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Food Is Elementary
by Antonia Demas, Ph.D.
---Reviewed by Lauren.Ayers@sbcglobal.net

This excellent new curriculum is very effective in getting students to appreciate more wholesome food. Dr. Demas' clear and creative year-long set of lessons (14 per semester) could be the foundation of a pilot project in a few classrooms or the basis for district-wide changes. The lesson plans can be used from Kindergarten to middle school.

Studies have shown that after this course students prefer nutritious and delicious cafeteria food over "popular" (i.e., highly advertised) fast food. One bonus is that the meals are centered on plant protein rather than the more expensive and less healthful animal protein. With the looming scarcity of agricultural water and the continued loss of topsoil (one bushel of corn costs one bushel of topsoil blown or washed away), plant protein uses a fraction of the water and conserves far more topsoil than the same calories of animal protein. Also, with the startling new evidence that pesticide residues correlate with hyperactivity in children, and because animal fat concentrates pesticides far more than plants do, the lower on the food chain we eat the better.

Furthermore, diet habits formed in childhood last a lifetime--good choices despite the tantalizing ads all around them would help kids avoid excess weight and would prevent diseases in adulthood that have been shown to have a dietary component: cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and immunosuppression.

Another plus is that these meals are made from ingredients that are almost entirely available from the National School Lunch Program commodity foods.

The menus include soul stew, couscous, "sushi," stir fry, dhal, frijoles & tortillas, pasta fagoli and many more.

Besides the high acceptance rate by students, districts using this program have had savings in their food programs. All the entrees in Food Is Elementary meet or exceed USDA nutrition guidelines. This innovative program won two prestigious awards:

The curriculum costs $25 from the Food Studies Institute (that includes shipping). For more information, call (305) 361-5228 or email cplandis@bigplanet.com.


Lauren Ayers

James Curiel, PhD
Professor, Sociology

Don Glines
Educational Futures

Hasan Hanks

Jeanie Keltner, PhD
Editor, Because People Matter

Michael J. Kwiker, D.O.

William Mora, M.D.
Health Associates Medical Group

Susan Montoya

Cynthia Mulcaire

Carlina Nowrocki

Robert O’Brien, MA

Suiying Saechao
Member LEAF at Hiram Johnson HS

Charity Smith
President Youth Congress at Sac High