Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu

This seems to be a very good explanation of the details of the swine flu pandemic.

As part of World Health Organization Supercourse (
we have built a Just in Time lecture about Swine Flu, with global experts in
the area. The Lecture is located at: .

At the site you can download the PowerPoint file. The lecture will be
continuously updated so that the latest materials are constantly available.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Child Nutrition Reauthorization

Here is the summary statement put together by NYC Alliance for Child Nutrition Reauthorization. If your organization is interested in being involved with this group or signing on to this statement, please email Kristen Mancinelli at You can also email your U.S. Government Senators and Representatives asking them to support this statement.

The Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) is important to New York City.
What is this Bill?
Later this year the federal government will reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act (CNA). This legislation sets rules and funding levels for the major school-based nutrition programs, including the School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, and Summer Food Service Program, and other important federal food programs such as the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for women, infants and children (WIC).
Why is this bill important?
This is a once in five year opportunity. The 2009 Reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act can help the us accomplish the following goals: achieve the Obama Administration’s goal of ending child hunger and food insecurity; ensure a generation of healthy, productive, nutritionally-aware children; reduce energy use and pollution; create jobs; and stimulate economic activity.
What are we doing to influence this bill?
Groups in New York City representing varying interests have formed an alliance to advocate for changes to the 2009 Child Nutrition Reauthorization. We’ve established a consensus statement of priorities for NYC in CNR, and a cohesive strategy to deliver our shared message reflected in this statement to policy makers, the public, and other relevant parties identified. This alliance brings together various groups that haven’t historically come together to advocate for changes and improvements to CNR.

Nationwide, groups such as anti-hunger, nutrition and public health, food service and industry, community food security groups and others are advocating for specific priorities in the 2009 Child Nutrition Reauthorization. These groups have long recognized the importance of this legislation to their constituencies and have a history of advocacy in this arena. Today, as we recognize the systemic nature of our social problems and realize that they can better be addressed working together, groups are coalescing across boundaries of interest to shape how this legislation will affect us all. Diverse groups in other cities – including Seattle, Boston, Chicago, and LA – are organizing now to develop their collective priorities for CNR. With the largest school district in the nation and large number WIC and CACFP participants, NYC can be a very strong and influential voice for positive change within the Child Nutrition Reauthorization. Especially in this time of fiscal crisis, increased hunger, and concern for children’s health, we must take this opportunity to ask for increased federal funding and improvements to programs that benefit New Yorkers.

NYC Priorities for the 2009 Child Nutrition Reauthorization
Specific goals
Overall, the Reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act must:
1) Make significant progress towards the goal of ending child hunger and food insecurity in America by 2015;
2) Ensure that all children have access to high quality, nutritious foods, local whenever possible, in their schools and through other child nutrition programs;
3) Reduce obesity and diet-related diseases and ensure productive, healthy generations; and
4) Support and expand regional farm and food economies, increasing jobs, enhancing infrastructure, and reducing unsustainable environmental impact .

Summary of the Three Key Strategies to Achieve Those Goals
1. Make federal child nutrition programs universal and more nutritious while reducing their administrative paperwork and bureaucracy.

2. Give programs more resources and technical assistance to serve all children with nutritious food, local whenever possible, produced in an environmentally and economically sustainable manner.

3. Make nutrition education available to all children and caregivers through child nutrition programs.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Slow Food NYC Harvest Time Network: Seed to Snack

Slow Food NYC Harvest Time Network: Seed to Snack

Seed to Snack

The Earth School which is located on the LES participates in the Harvest Time program. They have just planted their garden right next to the school and they have a great idea, called Seed to Snack. They will offer kids healthy snack alternatives to junk food after school. These snacks will come from the Earth School Victory Garden.
The following is a little write up from Abbe Futtermaan, a teacher at the Earth School:

Here is a list of our Seed to Snack crop ideas. We'll see how it goes!
legumes: snap peas, runner beans, edamame
brassicas: broccoli, cauliflower, collards
roots: radishes, carrots, potatoes
garlic, onion
yellow, red, green peppers
squash: zucchini, cucumbers, cornichon, pumpkins, watermelon
cherry tomatoes
fruit: apples, figs, blueberries, strawberries
brussel sprouts
herbs: basil, hyssop, marjoram, savory, mints, chamomile, lavender, sage, rosemary, thyme, dill, cilantro, parsley, chives, catnip
edible flowers: nasturtium, calendula

Note: Some of the above are for "demonstration" purposes since we would not expect to harvest an adequate quantity to be of great use (i.e. wheat, corn, etc.).

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Newtown Pippin, the Nation's Founding Apple

On Earth Day, 2009, Slow Food NYC helped plant Newtown Pippin apple trees at three Harvest Time schools; the Earth School, Automotive High School, and Juan Morel Campos.
The Newtown Pippin is the only American heirloom apple native to New York City, having been first picked on a Newtown (now Elmhurst) farm in Queens County in the early 1700s. The green, great-tasting apple was a favorite of Ben Franklin, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson, who planted them at Monticello and wrote to James Madison from Paris, "They have no apple to compare with our Newtown Pippin." The Newtwon Pippin is aboard the Slow Food USA Ark of Taste, our bio-diversity program to recognize and help preserve foods in danger of being lost. In 2007, Slow Food NYC donated Newtown Pippin apple trees to three Greenmarket farmers to help restore our apple to the tables of our city. This year, with the backing of Green Apple Cleaners, a group of allied organizations, including Slow Food NYC, has undertaken a multi-year project to plant 500 Newtown Pippin apple trees in parks and community and school gardens.

To learn more about Newtown Pippins and to obtain a Newtown Pippin tree (and a companion Honey Crisp apple tree for pollination) for your school or community garden, visit