Perhaps it’s because I’m currently coming off of my monthly juice fast, but vegetables are on my mind. In all honesty, it’s possible that if you cut me (and, please, don’t…), kale juice would come out. Phytonutrients are leaking from my pores.
Maybe I’m ODing on radishes, and therefore finding myself a smidgeon obsessed with all-things-plants. Perhaps that’s why the new program, Veggiecation, is currently occupying a lot of my brain space (that, and parsnips). Veggiecation is yet another new comprehensive tool for getting kiddies to discover the endless possibilities — and, yes, deliciousness — of vegetables. “This is done,” the website explains, “by incorporating unique and kid-friendly vegetable preparations into fun activities and exciting experiences.”
The impressive program, which you can plug into any school and any curriculum with any budget, is highly adaptable, and includes a plethora of tools and resources that are, from my vantage point, pretty ground-breaking. These include: kid-friendly posters about vegetables; lesson suggestion books; information on implementing “tasting times” in the classroom — and ballots for the kids to rate how much or little they liked it; colorful reward stickers that say “I tried (insert vegetable here)!”; veggie-heavy recipe booklets for the kids’ families, as well as nutrition tips; recipes specifically designed for school lunches; ideas for incorporating cooking classes into the classroom and after school; and innovative ways to bring “Veggiecation” into math, reading, language, science, art, music, and gym, as well as summer camp and health fairs, and even senior centers and hospitals. Holy kale, right?
I was eating up the website for Veggiecation, until — OH NO! — I found some cheeeeeeese on it. Disappointing! In the midst of such a glorious gallivant into the world of vegetables, why add unhealthy, oppressive animal byproducts to the mix — laden not only with cruelty, but also with pus and blood (there is indeed a legal of amount allowed, by law, in dairy products)? I even found some sea life on the site, making me think of Finding Nemo, which I just re-watched last night.
Now, I usually don’t blog about organizations that include animal exploitation, but I decided to blog about this anyway, hoping that Veggiecation will inspire, and be a resource for, those of you interested in incorporating humane education into your activism (but, please folks, veganize it!). Other groups, such as one of my favorites — New York Coalition for Healthy School Food — have a similar mission to expose schoolchildren to the power of the vegetable, but do so without the dead things.
Regardless, I’m wildly impressed with the resources that Veggiecation has put together (and the vegan Black-Eyed Pea Spread recipe they published looks scrumptious), and I encourage them to continue on fighting the good fight in such a unique and thorough way — but I sincerely hope they move away from using animal products, and fast.
Cute illustration of veggies is from Veggiecation’s website.