For Lunch' potluck to promote the Child Nutrition Act as Miller's daughter Gia, 3, reaches for a snack.
What started as a feast in a teepee near Boulder in 1996 continues on Monday as the Boulder chapter of Slow Food USA hosts a public pot luck at the old courthouse lawn to promote the strengthening of the Child Nutrition Act.
The act was reauthorized in 2004 and required all school districts to adopt a wellness program. Today, Slow Food is taking a grassroots approach to promote healthy foods in cafeterias.
Carol Carlson remembers huddling under a leaky roof at Boulder's Cultiva Growing Gardens, a late July thunderstorm roaring overhead. Middle and high school students warmed their hands next to hers over a plate of beets on a portable burner, ready to prepare a zucchini ragout and a marinated beet salad. Not even the rain could stop them from gathering the wilted chard and kale.
Carlson is a three-year member of Slow Food, and events like these are called "Slow in Schools," one of the many outlets the group uses to provide hands-on opportunities to students interested in learning about healthier eating and growing.
"I've lived quite a long time feeling powerless in making change," Carlson said. "But change in the food system at schools is happening today and I feel empowered now that we're in a situation where we are providing children with nutritional food that will support their learning process and their healthy vibrant lives."
Carlson credits Boulder Valley School District's adoption of healthy meal alternatives and Slow Food's grassroots effort with the positive changes that are taking place.
At Monday's potluck, Boulderites can enjoy a meal prepared by students from the Culinary School of the Rockies, listen to live local Bluegrass music by Giddyup Kitty and take advantage of gardening activities for children. The menu includes green chili with pork, vegetarian green chili and peach cake.
"I'm very, very excited," said Carlson, who will be speaking at the event. "I've always wanted to be with people passionate about food and who work to get good clean and fair food for all."
The event will also feature four other guest speakers, including Bryce Brown, founder of the Growe Foundation. Brown's group works with the Boulder Valley School District to educate children about healthy eating. They are also responsible for the installation of gardens in nine BVSD schools.
"There is a nationwide movement happening to look at the food we've been feeding our kids," said Brown. "Working with Slow Food is a natural fit because their members are also involved in teaching kids healthy eating and natural foods."
If you go
What:Slow Food USA's national Labor Day "Time for Lunch" pot luck
When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday
Where: Old courthouse lawn, 1325 Pearl St, Boulder
More info: Visit www.slowfoodboulder.org