Slow Food Seattle Books: September 8 – Food for All: Fixing School Food in America by Janet Poppendieck

Food for All: Fixing School Food in AmericaOur September book club selection is Food for All: Fixing School Food in America by Janet Poppendieck. RSVP on Facebook too!

We’ll be meeting from 6-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 8th. Roy Street Coffee and Tea is located at 700 Broadway East. Limited free parking is available in the lot below. This will be an active, open conversation and all are welcome – please come even if you haven’t had a chance to finish the book!

How did our children end up eating nachos, pizza, and tater tots for lunch? Taking us on an eye-opening journey into the nation’s school kitchens, this superbly researched book is the first to provide a comprehensive assessment of school food in the United States. Janet Poppendieck explores the deep politics of food provision from multiple perspectives–history, policy, nutrition, environmental sustainability, taste, and more.

Drawing from extensive interviews with officials, workers, students, and activists, she discusses the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs and turns a critical eye on the “competitive foods” sold in cafeterias. How did we get into the absurd situation in which nutritionally regulated meals compete with fast food items and snack foods loaded with sugar, salt, and fat? What is the nutritional profile of the federal meals? How well are they reaching students who need them?

Opening a window onto our culture as a whole, Poppendieck reveals the forces–the financial troubles of schools, the commercialization of childhood, the reliance on market models–that are determining how lunch is served. She concludes with a sweeping vision for change: fresh, healthy food for all children as a regular part of their school day.

Janet Poppendieck

Janet Poppendieck

Janet Poppendieck is Professor of Sociology at Hunter College, City University of New York. She is the author of Free for All: Fixing School Food in America; (University of California Press, 2010); Sweet Charity? Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement (Penguin, 1999); and Breadlines Knee Deep in Wheat: Food Assistance in the Great Depression (Rutgers University Press, 1985).

“In her extraordinarily well-thought-out, beautifully written, sympathetic, and compelling book, Jan Poppendieck makes clear that Free for All has two meanings: how pressures to reduce the cost of school meals put our children’s health at risk, and how best to solve this problem–universal school meals. Anyone who reads this book will find the present school lunch situation beyond unacceptable. Free for All is a call for action on behalf of America’s school kids, one that we all need to join. I will be using this book in all my classes.”–Marion Nestle, author of Food Politics

SFS at the Pike Place Market Artisan Food Festival

Eric Boutin & Hsiao-Ching Chou

Eric Boutin, Nutrition Director of Seattle Public Schools & Hsiao-Ching Chou of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Seattle talking good food in schools.

Philip & June Lee of Readers to Eaters, joined the Slow Food Seattle booth at the Pike Place Market Artisan Food Festival.

Philip (& June, not pictured) Lee of Readers to Eaters, joined the Slow Food Seattle booth at the Pike Place Market Artisan Food Festival.

Amy Pennington signing copies of her book, "Urban Pantry"

Amy Pennington signing copies of her book, "Urban Pantry"

Amy Pennington chatting with fans & signing copies of her book, "Urban Pantry"

Amy Pennington chatting with fans & signing copies of her book, "Urban Pantry"

Jon Rowley demonstrating how to use a refractometer to gauge the level of sugars in tomatoes.

Jon Rowley demonstrating how to use a refractometer to gauge the level of sugars in tomatoes.

Checking the refractometer at Jon Rowley's Brix demo

Checking the refractometer level of tomatoes at Jon Rowley's Brix demo.

Some gorgeous heirloom tomatoes fresh from the U-Distric Farmers Market - testing their Brix levels as part of Jon Rowley's quest for the 10-Brix tomato.

Some gorgeous heirloom tomatoes fresh from the U-Distric Farmers Market - testing their Brix levels as part of Jon Rowley's quest for the 10-Brix tomato.

Kathleen Flinn, author of "the Sharper Your Knife the Less You Cry," talking about how to choose a knife that's right for you.

Kathleen Flinn, author of "the Sharper Your Knife the Less You Cry," talking about how to choose a knife that's right for you.

Kathleen Flinn, author of "the Sharper Your Knife the Less You Cry," showing the group basic knife skills.

Kathleen Flinn, author of "the Sharper Your Knife the Less You Cry," showing the group basic knife skills.

June Lee (left) tries her hand at cutting an onion like a chef after Kathleen Flinn's (right) demonstration.

June Lee (left) tries her hand at cutting an onion like a chef after Kathleen Flinn's (right) demonstration.

Anthony Warner and Tiana Colovos came out to talk about the Orca K-8 School Garden

Anthony Warner and Tiana Colovos came out to talk about the Orca K-8 School Garden

Thanks to all of you who came out this weekend to listen to our speakers, watch the demos, pick up some books from our partners Readers to Eaters, who volunteered as part of the national Slow Food Dig In! day, and chatted with us about Slow Food. All of this was in support for the Pike Place Market Foundation’s Human Service Programs.

All images : Jennifer Johnson

Line-up for this weekend’s Artisan Food Festival

We’ve got the schedule confirmed for the Slow Food Seattle booth (look for us near the Chef Demo stage) at the Pike Place Market Artisan Food Festival coming up this weekend on Saturday, Sept. 25 and Sunday, Sept. 26.

Readers to EatersOur friends at Readers to Eaters will be joining us with books and speakers on both days. Readers to Eaters promotes food literacy through community food events, education programs, book publishing, and a mobile bookstore.

Saturday, Sept. 25

Sunday, Sept. 26
Come by and learn more about what we do at Slow Food Seattle, our upcoming events, and how to get involved in the Slow Food movement.

Need a map of the festival? Right-click on the Adobe logo to download. Adobe Acrobat PDFLook for us near the Chef Demo stage.

The last quarter of the 20th Century has seen a craft food renaissance world wide. Slow Food, the powerful consumer movement founded in Italy as a counter to fast food, is said to be the biggest consumer based food movement in history. The U.S.-the country that invented the supermarket-now boasts almost 5,000 farmers markets. At the heart of it all is the famous Pike Place Market. On September 25th and 26th, Seattle will celebrate artisan food in the heart of our country’s oldest public market and a leading food trendsetter.

Pike Place Market FoundationThe Pike Place Market Artisan Food Festival is produced by The Market Foundation and is a benefit for the Pike Place Market’s human service agencies: Pike Market Medical Clinic, Child Care & Preschool, Senior Center and the Downtown Food Bank. More info can be found at www.artisanfoodfestival.org.

Eat In! Slow Food’s support of Child Nutrition Act

Give schools the resources to serve real food.

Support changes in this year’s Child Nutrition Act

1. Sign the petition:
http://www.slowfoodusa.org/index.php/campaign/time_for_lunch

2. Then attend one or all Eat In potluck gatherings (open to members and non-members)

Thursday, September 3

Eat In for Slow Food Seattle and Orca K-8 (BBQ and Potluck)

When: 6:00 p.m.
Where: Orca School Garden, 5215 46th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118
Bring a dish and beverage
Contact Gerry at info@slowfoodseattle.org

Join Slow Food Seattle & the parents at Orca K-8 for a potluck or “Eat-In” to raise awareness to reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act this September. Slow Food USA’s Time for Lunch Campaign has rallied close to 250 Eat-Ins across the states to send a strong message to congress. Spread the word, bring a politician or two and sign the petition at

http://www.slowfoodusa.org/index.php/campaign/time_for_lunch

This is a FREE potluck event. Bring a dish to share, your own beverage and a place setting.

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This fall, the Child Nutrition Act, which is the bill that governs the National School Lunch Program, is up for reauthorization in Congress. By passing a Child Nutrition Act that works for children, our nation can support a future where children’s health and healthy food systems are prioritized.

Monday, September 7

Eat-In for North King/South Snohomish Potluck

When: 6:00 p.m.
Where: Marina Beach on Admiral Way South, Edmonds, WA
Bring a dish and beverage
Contact Mina Williams foodwriter@earthlink.net

Bring a dish and beverage to share, your reusable plate, cutlery and cup plus any comfort items – chair, blanket – you wish to enjoy the seaside park.
Come to the panoramic Marina Beach on Admiral Way South for the northend/south county Eat-In. Enjoy the bounteous potluck with your neighbors as the sun sets on Puget Sound and the Olympics. There is plenty of parking at the park, which is just north of the off leash dog park and just south of the dry dock area and the boat moorage at the Port of Edmonds. Bus service is available through Community Transit servicing the Edmonds Ferry Terminal and Edmonds Station (Amtrak and Sounder). The closest stop is on Dayton with a few blocks to walk.

Slow Food Snoqualmie Valley Potluck

When: 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Where: The Grange Cafe in Duvall, WA

  • A delicious meal by local foodies & chefs with local produce/meat $15 per person (SF members $10) KIDS 12 AND UNDER FREE!
  • Taste tests for kids ~ grilling demo ~ healthy lunch & snack ideas nutrition facts ~ updates on local farm-to-school programs
  • Slow Food Membership Drive to get benefits and discounts with a donation amount of your choice
  • Book-signing with Jill Richardson, author of Recipe for America ~  a vision of a sustainable food system
  • Contact Alida Sullivan alidasullivan@gmail.com

It’s Time for Lunch in Seattle


Dear Slow Food Seattle Members and Supporters of Slow Food USA,

Remember this date: September 7, 2009. We’ll look back on that day as the moment when people across America took a stand about the food our children eat at school.

As you know, children who grow up enjoying food that is both delicious and good for them learn healthy eating habits that last throughout their lives. Those habits can start at school – but only if we give schools the resources to serve real food instead of the overly processed fast food that endangers their health.

To make that happen, our leaders in Congress need to hear that when it comes to our children, change can’t wait.

That’s why we’re organizing a National Eat-In for Labor Day, Sept. 7, 2009. On that day, people across America will gather with their neighbors for public potlucks that send our nation’s leaders a clear message: It’s time to provide our children with real food at school.

To get Congress’ attention, we’re going to need the help of all kinds of people: parents, teachers, community leaders, kids and people who’ve never done anything like this before. We’re going to need everyone to pitch in.

A toddler visits the Orca K-8 school garden in South Seattle

A toddler visits the Orca K-8 school garden in South Seattle

But the people we need most are Slow Food members and supporters. You’re the front line of the food movement, and we’re counting on you to tell your friends, to contact your legislators and to organize Eat-Ins for Sept. 7.

Please be sure to communicate with Slow Food Seattle leadership at info@slowfoodseattle.org and let us know if you need help promoting your event.  If nothing else, please tell us about your plans.  We want Seattle to come to the table on this one! 

Visit this link to get started:
http://www.slowfoodusa.org/index.php/campaign/time_for_lunch

The Slow Food USA campaign web site will guide you through the process, and our campaign team is here to provide support. We’ll give you everything you need to get involved, starting today.

And we mean today—because with the President calling for health care reform and the First Lady teaching kids to grow food on the White House Lawn, we’ve got an opening to pass legislation that gives kids the opportunity to grow up healthy.

This fall, Congress will be debating whether to update the Child Nutrition Act, which is the law that determines what kind of food kids eat at school. By giving schools the resources to serve real food, we can make sure that the legacy we’re leaving our children is a future filled with opportunity, security and good health.

We can only do it if we act now. It’s time to get real food into schools!

For more information, and to join our campaign, go to www.slowfoodusa.org/timeforlunch