Ed Bruske

A reporter for the Washington Post in a previous life, I now tend my "urban farm" about a mile from the White House in the District of Columbia and teach kids something I call "food appreciation." I believe in self-reliance, growing food close to home and political freedom for the residents of the District of Columbia. I am currently working to introduce local produce into the D.C. school system. I write a daily food blog called The Slow Cook.

D.C. schools chancellor defends decision to ditch chocolate milk

D.C. Public Schools officials apparently have no intention of reinstating chocolate milk in local cafeterias despite a recent grilling by D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown and the pleadings of a first-grader who polled his fellow students. In an email to Brown dated June 22, newly-confirmed schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson says the decision to remove chocolate and strawberry-flavored milk from schools was part of an ongoing effort to make school food healthier, that the sugar in flavored milk puts many students at risk of obesity and heart disease, and that not serving more expensive flavored milk frees money that can be used to …

School Lunches

First-graders and Big Ag agree: More chocolate milk!

D.C. Council Chair Kwame Brown says he's in possession of "research" conducted by a first-grade pupil that convinces him schools in the nation's capital should bring back chocolate milk.

School Lunches

USDA rejects GOP demand to undo new school meal guidelines

The USDA won't back away from proposed guidelines for healthier school food, despite demands from Republican lawmakers that the agency eliminate cost increases.

Please sir, I want some more

Why raising the price of school lunch is a bad idea

Scene from Dickens’ Oliver Twist. Drawing by George Cruikshank, circa 1837.At a time when many families are struggling with money — and racking up millions of dollars in debt at school cafeterias — school lunch is about to get more expensive. The hike is mandated by the recent Child Nutrition Reauthorization passed by Congress and signed into law by the president. Schools that now charge only $1.50 for lunch would, over time, have to increase the price to at least match the federal contribution for a fully-subsidized meal — currently $2.72 — according to a provision in Congress’ recent reauthorization …

Let them eat cake with strawberry milk

USDA releases new nutritional guidelines for school meals

The fight over the federal school lunch program is really a question of social justice for our times. Do the disadvantaged children for whom the program was designed deserve the chance to eat the same quality food as children from families who can afford to shop at a farmers market?

Save the half-pints

Getting sugar out of schools means getting it out of milk too, says head of Harvard nutrition

Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, weighs in on the dairy industry's campaign to keep offering kids chocolate milk, despite the array of sugar-related health problems America is facing.

Vitamin D-bate heats up

New report challenges whether chocolate milk is better than no milk in schools

Few have dared to question the dairy industry's position that children need calcium and vitamin D however they can get it, even if it comes from sweetened flavored milk. A landmark recent study poses the first serious challenge to that idea.

Put down the cookies, Santa

Scientists say carbs — not fat — are the biggest problem with America's diet

The L.A. Times reports on the growing scientific evidence that carbohydrates -- not fat -- are more likely to be responsible for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and the other ills of modern civilization. I've certainly gotten healthier on a low-carb diet.

There's no such thing as a free healthy lunch

As Congress tells schools to raise lunch prices, some worry kids will go hungry

President Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act into law today, to the cheers of many. But one provision in the bill -- to raise school meal prices for the non-needy -- has some critics worried about the health of the school lunch program.

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