In this enlightening Ted Talk, former White House chef and food policymaker Sam Kass tells us to ask ourselves what would happen if we fed ourselves more nutritious, more sustainably grown food? What would be the impact? Particularly if this was aimed at kids getting access to more nutritious food.
Coming from a family of teachers, Kass says it’s important to ask the right questions, which include: What do we think the connection is between a child’s growing mind and their growing body? What can we expect our kids to learn if their diets are full of sugar and empty of nutrients? What can they possibly learn if their bodies are literally going hungry?
He talks about a cooking show he was on, where a school chef made a pasta from minimum ingredients provided, explaining her choice as the dish she usually makes that day of the week, a Friday, so kids can have a hearty meal before a weekend, when they may likely go hungry. “Something that would stick to their ribs, she said. Something that would fill them up. Cheryl talked about how, by the time Monday came, her kids’ hunger pangs were so intense that they couldn’t even begin to think about learning. Food was the only thing on their mind. The only thing. And unfortunately, the stats — they tell the same story.”
Kass also talks about how breakfast is the most important meal of the day. “Research shows that kids who do not have consistent nourishment, particularly at breakfast, have poor cognitive function overall,” he emphasises. Food, he says, is where our collective efforts can have the greatest impact.