Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Teaching kids to grow food + bureaucratic regulations= can't eat food grown (Bass Ackward)

These tomatoes are huddling for warmth and a desire to ripen on the vine, despite the cool nights



I can admit that urban kids growing food sounds like a major step to improved health for Americans.

This news story breaks my heart:

It's harvest time in Chicago Public School gardens full of chubby tomatoes, heavy squash and fragrant basil.
These urban oases, carefully tended by teachers, students and volunteers, range from several square feet to several acres of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers, and some schools even grow plants year-round in school greenhouses.
But one thing the more than 40 gardens have in common is that none of the produce ever finds its way into CPS lunchrooms. Instead, because of rules set by the district and its meal provider, the food is sold or given away.
The policies are in place despite the high obesity rate among Illinois children and experts' concerns that young people are eating few fresh vegetables. Meanwhile, a studies [sic] suggest children eat and accept vegetables much more readily when they have helped grow them.

  Our children are at a significant risk of having a shorter life expectancy than we do because of obesity and the myriad of diseases associated with it. 

 
Chronic Diseases are the Leading Causes of Death and Disability in the U.S.
  • 7 out of 10 deaths among Americans each year are from chronic diseases. Heart disease, cancer and stroke account for more than 50% of all deaths each year.1
  • In 2005, 133 million Americans – almost 1 out of every 2 adults – had at least one chronic illness.2
  • Obesity has become a major health concern. 1 in every 3 adults is obese3 and almost 1 in 5 youth between the ages of 6 and 19 is obese (BMI ≥ 95th percentile of the CDC growth chart).4
  • About one-fourth of people with chronic conditions have one or more daily activity limitations.
  • Arthritis is the most common cause of disability, with nearly 19 million Americans reporting activity limitations.6
  •  Diabetes continues to be the leading cause of kidney failure, nontraumatic lower-extremity amputations, and blindness among adults, aged 20-74.7
Aerial view of a cucumber defying gravity

When will we cut through some of the red tape, I know it was meant to protect us, and just use some common sense?

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