Slow Food Is Lunching On North Shore
The rise in juvenile diabetes and childhood obesity has people taking a hard look at school lunches. What they’ve found is too many processed foods and very little locally grown products.
In an effort to combat the problem, and to promote local farmers, Kokua Hawaii Foundation is partnering with Slow Foods Oahu for “Time for Lunch” with an afternoon of healthy dining and discussions in Laie on how to bring local foods and kids together at school.
“It’s an eat-in potluck,” said Katie Pere, KHF’s director of greening and events, about “Time for Lunch,” which starts at 12:30 p.m. Saturday on the BYU-Hawaii cafeteria lawn.“Everyone brings a dish to share — hopefully a homecooked meal using local ingredients to support local farmers — and it’s to discuss having better food in our schools, having locally grown food in our schools and having healthier options for kids.”
Next on the agenda is a 2:30 p.m. screening of Food, Inc. in the college auditorium. Robert Kenner’s film looks at the U.S. food industry and how manufacturers have sacrificed nutrition for profit. A panel discussion
follows with farmers, business people and environmentalists who will focus on the impact food production has on the environment, including chemical pesticides.
Both the “Eat In” and the film screening are open to the public. For details, call 6385145.
“When they convert ag lands and take it away from farming, it is hard for Hawaii to feed itself — especially Oahu,” Pere added. “That’s why things like this are so important to bring to the public’s attention. If for some reason shipping was shut down, how much food can we provide ourselves on the island? The answer is not much at all.”
The Slow Food program has grown since 1986 to encompass 85,000 members in 45 countries, having an impact here on the North Shore-based KHF in its own quest to promote growing and eating safe, healthy food.
“ Our ‘AINA ( Actively Integrating Nutrition and Agriculture in schools) program … is all about getting school gardens and kids learning nutrition lessons and growing the food themselves — and some of the schools have began using the food they have grown in their school lunches.”
Two North Shore elementary schools, for example, will prepare their campus gardens for the semester soon — Sunset from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday and Waialua from 2 to 5 p.m. Sept. 19.
Mililani residents Bao Nguyen (right) and Joni Asato got hitched at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas last month, and during their reception at Spago restaurant, the pair were congratulated by a special guest: Bill Clinton! Nguyen said the wedding crasher was more than welcome to enjoy the party. Just one week prior, the former president had helped negotiate the release of two U.S. reporters from North Korea. Photo from Bao Nguyen.