Sunday, February 27, 2011

The White House's Sam Kass Rallies Culinary Leaders to Join Let's Move! Chefs Move to School Campaign

"Possibly the most effective tool we have at our disposal to improve the health of our kids and our country 
just might be the time honored tradition of cooking" 
Sam Kass, White House Chef/Policy Advisor for healthy food initiatives

I nearly fell off my seat when I heard these words. For years, I've been saying that the best way to battle obesity in this country is to revive the "lost art of cooking". Speaking to an audience of chefs, food media professionals and food advocates last weekend at the International Association of Culinary Professionals (and IACP's The Culinary Trust) Regional Conference in New York, keynote speaker Sam Kass captured everyone's attention, and hopefully imagination, with his recap of Michelle Obama's Let's Move! Campaign and call for action to join him and others around the country in the battle to fight childhood obesity and sign up for the Chefs Move to School Program
"Chefs are uniquely positioned with their deep knowledge of food and cooking, their relationships with farmers and star power to engage in our schools, and have a lasting impact".

Kass touched on everything from food access in under served communities, the high cost of fruits and vegetables versus cheap processed foods, school food policy, bike paths, obesity and the military, the need for chefs and food manufacturers to decrease the amount of sugar, fat and salt in our diets, and even doctors writing prescriptions for exercise.

When Corby Kummer joined Mr. Kass on stage, they talked about a whole host of issues/accomplishments including Walmart, yes Walmart, and its notable, albeit controversial, partnership with the White House to lead the way in making grocery stores healthier.

I'll be back after a brief (and highly amusing) message from our sponsor...
Ad Council's :30 spot -- BLACKOUT -- Let's Move! Campaign, The White House

Check out two more articles about the conference which include links to Kass' transcript, a detailed summary of Let's Move! year one accomplishments, photos and more....

*****Eddie Gehman Kohan of Obama Foodarama's "At IACP Conference, Sam Kass Talks About the Future of the Let's Move! Campaign" (which includes a nice shout out to Lighthearted Locavore) 

*****Marion Nestle, a featured panelist and author of Food Politics blogged on The Atlantic's site "Sam Kass' Let's Move! Update: Activism in the Age of Walmart"

And, read more about Sam Kass, Let's Move! advertising and social media campaigns, and Corby Kummer's coverage of Walmart and food in The Atlantic.

****"Change Locavores Can Believe In", Lighthearted Locavore blog, about Sam Kass' appointment by the Obama's in January 2009

****"The Great Grocery Store Smackdown", Corby Kummer, The Atlantic about local food in Whole Foods and Walmart

****"Walmart's Seal of Approval: What Industry Won't Do", The Atlantic about Walmart's lead in changing the way food manufactures label food

****"New York City Gets Moving" post on The White House's Let's Move! Campaign Blog

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