Here's a thought: what if the vegetables (like sweet peas) were potted plants, growing on indoor lit shelves? These potted plants can be rinsed and placed alive, on cafeteria tables when ripe for eating. It just might be intriguing for the kids to pick their pea pods or grape-tomatoes from the plant, while sitting on the table. Kids can even be involved in growing these, to teach them about apartment-grown food. It's also more of a ritual for a group of kids to pick fruit form the same plant at a table, and it makes eating these more interactive and interesting.

These plants can also be fertilized from organic waste processed on site, using the right, convenient and hygienic equipment.

Hala Chaoui, PhD, EIT
Agricultural Engineer
Principal at UFO, Inc.

On Sat, Feb 18, 2012 at 8:50 PM, david reed <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
This is not a hard issue.  I have been to two Alachua County elementary schools and watched how they are served.  Chocolate milk and desserts are served with the meal, and kids are asked if they want vegetables.  Most say no.  In my house growing up, we had to eat the meal first, then we got sweets.  They could do that at the schools also. 
Our schools are making a sincere effort to get better food in the cafeteria.  With a bit more finesse they could get kids to eat it.  Habits are slow to change, but this one has to.

On Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 7:11 PM, Graunke,Ryan E <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Hello BESTers,

Some of you have probably heard that there is a new federal rule require public school lunches to include fresh fruits and vegetables with all meals they serve.  Child nutrition is a critically important issue, and I applaud the efforts to increase healthy food served at schools.  However, just because students are served this food does not mean they will eat it, and this could lead to a substantial amount of food waste.  In fact, as this article describes, the Lake County School District had already enacted a similar rule prior to the federal rule.  The district estimates that Lake County school children will throw away $75,000 worth of fruits and vegetables because the children must take them but don't eat it.  This is a tough issue to tackle. Requiring schools to give every student fresh fruits and vegetables, even if they don't want them, may seem ridiculous and will obviously cause waste. On the other hand, if the students don't have to take them, many students will only take the less healthy food they like.  Maybe schools should start a "clean plate club" where students are rewarded for eating all their food. Perhaps the answer is for parents to impart the importance of healthy food by serving healthy meals with many fruits and vegetables at home. It's hard to get kids to eat their vegetables at school when they get McDonald's and KFC for dinner. Let's not let this opportunity to have healthy food at schools go to waste.

Have a great weekend,

Will new food rules fill students' bellies? Or trash cans?
Orlando Sentinel
Erica Rodriguez
February 15, 2012

David Reed, Manager, North Florida Grows
cell 352-222-0651
home 352-336-0904