Oregon Has Lowest Rate of Chunks In The U.S.

Last night I was working on an events listing for the Portland Farmers’ Market May newsletter (sign up to get it emailed to you monthly HERE!), when I came across the website for eat.think.grow, a network of state, local, and community partners who support and advocate for better quality school food and garden education in the Portland Public Schools district. These include Ecotrust, Slow Food, Portland State, and the City of Portland.


Take that, Mr. Flab!

The program works to bring locally grown produce into school cafeterias. It provides teachers with lesson plans for classroom activities that educate students about healthy food. It exposes schoolkids to the joy of gardening, and the wonder of growing their own food. Wildwood Restaurant founder and former Executive Chef Corey Schreiber provides simple, delicious seasonal recipes like Marinated Fennel and Radish Salad and New Asparagus with Lemon and Black Pepper for families to make together at home.

“Our mission is to improve childhood learning and health through a whole systems approach to wellness. Areas of focus include cafeteria and school food environment, integrating garden-based and nutrition education into the classroom, and access to school gardens and local destination farms,” reads the mission statement.

Below that, the tenets of the program are listed:

Policy Into Practice:
Leverage and implement the Portland Public Schools Wellness Policy by using curriculum to integrate learning opportunities and wellness objectives into the classroom, cafeteria and school garden.

Improve School Food: Make local, sustainably produced, whole foods the benchmark for meals and activities within the school environment. Create a foundation for lifelong health by increasing the percentage of fresh, minimally processed foods and connecting healthy food choices to nutrition and physical education.

A Garden in Every School: Increase the number of school gardens and standardize school garden curriculum across Portland Public Schools. The intent is to support the development of the whole child by using school garden curriculum to integrate the physical, social and academic learning environments.

Remake the Urban-Rural Connection: Support urban-rural connections through the promotion of Oregon foods in the cafeteria. Connect students with local farms and producers, and increase student participation in educational farm programs.

Having read all that goodness last night, I thought it was fitting to see this story making its way across the internet today. You can click the title below to read the AP article.

CHILD OBESITYOregon’s child obesity rate lowest in country

CHICAGO – What’s the magic in Oregon that keeps kids lean? It’s a mystery health officials would like to solve as they admit all states are failing — by a mile — to meet federal goals for childhood obesity.

Oregon has the nation’s lowest rate of hefty kids, according to a new government study, which found big gaps between regions and ballooning obesity rates in many states from 2003 to 2007.

If you think eat.think.grow sounds pretty neat and would like to learn more, according to the Slow Food events calendar, they are having a meeting next Tuesday, May 11, from 6 – 8pm at Vernon Elementary School (2044 NE Killingsworth) in Northeast Portland.

It’s nice to hear good news.