I believe very strongly in my friend Jon Ross and his international humanitarian efforts. The recent earthquake has left a swath of devastation in Haiti and the world's humanitarian resources are headed in that direction. MicroAid remains focused on victims in areas where people are left behind, and who face continuing obstacle in their way to full or partial recovery. Next month, MicroAid is headed back to Sri Lanka to help people who were devastated by the 2004 tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people, displaced millions more, and created tens of thousands of orphans. The aid needed in these parts of the world remains for years after the TV cameras go cold. In the future, MicroAid will help the people of Haiti. But its mission is very niche, helping those in need in parts of the world still recovering from older disasters.... like the 2004 tsunami, the victims of the cyclone in Burma, the victims of the typhoon in Taiwan, and the recent tsunami in Samoa. As Jon reminded me in an e-mail, “When all eyes are focused on the current tragedy, it’s hard to remember that all these major calamities happened just a short while ago, and there are still people in those places who need our help.”
No one intends to ignore or minimize the hummanitarian community's immense responsibility to react to the disaster at hand, but it is important to remember those who remain in need in other places. At a time when everyone’s compassion is so high, if you can, please donate to MicroAid so it can continue to help the victims of past disasters. There are practically no other organizations doing this type of work, and you can donate through the website.
Elissa Altman makes a great point on Huff Po. Once we fix our supply line problems (if we ever can) the sticking point may be that no one knows how to cook anymore! Assuming an average American parent has the time and money to source well, shop smart, and get all the right kinds of fresh food back to the house, what are they supposed to do with it?
The Atlantic Monthly recently published a piece about Alice Waters and how her celebrity and her Edible Schoolyard program is ruining CA’s educational system. Here’s the link to the preposterous and insulting article by Ms. Flanagan. T??he resulting firestorm is “blowing up on the blogosphere” as they say. Here’s what Ed Levine had to say. What are they eating in your kid's school and where does this leave the kids? Well Elissa Altman (can you tell I have a huge food crush on her?) also posted a great piece on the AtlMo article here. Altman wrote “ And if this is, as Flanagan says, ultimately a war of 'values,' whose values are safer? It's a good question to ask yourself the next time you're chowing down on some ammonia-laden ground beef, 5.5 million pounds of which were sold to the federal school lunch program last year alone. Did they make it into the Edible Schoolyard? Probably not.“
No sh*t. Right on Elissa!
I think it is the duty of every parent with a child in the MN public school system to actively advocate for their childrens' health and wellness by getting fully acquainted with what is served for lunch at your child’s school. More importantly is to advocate for those who can’t. There is no reason at all why kids can't get educated about food and wellness at school. And no reason why they cant get involved in managing their own food programs so that they are a part of the system rather than just a body waiting on line at 11:45, tray in hand. As Altman correctly points out, kids need to get involved in their food lives because that’s the only way, in most cases, to get them to buy into change. As a parent I can confirm that. If I ask my son what he wants for dinner he says candy. He is five. If I ask him to choose between healthy and tasty items A and B, then he will pick one. And 99 times out of 100 if he cooks it with me he devours it. We eat healthy fresh food every day and night but I am not naïve. Most people don’t have time for that. Now I am depressed. What kind of country would allow food purveyors to sell ammonia-laced beef to school programs. Isn’t that a crime? Seriously.