Wednesday, March 3, 2010

On Plastic Fruit

"I now have a cooler full of plastic fruit, OJ, and yogurt. Curious what I'm up to?"

This is what I recently posted on Twitter. I think it's time to explain the mysteries of my ways.

{Available here}

While I've got nothing on Jamie Oliver, I DO care about healthy eating. When I watched his video last week, I was alarmed at the fact that schoolchildren didn't recognize ordinary fruits and vegetables. (If you haven't watched it, jump to minute 11.) As a mom and a former teacher, I was pretty horrified.

The problem as I see it is that much of the food we see in grocery stores and on our plate doesn't even resemble real food anymore. So when the child on the video saw a tomato in front of him he saw a strangely shaped item. I'm sure he had eaten ketchup in the last 48 hours, but he had no idea where the ketchup came from. Another child had no idea that a potato was a potato, probably because he didn't know that French fries are actually made from something else.

How can we expect Americans to make better eating choices when they have no idea what real food is? How can they understand nutrition when they don't understand the basics of how food is cooked or meals are assembled?

Clearly this problem is bigger than me, but I wanted to do something. So I did. I went to my toddler's school with a cooler full of plastic fruit, yogurt, orange juice, fresh bananas, frozen fruit, and a blender. My goal was to make sure that my daughter's class knew their fruits. And they do now. I'll tell you what I said soon.


  1. And you might have helped them with their test scores, too! Check out this story:

  2. Ooh, I like it! What can I say, I try to help in every way I can. ;)


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