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New Orleans Kids Help Reinvent School Lunches

While big names talk about our responsibility to better the diets of America's children, some of America's children are taking the responsibility on themselves.

Bowl of jambalaya

Photo: gromgull

New Orleans school kids love their local food!

Big names like Michelle Obama and The Naked Chef have graced the headlines recently, giving impetus to the school lunch reform movement.

They talk about our responsibility to better the diets of America’s children, but some of America’s children are taking the responsibility on themselves.

The Rethinkers

The Center for Ecoliteracy recently reported on a group of New Orleans school children – called The Rethinkers – that has taken a vested interest in rebuilding the public schools. But they don’t just want them rebuilt just as they were before Hurricane Katrina, they’ve got something better in mind.

One of the issues the students are tackling is how and what they eat during the day. They’ve drafted a list of Twelve Recommendations for Public School Food and Cafeterias (pdf 82.3 KB), eleven of which the superintendent of schools has promised to honor.

Local Food, Composting AND A School Garden

Several of the recommendations would make any locavore’s heart swell. They call for buying food from local farmers, fisherman and shrimpers, preparing local dishes, composting food waste, and making room for a school garden.

And what was at the top of the list? “No more sporks!”

(Apparently kids don’t like them either.)

Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools


Megan Meyer

Megan Meyer was in the company of foodies for most of her formative years. She spent all of her teens working at her town's natural food co-op in South Dakota, and later when she moved to Minneapolis, worked as a produce maven for the nation's longest running collectively-managed food co-op. In 2006, she had the distinct pleasure (and pain) of participating the vendanges, or grape harvest, in the Beaujolais terroire of France, where she developed her compulsion to snip off grape clusters wherever they may hang. In the spring of 2008, Megan interned on NPR's Science Desk in Washington, D.C., where she aided in the coverage of science, health and food policy stories. She joined Indiana Public Media in June, 2009.

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