Michael Moss, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author, was the first speaker of the day. He talked about his book Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us that was birthed out of Moss’ discovery that big food companies were hiding large amounts of salt in ‘innocent’ food like Kellogs corn flakes and waffles, for example. Moss also discussed how and why cheese became an ‘ingredient’ because of food manufacturers. After Moss’s presentation, the creators of Back to the Roots, Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora, discussed how they became mushroom farmers after hearing about it in a class and watching how-to videos.Velez and Arora sell products that allow people living in urban areas to grow food in a cool way: Garden in a Can comes with basil or cilantro seeds and a mushroom kit, which comes equip with a spray bottle to mist the mushrooms twice a day.
Velez and Arora have made gardening convenient so it’s an easy way to for teachers to do this with their students in class. Grant Siefman, a representative from Whole Foods, then took the floor to share smoothie recipes using a Vitamix blender. After lunch, Lorenzo Boni, an Italian chef who works for Barilla, gave a live instructions on how to make healthy pasta salads. The rest of the day included representatives from organizations such as CookShop, Monday Campaigns and New York Coalition for Healthy School Food. These companies all focus on ways to bring programs into school that’ll make students aware of the importance of nutrition and healthy eating.
Lastly, the event was closed by three fitness experts that demonstrated some exercises that were safe to do in the classroom. They started by having everyone stand up and stretch, then we did jumping jacks and squats to get our heart rates up. To cool down and close the event, we did a few yoga poses. This successful event ended with claps and cheers from over 200 teachers and educators with the same goal: keeping their students healthy.
Shamecha Marie Lywood