Slow Food Is Lunch­ing On North Shore

MidWeek Islander (Central Oahu) - - Front Page - By STEVE MUR­RAY

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.

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