Tag Archives: MIchelle Obama

food day at butter beans!

24 Oct

Food Day is a nationwide celebration and a movement toward more healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. There are events going on all around the country, and we are excited to get involved!

We are participating by educating our students on where we source our food. We have created a special table top for our students that highlights where our fruits and vegetables, meats, and milk come from. We’re also encouraging students to ask their grocers and butchers about where their food comes from and eat locally whenever they can!

How are you participating in Food Day?

Let’s Move! Brooklyn

22 Oct

This past July, Catalyst Cares, a charitable organization promoting social mobility in communities throughout NYC that are prone to obesity, launched its second health and wellness campaign called Let’s Move! Brooklyn.

The main goal of Let’s Move! Brooklyn is to try and stamp out the food desert status and lower the obesity rate in Central Brooklyn by three percentage points in three years.

Let’s Move! Brooklyn is part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative. Both campaigns aim to educate children and their parents about nutrition and how to lead active and healthy lifestyles.

Lockie Andrews, the founder of Let’s Move! Brooklyn says, “Our mission is to educate and inspire children and their parents to make healthier dietary, fitness and lifestyle choices through a series of age-appropriate programs, town hall meetings, and advocacy initiatives.” Andrews launched Let’s Move! Brooklyn to help encourage an understanding about eating and living healthier lives through the cooperation of “health and wellness organizations with deep roots in Brooklyn.”

NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn was a featured guest at the launch event, declaring, “This organization’s mission speaks directly to our city’s obesity epidemic and together we will all fight to find solutions that will improve the health and wellness of all New Yorkers, especially for our residents in low income communities.” Speaker Quinn is an advocate of making fresh produce affordable and convenient for all NYC residents. Recently, she worked with Mayor Michael Bloomberg to implement lower prices at all the city’s farmers markets, offering greater access to nutritious whole foods for low-income New Yorkers.

We think that this is a great start to teach our city’s kids how to better take care of themselves and learn positive habits. With one in three of the country’s adolescents being overweight or obese, this is a dilemma that needs to be addressed now, and other organizations like Wellness in the Schools, City Harvest, Just Food, Edible Schoolyard NYC, and Veggiecation are helping to lead us on the path to correcting this ever-expanding issue.

At Butter Beans, one of our main goals is to get kids thinking about how their food choices affect their lives in the present, but also in the future. We provide them with the tools to create a balanced and delicious meal, made with whole foods, from scratch. Our food education programs illustrate to them how healthy eating is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

For more information, check out this report of the obesity rates in the Bedford-Stuyvesant and Bushwick neighborhoods of Brooklyn and read the Lets Move! Brooklyn press release.

For those who do not live in the Brooklyn area but want to get involved with the Let’s Move! campaign, visit this website dedicated to creating meet-ups across the country. The flexibility that Let’s Move! Meetup offers is deeply encouraging, helping foster the growth of community-based programs that aim to teach residents how to lead healthier lifestyles.

Photos courtesy of kcentv.com and Let’s Move!

Conventional or Organic?

19 Sep

8099419727_c31c7bbe2cTwo weeks ago, Stanford University published their controversial study in the Annals of Internal Medicine concluding that organic produce has no added nutritional health benefits over their conventionally grown counterparts.

However, one of the few distinguishable advantages of organic fruits and vegetables is that there is a lower risk of pesticide exposure. Despite this, the conventionally grown produce that was reviewed contained pesticide levels within the safety limits set by the EPA.

It was noted in the study that children are especially vulnerable when it comes to pesticide exposure, since they are maturing and their immune systems are more sensitive. Because childhood is a critical period in human development, exposure to pesticides during that time may cause adverse effects.

According to the FDA, foods labeled “organic” must be certified under the National Organic Program. They must also be grown and processed using organic farming methods that promote biodiversity and recycling. Synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, bioengineered genes, antibiotics, hormones, and radiation cannot be used. For more information on organic food labels, click here. To read about the challenges small farmers face should they chose to become certified organic, click here.

In the study it was found that organic produce has a 30 percent lower risk of containing detectable pesticide levels. The Environmental Working Group has compiled a list of the twelve foods containing the highest levels of pesticides, calling them the Dirty Dozen (with apples, celery, and bell peppers at the head of list). The Clean 15 on the other hand are the foods lowest in pesticides, with onions, sweet corn, and pineapple as the top three least contaminated. Here is their methodology.

What this study did not focus on, was the nutritional, environmental and community value of locally grown produce. Eating local produce offers various health benefits for our bodies, and our planet. According to the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, the top five reasons to eat locally are:

  1. taste
  2. environmental concern
  3. community
  4. variety
  5. health

Our food now travels an average of 1,500 miles before ending up on our plates.

At Butter Beans, we have created close relationships with local food purveyors, purchasing as much of our produce as possible from nearby farmers to provide the freshest and most nutritious food to our students. A list of our suppliers can be found here.

Despite the emphatic reactions to this food study, it’s a step in the right direction for the quality and safety of the food we eat daily. This sort of dialogue shows that our communities are taking more interest in different methods of food production, which trickles down to how we feed our families. It is of utmost importance that we nourish ourselves everyday with fresh fruits and vegetables.

First Lady, Michelle Obama sums it up pretty well: “We can make a commitment to promote vegetables and fruits and whole grains on every part of every menu. We can make portion sizes smaller and emphasize quality over quantity. And we can help create a culture — imagine this — where our kids ask for healthy options instead of resisting them.”

Photo courtesy of ePsos.de

The Food Pyramid is being replaced!

2 Jun

With a picture of a plate full of food. Imagine – a visual teaching guide that kids of all ages can understand. A point of simple visual comparison. This change is being brought to us by  the Obama administration, in support of the First Lady’s campaign for healthy children and a healthy nation. The plate, is being unveiled later today. We will post it as soon as we get it.

The story behind Let’s Move

15 Jan

To inspire your weekend plans!