Some of the response to yesterday's post (and just about every time I talk about 'picking yourself') is predictable, sad and frustrated/frustrating. I'd have a lot easier time if I was in the business of telling people how to get picked, if I was working to uncover the proven, secret, time-saving tricks guaranteed to get you noticed...
"It's my turn."
I know you worked hard on paying your dues, on building your skills and in being next. We all know that. But that doesn't mean that the picking system is going to work when you need it to. It's not going to get you into the famous college of your dreams, or featured in a PR blitz or published by Knopf.
Our tribe of Food Lawyers - some of whom will be teaching this upcoming webinar - http://apps.americanbar.org/cle/programs/t13cff1.html - relate well to this concept. While some law schools are starting to teach "food law" and policy as a discipline, many of us simply built upon our own experiences and interests in food and law to create a niche in which we do good work for good causes and eat really well. I am glad we did not wait around for the career coaches and recruiters to tell us how best to use our law degrees.
I am working on an advocacy project for Community Servings, which provides medically tailored meals to critically ill individuals throughout Massachusetts. There are fifteen or so similarly aligned organizations in the United States, and they are meeting the needs of under-served people -- individuals under extreme physical and emotional distress from life-threatening diseases. At Community Servings the meals are made from scratch, using ingredients from local farms and fisheries, under the direction of a professionally trained chef with impressive credentials.
Recently I read a draft law review article advocating for nutrition as a "right" to combat disease (in this case obesity). For people with chronic or critical illnesses, certain foods can exacerbate the disease, and result in the need for costly acute medical care, while others can help alleviate or control the symptoms. As we become increasingly aware of science proving the linkage between nutrition and life-threatening illnesses, nutrition, at least for the critically ill, strikes me as a basic, human right.
As of this morning Massachusetts is the #1 State in the country for Food Day events. Our tiny State is ahead of California by 100 events. Having finally broken through the Food Day vertigo, here is my plan:
Tonight I'm joining the Small Planet Institute, Oxford America, and Corporate Accountability International for a screening and discussion of Food MythBusters, a film that sheds light on the importance of a sustainable global food system.
Tuesday 10/23 and Wednesday 10/24, I'll be attending Food Days at Babson College, where Rachel Greenberger has developed an amazing agenda that includes The Food Network's Andrew Zimmern, Catherine D'Amato of The Greater Boston Food Bank, and Community Servings' CEO David Waters, to name a few good food luminaries, as panelists.
Meanwhile I'll be joining Tara Greco and Tim Stansky in promoting Community Servings' social media campaign for Pie in the Sky, a key fundraising event to support the organization's capacity to provide nutritious medically tailored meals to its chronically ill, lower income clients.
Extending the Food Day celebration into the weekend, I'm looking forward to Connecting for Change and the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Conference.
Overwhelmed by too many choices for Food Day? All you need to do is attend or promote a single event on this list...
And please help spread the word.
Some good, not-so-good, and confusing news on food and health in today's Boston Globe -
Boston public schools have just launched an initiative to provide free breakfasts to all students -- regardless of family income -- to ensure that all children in the city receive a nutritous start to the school day. This is a win-win for the schools, as studies show that children who regularly eat a nutritious breakfast perform better at school than those who do not, and the schools are reimbursed through state and federal programs for providing students with free meals. Making breakfast available to everyone also eliminates the stigma lower income students had previously experienced by accepting free food. Given the grim report that the nation's poverty rate is expected to rise to its highest level since 1965, this is welcome news. It would be great to see other cities follow suit.
And now for the confusion...
Contrary to the recent study by David Ludwig and Cara Ebbing of Boston Childrens' Hospital, a report in today's Globe recommends against a gluten-free diet for individuals who are not prone to celiac's disease. According to Dr. Joel Mason, a professor of medicine and nutrition at Tufts, many people eat high calorie nuts as a substitute for bread, and some prepared gluten free foods are dense in fat as a substitute for gluten. And yet the Ludwig study suggests that the higher fat/low carb diet helps with weight reduction and weight loss retention.
All of which leaves me perplexed as to what to prepare for dinner on this #Meatless #Monday.