Vol. XX, No. 4, Fall 2012
When it comes to improving the health of our kids, we’re learning that the carrot-and-stick approach is not always best; the carrot-and-zucchini approach is better. That’s the thought behind a statewide Farm to School program that has shown remarkable success since its inception in 2004…The Cape’s smallest town, Truro, has been setting a big example, led in part by Truro resident and artist Francie Randolph, the founding director of Sustainable CAPE, the acronym standing for “Center for Agricultural Preservation and Education.” Francie and her group have been connecting some very important dots, bringing healthier food into the school system while at the same time engaging kids in farms and farming. “We’re actually growing snacks for the kids, and the kids are helping grow food for themselves,” Ms. Randolph says. “That makes it fun, the kids are interested in it, and next thing you know, they’re munching on kale instead of chips–because they helped harvest that kale!”…
This kind of grassroots effort can make a profound difference in the health of our children. Fighting obesity and early onset diabetes really is a battle for the hearts and minds of our families, a matter of lifestyle and values more than prescriptions and medication. Making it fun to eat well, educating everyone about how food makes it to our tables and how cool it is to be a grower, will accomplish far more than warnings and wagging fingers.
And there’s an even broader connection: This kind of initiative and thinking is key to making our communities healthier in many other ways. For example, grow fresh and grow local has an equivalent in energy because smaller scale solar and wind projects are a much better alternative than nuclear power or foreign oil. There’s a financial analogy as well. Relying on local banks and lending institutions is far preferable to allowing large corporations to control our economy.
So, hats off to everyone in the Farm to School movement, who are focused on carrots rather than sticks. From the State House to the greenhouse, we’ll do our best to support the movement…Click to view the full story!