GG’s Latest Dig (Youth Grow Version)

A few of important tidbits from this week:

Tuesday morning (2/9/10), the Obama administration announced the first ever presidential task force on childhood obesity. Spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama, the  Let’s Move campaign takes the administration’s work with the White House Garden a step further,  prioritizing work to address the childhood obesity epidemic.   The First Lady is working closely with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, who was scheduled to speak the same day about the Reauthorization of Childhood Nutrition Act.  For a great overview of both of these news items , check out the info on Obama Foodorama.

Wishing for some warmer weather: A summer garden club lemon cucumber harvest

Also this week: Lisa Bennett, of the Center for Ecoliteracy recently wrote an essay (first available in a short version on the Huffington Post) in response to the recent Atlantic Monthly article on school gardens. Bennett’s article features comments by Oregon’s own farm-to-school and school garden celebrity Michelle Ratcliffe, who recently took over as the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Farm-to-School Program Manager.   The essay also presents a ton information on school garden research tied to social emotional learning, nutrition, and academic achievement.  Bennett’s article is a great response to the tough questions posed in the Atlantic Monthly.  Take a look!

Last, but not least:  In  all of our efforts to better address hunger and food insecurity,  it is important to understand the geography of our food system.  The USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) recently released the U.S.  Food Environment Atlas, that includes maps detailing information about each state’s food environment.  The Atlas pulls together statistical information from each state on issues tied directly to food access, food choices, health and well-being, and much more.  Understanding these issues is vital to best serving our communities. Check it out to learn more about what’s happening in our food system!

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