Archive for Kiersten Firquain

Bistro Kids: Bringing healthy, local food to school lunches

Posted in Bistro Kids with tags , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2014 by bistrokids

An interview with Bistro Kids founder Kiersten Firquain

2014-05-13

Bistro kidsWhen she saw the “convenient junk food” her son, Kiersten Firquain did more than start packing a bag for him. She launched a whole farm-to-school program called Bistro Kids to revamp how students eat, including menus that focus on fresh, local foods; visits from farmers; cooking lessons and school gardens. It serves 5,000 meals a day in Kansas City and St. Louis area schools and 6,000 snacks a day in YMCA after-school programs.

“I remember when the lunch ladies made everything from scratch, and my goal is to get that back,” she said in a recent interview with The Hartman Group.

She’s not alone. Choicelunch, Revolution Foods and a host of other programs are working to improve school lunches and, in the process, people’s health and lives.

They are working to undo the repercussions of a generation of children brought up during a revolution in food culture. Children today are raised both at home and in public schools to be mindful of the ingredients in foods, differences between food types (e.g., organic vs. conventional, fresh and local) and the benefits of diet and exercise.

Bistro Kids has been so successful that some children from the program, which started in 2006, have gone on to culinary school and come back to work as chefs for the program. In 2011, Bistro Kids was bought by Treat America, an acquisition that means additional resources and talent.
READ MORE:http://hartbeat.hartman-group.com/article/526/Bistro-Kids-Bringing-healthy-local-food-to-school-lunches?utm_campaign=Bringing+Healthy%2c+Local+Food+to+School+Lunches&utm_content=Chefk@bistrokids.com&utm_source=tailoredmail&utm_term=Read+full+article%c2%bb&tm_campaign=Bringing+Healthy+Local+Food+to+School+Lunches&tm_keyword=UkKd53gsYWr3sq3h7HUH

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Cultivating Diversity, Freedom and Hope’ with Dr. Vandana Shiva

Posted in Bistro Kids with tags , , , , , , on April 10, 2014 by bistrokids

Cultivating Diversity, Freedom and Hope’ with Dr. Vandana Shiva

Thursday, April 17th, 7:00 PM, Unity on the Plaza

Dr. Vandana Shiva is a physicist, ecologist, activist and author who is changing the way the world thinks about food, agriculture and sustainability.

Her lecture, “Cultivating Diversity, Freedom and Hope,” will address the value of diversity in nature and in society, as well how the monoculture of the mind can destroy that diversity at every level. She will share what is happening to seed and food, and how ‘Gardens Of Hope’ protect Seed Freedom and Food Democracy.

Her message of local ownership and self-sufficiency in the production and distribution of food offers a powerful case for the development of urban and local food systems that we’ve seen in Kansas City over the last ten years; her deep understanding of sustainability challenges us to keep reaching across sectors, disciplines, and communities as we grow our regional food system.

Hosted by: Cultivate Kansas City, UMKC’s Environmental Studies Program and Department of Architecture, Urban Planning + Design.

Major Harvest Sponsor: Chipotle Mexican Grill.

Chick-Fil-A Removing Artificial Dye, High Fructose Corn Syrup

Posted in News links, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 24, 2014 by bistrokids

NEW YORK (AP) — Chick-fil-A says it’s removing high-fructose corn syrup from its white buns and artificial dyes from its sauces and dressings as part of a push to improve its ingredients.

The fast-food chicken chain says the reformulated buns are being tested in about 200 Georgia locations, while the sauces and dressings will be tested starting early next year. It says it also removed a yellow dye from its chicken soup and that the new recipe should be in all restaurants by the end of this month.

It’s also testing a new peanut oil, with hopes of a rollout early next year.

The changes come after blogger Vani Hari wrote a post in 2011 titled “Chick-fil-A or Chemical Fil-A?” on her site, FoodBabe.com. It noted that the chain’s sandwich had nearly 100 ingredients, including peanut oil with TBHQ, a chemical made from butane. Hari, based in Charlotte, N.C., continued writing about Chick-fil-A’s ingredients.

Then last year, the company invited her to its headquarters to spend the day talking with executives.

“They took my concerns and started developing a road map of how to address them,” Hari said. On Wednesday, she said she was notified about the changes in an email from the company.
READ MORE: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/03/chick-fil-a-artificial-dye_n_4379189.html

Boulder Valley looking to serve up high school lunches via food truck

Posted in News links with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2014 by bistrokids

The Boulder Valley School District is poised to jump on the food truck trend, thanks to a $75,000 donation from Whole Foods.

The donation, which needs the approval of the school board at its meeting on Tuesday night, will pay for a pre-owned food truck that the district plans to rotate around its five large high schools — Boulder, Fairview, Monarch, Centaurus and Broomfield — potentially adding in smaller high schools as the schedule allows.

“It really fits in with our healthy eating program,” said Ann Cooper, Boulder Valley’s food services director. “Instead of leaving campus, (students) can come to the truck and get really great hamburgers or whatever it is we’re going to serve.

“I’m really, really excited about it. It showcases what we do and will promote the school lunch program to the community.”

The goal is to up the appeal of school lunches, boosting the district’s high school numbers. Now, less than 20 percent of the district’s high school students buy hot lunches at school.

“High school students are our biggest challenge,” Cooper said.

A few districts around the country have added food trucks of their own, while others are fighting to keep outside food trucks away from their schools.

In Colorado, the Jefferson County School District uses a food truck in its summer food program. But, so far, no other districts in the state appear to have tried a mobile lunch option during the school year, said Brehan Riley, nutrition program supervisor at the Colorado Department of Education.

“With the high schoolers especially, it’s a great idea,” Riley said. “Food trucks are very popular. It’s something different.”

The donation was a good fit for Whole Foods, a longtime partner in Boulder Valley’s efforts to make its school lunches healthier, said Ben Friedland, an executive marketing coordinator for the grocer.

“A food truck is going to help them continue to serve healthy lunches to kids throughout our community,” he said.
READ MORE: http://www.dailycamera.com/boulder-county-schools/ci_25220182/boulder-valley-looking-serve-up-high-school-lunches

Cut out junk food ads in schools, government says

Posted in News links with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2014 by bistrokids

WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s not just about what America’s kids are getting in the lunch line.

The Obama administration is moving to phase out junk food advertising on football scoreboards and elsewhere on school grounds — part of a broad effort to combat child obesity and create what Michelle Obama calls “a new norm” for today’s schoolchildren and future generations.

“This new approach to eating and activity is not just a fad,” Mrs. Obama said Tuesday as she described the proposed rules at the White House.

Promotion of sugary drinks and junk foods around campuses during the school day would be phased out under the Agriculture Department rules, which are intended to ensure that marketing is brought in line with health standards that already apply to food served by public schools.
READ MORE: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/feb/24/rules-to-limit-marketing-unhealthy-food-in-schools/

U.S. permanently relaxes rules aimed at healthier school meals

Posted in News links with tags , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2014 by bistrokids

Reuters) – U.S. regulators said on Thursday they were permanently relaxing school meal rules that were designed to combat childhood obesity by reining in calories and portion sizes but aroused complaints the policies caused students to go hungry.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture had initially loosened the rules in late 2012, suspending daily and weekly maximum amounts for grains and meat or meal alternatives. That allowed school districts to service larger portions without penalty.

“Earlier this school year, USDA made a commitment to school nutrition professionals that we would make the meat and grain flexibility permanent and provide needed stability for long-term planning. We have delivered on that promise,” Kevin Concannon, USDA undersecretary for food, nutrition and consumer services, said in a statement.

Read more:http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/01/03/usa-health-schoolmeals-idINDEEA0201B20140103

Wellness Goes Fully Mainstream​, Key Cultural Shifts Emerge

Posted in News links with tags , , , , , , , on December 23, 2013 by bistrokids

A Culture of Wellness 2013 Report Now Available
As Wellness Goes Fully Mainstream, Key Cultural Shifts Emerge

Demographic shifts are changing the health and wellness landscape of America. What this means is there is a group of “new” households (single person, no children, etc.) emerging as a new target for CPG companies and retailers.

A Culture of Wellness is The Hartman Group’s latest report in our ongoing body of work tracking the evolutionary journey of the health and wellness consumer and the state of wellness marketplace. The report also identifies trends we believe will continue to shape the future of wellness lifestyles.

The integrated qualitative and quantitative data contained within A Culture of Wellness is key to understanding today’s wellness consumer, how involvement in the world of wellness varies among consumer segments, and how to engage consumers in ways that lead to purchase.

A Culture of Wellness finds that the cultural shifts from “health” to “quality of life” and from “reactive health” to “proactive wellness” are, for all intents and purposes, fully integrated into people’s lifestyles and cut across all levels of consumer involvement with wellness. Examples of this mainstreaming of wellness can be seen in the availability of organic and natural products in mass market retail channels and the mindset of Millennial consumers, who as “wellness natives” (born within a wellness culture) now expect it and live it rather than “experiment” with wellness.

For more information about the report, download the Culture of Wellness report overview, which includes table of contents, executive summary, and pricing information.