School Activist Wins Organic Salad Bar

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I spoke yesterday on the phone with a wonderful mom, who launched a campaign in her Olympia, Washington school for organic food to be added to the children’s lunch fare. The result was a 100% organic salad bar! Vanessa Ruddy, the mom who accomplished this healthy addition to the Lincoln Elementary School lunch program, is now in the process of making a film about how you can do the same in your child’s school.
Vanessa told me that the European Union does not allow hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to be imported to their countries, yet our government lunch programs include these toxic ingredients. She told me that high fructose corn syrup alters the reproductive system, and causes organ failure in lab tests on animals. The corn that is refined into HFCS is grown with atrizine, or the chemical weapon otherwise known as nerve gas! The dead zone in the gulf of Mexico at the base of the Mississippi River is suspected to be caused by the water run off from mid-west corn fields. Hydrogenated oils or trans fats are now considered unhealthy, to the extent that food manufacturers must list them on labels. More and more restaurants and homes are HFCS free, and yet it is still found plentifully in school lunches!

Vanessa plans to be a documentary film maker, and will be working on more educational films about the important issues related to food, farming and health. I learned so much in talking with her, that I know her efforts to educate others will be fruitful.

If you want to let the USDA know what you think needs to be done to improve school nutrition:

A notice of the request for comments was published in the Federal Register on May 20, 2008, with details on how to submit comments by postal mail or through a courier, no later than Oct. 15, 2008. You may also submit reauthorization comments electronically through regulations.gov or fax to 703-305-2879.

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