The USDA will increase testing for e. coli on beef sent to school lunch programs according to a recent press release. These new regulations are believed to be in response to USA Today's reporting that beef sent to schools was subject to less testing than even fast food beef and had been linked to illness. Still, cheap junk food isn't much of a standard -- and the USDA commodity beef served at our school - sliders, meatballs, etc. are stuffed full of far more than just beef. You can search this blog for "beef."
Interesting article in the Wall Street Journal this week (may require subscription) about a new nutrition information system being licensed by some grocery store chains. NuVal assigns a single score of 1-100 (100 is the best) to packaged foods based on a algorithm the company behind it says they are trying to keep out of the hands of the manufacturers. There is some interesting information at their website. They say it works best when comparing two similar products (which peanut butter should I buy?). I wish they'd score our lunch but it does speak to the need for consumers to have clear and easy to use nutritional information. I think the same applies to children choosing lunch and the need for nutrition education.
And, I've been meaning to give you this link to Pt 2 of Jill Richardson's (La Vida Locavore) coverage of the House hearings on the child nutrition act reauthorization.
The Future of Food is a full-length documentary you can watch online about genetically-engineered food crops (like corn - present in one form or another in just about every lunch.) Watch it here.
As far as I know, you've all been doing a lovely job of having fun this summer. But if any of you feel fun-challenged, you could go up to the NY Botanical Gardens as their Edible Garden series continues with Chef Derek Lee of the Best Food Blog Ever. Their children's gardens are always terrific.
The Oyster Bay's Farmers' Market is today -
Located north of the Oyster Bay Post Office on Audrey Ave., Oyster Bay. 516-922-2517. 12 – 6 pm. All ages. Fee: Free admission. Also on Aug. 6, 13, 20, 27. Celebrate the splendors of summer with fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and other delicacies at the “first ever” farmers’ market in Oyster Bay. Local growers, artists, bakers, and soap makers will gather in this historic town to sell their goods at an idyllic outdoor market.The Teddy Roosevelt Sanctuary (also in Oyster Bay) has a hands on learning program this Saturday morning for teens and adults at their nature preserve.