School Food Advocacy by the Numbers →
With GratitudeAugust 10, 2011
The experience of writing a first book has been overwhelmingly positive, with just one sour note. The Dedication and Acknowledgements pages of LUNCH WARS were accidentally omitted in the first run. Hopefully there will be future pressings in which these pages, that are most important to me, will be included. In the meantime, I’d like to share them with you here:
To my parents who nourished me with far more than food, my husband who taught me the pleasures of the palate and my children who inspired a movie, a book and a crusade.
I owe a debt of gratitude to the many people who have made this book possible, beginning with the hundreds of ‘angry moms’ and dads who participated in many ways in the making of the movie, Two Angry Moms.
In the wake of the movie, I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of interest and passion from students, parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents around the country and around the world, too numerous to mention by name. These people encouraged me to stay connected with the movement for better food in schools, and beyond that, to continue gathering stories, facts and examples of model programs from small towns and big cities. Many of them begged for more information and help with advocating both locally and nationally.
Although several agents and publishers approached me about a book, only one refused to accept my rebuffs. That was Laura Nolan, who first convinced me, then coached me, from the proposal through the publishing process. A great big thanks to Laura for her talent and for believing in my ability to write this book.
John Lippmann, now Director of New Media and Advocacy for Two Angry Moms, brought me up to date with online tools and social networking, an avenue that proved indispensible for the research on this book, connecting me with people from Idaho to Northwest Florida, New Mexico to Maine.
Thanks to the leaders of the school food movement who were my original inspiration – Chef Ann Cooper, Dr. Susan Rubin and the Better School Food Coalition, Chef John Turenne, Sharon Lauer, Chef Kate Adamick, Chef Alice Waters, Rodney Taylor, Chef Tony Geraci, Dr. Kelly Brownell and Dr. Marion Nestle.
Without food service directors, there wouldn’t be a school food program, and I’ve had the honor to meet and learn from some of the most creative and passionate in the business. Chef Tim Cipraino, Chef Margaret Sullivan, Chef Peter Gorman, Colin McIntosh, Chef Judy Mancini, Chef Bruce Gluck, Chef Paul Correnty and Chef Kathy Irion have all generously shared their stories, their knowledge and their tips for working within and without the system.
This book is written for those who are willing to stand up and advocate for the health of our kids. For me, the best way to learn how to do that is from those who are already doing it. Dr. Yvonne Sanders Butler, Beth Loveridge, Michelle Reid, Alice Smith, Dana Woldow, Lolli Leeson, Beth Tse, Dorothy Brayley, Jackie Schneider, Nicole Straight, Jennifer “Bennie” Boyd, Ed Bruske, Mrs. Q., Bettina Siegel, Tagan Engel, Nancy Easton and Chef Bill Telepan have shared their experiences, their challenges, their time, wisdom and advice with me, and I hope I have captured their passion in these pages.
To my farmer friends Annie Farrell and Dina Brewster, for your dedication to growing the healthiest, most delicious food, and especially for your willingness to teach the art and science of organic farming to everyone in our community who wants to learn. So much of the positive side of Lunch Wars comes from the Farm to School initiative, and for that information I must acknowledge Debra Eschmeyer, Emily Jackson, Jane Slupeki and Vonda Richardson for helping me to understand the depth of the movement.
My great admiration goes to the garden educators I’ve met and spoken with: Kirk Cusick, Dorothy Mullen, Fran McManus, Michelle Murphree, Patricia Messer and Claire Carlson are all using their green thumbs to grow greener minds and bodies in edible organic school gardens across the country.
I learned from Nina Gonzalez and Gabby Scharlach that you are never too young to be an advocate for sustainable school food, and I learned from activists Van Jones, Annie Leonard, Diane Wilson, Dean Cycon, Nikki Henderson, Alan Khazei, Adiola Oredola and Riki Ott the rewards of putting yourself out there and taking huge risks for a worthy cause.
Many thanks go to my brilliant assistant Eirinn Disbrow, who took up the slack for me and transcribed many of the interviews that were recorded and videotaped.
Thanks to Valerie Strauss and Jill Mays for contributing their words and observations to this work, and another thank-you to the people behind the many organizations that advocate, research and publish studies and guides, offer grants and training, provide foragers, gleaners, cooks and educators – many of which are listed in the resources pages in the back of this book.
I also owe many thanks to my friends Carol Mack, Louise Fraboni and Jane Crawford for their support, encouragement and for their patience with my long silence and unreturned phone calls.
As a first-time writer, I was mildly terrified about the process. The calm steadiness of my editor Sara Carder and her team at Tarcher Penguin have made this a truly pleasurable experience.
Finally, thanks go to my family for giving me the space to write, for listening and giving me feedback at all the right moments, and for keeping me well fed while I toiled. I owe you guys some dinners. Oh, and a shout out to Tito the cat who warmed my lap and kept me on task these many months in the attic.
My great appreciation to you all.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amy Kalafa is a filmmaker, board certified health counselor and an organic gardener. She and her husband have two daughters and live in Weston, CT with their dogs, cat and a flock of laying hens.
This entry was posted in Lunch Wars. Bookmark the permalink.