There has been an evolution of food from farm to vending machine that has resulted in a depersonalization of food. We do not prioritize the way we nourish ourselves, but rather the things that compress our time further. How does this affect our relationship with food? Respect for time and the re-personalization of food could be guiding principles for everything we do. We discussed how to put food back into the center of our lives in a balanced way. We were reminded of the book “What are people for?” by Wendell Berry that addresses this issue somewhat. We agreed to explore ways to encourage a more mindful approach to eating and the workday. Other cultures have more vacation, often work shorter days, spend more time on communal eating (family or otherwise). The group felt time, sleep and food are inextricably linked and need to be addressed holistically for meaningful change.
Nourishing acts that we should encourage:
- Time to think
- Being still
- Enjoying preparation, sharing and consumption of food
Questions we identified as important:
- WHY do we overeat
- What are school nutritionists doing to make school lunches healthier
- What do classroom teachers see and are they doing anything
- Should we have more physical education?
- How about more of a focus on the arts and humanities?
- How do teachers perceive the obesity problem? What other problems do they see (behavior, sleep, hunger, ADHD, diet?)
- Might it be beneficial for schools to have a common calendar?
- What can we learn from other initiatives?
- Food Revolution (Jamie Oliver)
- Step Up (Michelle Obama)
- New Haven- Cipriano- Director of School Services
Ideas for change
- Teaching kids to cook in schools
- Teach kids ‘ what to do with the harvest’
- Encourage slow food
- Shift the appreciation of food from an inconvenient necessity where we get as many calories in as little time as possible, to one where each part of the food process is appreciated and eating good food is associated with legitimacy ( as opposed to guilty reward)
- Lengthening school lunch time to allow kids to take part of assembling their lunch, or take part in experiential cooking classes (Research to support this comes from the School Food Trust in the UK)
- We live in a ‘Celebrity chef’ culture- is this good or bad for us terms of our relationship with food and obesity
- Obesity is a global problem- culture matters but it is not the only factor. Is fast food the cause of the spread of overweight and obesity in other parts of the world- if not, what else?
- Can we take children and assess the effects of sleep on appetite?
- Can we ask children to sleep more and monitor effects on appetite, BMI, attention in school, or anything else ? Check previous studies to determine how the ethical issues are resolved.
- Getting sports figures involved: Boston Celtic- Paul Pierce Foundation
- Using digital bracelets to track sleep? Maybe you have to take them off to sleep and put them on when you wake?
National and International efforts to reduce obesity
a) www.plowtoplate.org A project between New Milford hospitals and the communities their serve to improve health through fresh, local food.
b) http://www.schoolfoodtrust.org.uk/ The School Food Trust is partly funded by the Government. A new UK Government took office on 11 May. As a result the content on this site which relates to Government funded work may not reflect current policy. All statutory guidance and legislation published on this site continues to reflect the current legal position unless indicated otherwise. To view the new Department for Education website, please go to http://www.education.gov.uk
c) Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. Jamie Oliver works with cities in the US to change the way they eat_-schools, home and communities.
d) Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move program
- Reclaiming the value of TIME
- Re-personalizing FOOD
The NL Food Center Vision Committee identified two critical factors underlying lifestyle and eating behaviors that may contribute to obesity. These are an evolutionary and persistent depersonalization of food, and the compression of time for nourishing activities such as sleep. Exercise and the preparation, sharing and eating of food.