October 28, 2010
PHILADELPHIA NATIVE Ann Karlen, a ceramics artist and the visionary behind the cooperative art gallery Vox Populi, has always been a bit of an outlier. Her newest passion is all about the cultivation of locally farmed and sustainable food through the nonprofit Fair Food, of which she is the founding director. She said it all started with a very selfish desire. "I wanted healthy food for me," Karlen shared. "I started going to [local] organic shops . . . but I also noticed that all the farmers were from California.
October 12, 2010 |
The cheers started, then swelled, as Casey Caruso, wearing a broad-brim hat festooned with small, dangling fruit replicas, grabbed a mike in the cafeteria at Great Valley Middle School. "The veggie ladies are back," she told her lunchtime audience of 360 sixth graders. As Caruso and her partner, Trudy Skibbe, walked between tables, eager hands reached out to grab the treats they were serving: slices of butternut-squash pizza, cooked with onions, rosemary and olive oil, and topped with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
February 19, 2010 |
The schoolyard at Fairhill Elementary School was abuzz. Today, a very important person with a fancy car, a lot of bodyguards, and the ear of the president will descend on the North Philadelphia school, and the students were ready. Angelica Negron, 10, was "happy and excited" about Michelle Obama's visit to talk about healthy food. Angelica said she hoped she'd be picked to meet with the first lady. "I think she's going to talk about vegetables, because a lot of kids, they eat a lot of junk food," Angelica, a fifth grader who wore a ball cap fashionably askew, said yesterday.
February 17, 2010
FIRST LADY Michelle Obama's visit to Philadelphia on Friday will focus on a critical component of her campaign against obesity - access to healthy food. And that has more to do with income than it should: millions of low-income and minority families live in what have been tagged "food deserts," areas that lack supermarkets or other places to buy fresh, healthy food. Which is why Mrs. Obama is headed our way. She will visit supermarkets here to highlight the success of the Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative - which is the model for President Obama's plan to spend $400 million to leverage private money for grants to build or renovate supermarkets in underserved locations.
January 14, 2010 |
ARE YOU COOKING with a clear conscience? When it comes to guilt-free eating, the concept should extend beyond overindulging in fried foods and rich desserts. It's possible to "green your cuisine," according to Louisa Shafia, Philly-born author of "Lucid Food: Cooking for an Eco-Conscious Life" (Ten Speed Press, $22.50), by making Earth-friendly food choices, sourcing animal products ethically, buying local to reduce your carbon footprint, gardening and more. Shafia, who'll sign books at Terrain at Styers in Glen Mills on Saturday and do a cooking class at Reading Terminal's Cucina at the Market on Jan. 21, founded a New York-based catering operation called Lucid Food in 2004.
September 24, 2009 |
Time was when only two things determined your status in the school cafeteria: the TV character on your lunchbox, and whether you had the year's coolest, junkiest snack inside. But in some schools, where kids are thinking about their environmental footprints, coolness is now measured by how "green" your lunch is: Reusable sandwich wraps and water bottles, recycled lunch boxes - even cloth napkins are hip. And, especially in schools with student gardens, the children are learning that eating locally grown fruits and vegetables is not only good for the Earth, the harvested produce is good for their bodies, too. "Everybody knows it's important to be environmental," says Sarah-Chen Ogorek, 13, an eighth grader at Springside School in Chestnut Hill, where the girls use student-decorated melamine plates in the lunch line, and where two science teachers have begun encouraging "Waste-Free Wednesdays," a weekly zero-waste lunch event.
July 24, 2008 |
SUMMER IS ONLY halfway over, but the kids are starting to climb the walls. You're on a first-name basis with the local burger joint drive-through staff, and you can't take one more day of Disney Channel reruns or Nintendo Wii marathons. If this sounds like you, you're in luck. We searched for unique ways to get the kids out of the house, get them to eat healthy - and maintain your sanity for another 40 days (yes, we counted) until school starts. We asked Cary Borish, co-owner of the family-run Marathon Grill restaurants, for some out-of-the-ordinary, kid-friendly summer ideas.
August 18, 2007 |
One of the week's most positive developments was the announcement by Discovery Kids, who provide our children with such fine shows as DinoSapien and Scout's Safari, that henceforth their characters, both live and animated, will be depicted eating only healthy foods. I'll tell you, as someone who was nursed and educated by television, it wouldn't have hurt to see someone munching a carrot stick once in a while. As it is, my notions about nutrition were totally warped by the tube.
July 11, 2005 |
Johnathan Russell is the kind of teenager who doesn't just eat his vegetables. He grows them, markets them, and gets other kids to eat them, too. None of this he could have imagined four years ago when he entered University City High School and started working in the school's half-acre garden. Now 18, Russell is helping the school's nutrition program move in a new direction. Literally. He's helped create a new mobile organic store - from writing the business plan to painting the truck a cheerful green - that will sell low-cost kale, tomatoes, chard and herbs in several West Philadelphia neighborhoods.