It’s Food Literacy Month!
Inspiring Kids to Eat Their Vegetables!
Kids and Carrots are Causing a Revolution: A Call to Foodies
Fellow foodies, we need to talk. There are carrots and kids causing a revolution, and they need you. They pulled me in seven years ago, and ever since, food has not looked the same. The carrot corralling started to creep in around 2008, when I started a successful food blog about eating locally. I was living the foodie life: shopping at farmers markets, cooking meals from scratch, learning from chefs, and capturing it all in drool-worthy photos.
Seeing Food Through a Different Lens
But something was missing. I started seeing statistics in the news: childhood obesity rates were on the rise, reaching 40% in Sacramento. These same kids don’t have enough food to eat, and have easier access to junk food than veggies.
At the Sacramento farmers market where I shopped, the bushels of carrots now took on new meaning. They weren’t just an ingredient for my delicious dinner; they were the answer to a problem.
Suddenly, talking about food on the Internet wasn’t enough. I wanted to get those lonely (beautiful!) carrots to the kids who needed them most. But what kid eats carrots, I thought?
What Kids Can Teach Us
As it turns out, most kids eat carrots (and cactus and Brussels sprouts!) if given the chance. They are the ultimate foodies-in-disguise, hidden behind adults’ mythical ideas that kids won’t eat anything green.
Kids in cafeterias across Sacramento have started a rhubarb revolution! They are eating eggplant, munching mushrooms, and chewing on chard–and doing so with fervor. I have been a proud frontline witness.
In 2011, I founded the nonprofit Food Literacy Center to inspire kids to eat their vegetables. I trained an army of community members as Food Geniuses to teach cooking classes to low income elementary children. What started in one school reaching 120 kids a week is now serving 1,600 kids every week in 13 schools. That’s a lot of carrots–and broccoli!
Ninety-four percent of the kids we teach excitedly taste a new fruit or vegetable every week. They tell us it is their favorite part of our cooking class.
Becoming a Food Literati
Through this work, I have become more than a foodie. I have become a Food Literati, someone invested in changing our food system. I have been joined by hundreds of other Food Literati, equally invested in this mission.
In 2012, we worked with the California legislature to pass a statewide resolution declaring September as Food Literacy Month. Help us celebrate!
Become a member of our Food Literati by donating today! We are more than foodies.
Article written by: Amber K. Stott, CEO and Chief Food Genius
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