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Articles by Ann Cooper

Ann Cooper serves as Interim Nutrition Director of the Boulder Valley School District; is founder of the Food Family Farming Foundation’s Lunch Box Project; and is author of Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children.

Featured Article

Crap: it’s what’s for school lunch. But does it have to be? Not long ago or far away, there was a great and mighty kingdom that was the envy of all other kingdoms in the world. The kingdom was home to two groups of people, the Big People and the Little People. The Big People had many jobs and responsibilities, but foremost among these was their unalterable duty to care for the wellbeing of the Little People above all else. The Little People had only one responsibility, to follow the advice of the Big People so that they, too, could grow up to be Big.

For many, many years, the Big People diligently watched over the Little People and looked out for their interests, while the Little People followed their examples and grew strong. The kingdom thrived and prospered.

Alas, as time passed, more and more Big People seemed to have forgotten their duty to the Little People. The Big Corn People began to grow so much royally-subsidized GMO corn that they turned it into millions of gallons of high fructose corn syrup. The Big Cereal People began telling Little People that their highly processed breakfast products were “smart choices” for their hea... Read more

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  • Obama’s school-lunch chief not much of a reformer

    Note: This essay was written with Kate Adamick of Food Systems Solutions LLC and Beth Collins of Lunch Lessons LLC. Supersize me.Photo: bookgrlToday, 30 percent of American children are over-weight or obese. For children born in the year 2000, one out of every three Caucasians and one out of every two African American and Hispanics […]

  • The beef recall shows yet again that the USDA doesn’t protect schoolchildren

    The USDA recently took action to force the recall of 143 million pounds of beef dating back two years -- the largest beef recall in our country's history. More than 25 percent of the recalled beef was distributed free of charge through the USDA's commodity food program to about 150 school districts across the nation.

    Undoubtedly, most of this potentially tainted beef has already been eaten by the 30 million children who participate in the National School Lunch Program every day. Clearly, the USDA is not protecting our children. In essence, the agency slammed the barn door shut after the downer (severely sick) cows had staggered out of the feedlots and into school cafeterias.

    Why does the USDA fail so miserably at this critical task?

  • Why the Happy Meals-for-good-grades scheme deserves an ‘F’

    Why is it acceptable to reward our children for successful academic performance with something that will harm them? How can we, as a society, allow this kind of corporate conduct when the most recent study on Body Mass Index (BMI) states that over 19 percent of American children are currently overweight or obese, and that a higher BMI in children is associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease as an adult?