"Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children"
Chef Ann Cooper is a self-styled “renegade lunch lady” who directs the nutrition services for the Berkeley Unified School District, improving meals at 16 public schools with over 9,000 students one day at a time. She’s at the forefront of the movement to reorient the National School Lunch Program toward greater emphasis on regional, organic, fresh foods, and nutritional education to help students build a connection between their health and where their food comes from.
On her website, www.lunchlessons.org, Chef Ann publishes a monthly calendar of what Berkeley schools will be serving every day, which reads like a menu from the famous Chez Panisse restaurant. This month's menu features such delectables as a “citrus-jicama stuffed lettuce leaf salad” and “rotini with fresh tomato.” Even plain old Hot Dog Tuesday features the grass-fed variety or veggie dog option wrapped in a whole grain bun with a side of roasted veggie fries.
Her newest book, "Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children" (Harper Collins, Sept. 2006), is “overflowing with strategies for parents and school administrators to become engaged with issues around school food - from public policy to corporate interest. It includes successful case studies of school food reform, resources that can help make a difference and healthy, kid-friendly recipes that can be made at home, or by the thousands for a public school cafeteria,” as described on its website.
You can read more about Chef Ann’s mission or buy the book at: