Cover Story: Learning to Eat

An audacious plan to reform school food in Philadelphia
by Will Dean

Gray meat, gelatinous gravy and dried-out pasta made cafeteria food the butt of jokes at the lunch table. However, with obesity and diabetes rates skyrocketing among our country’s youth, the poor quality of the food offered at school isn’t so funny anymore. Many people have turned their focus on the food served in schools as a cause of these health problems, and a place to start fixing them.

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Back Page: New School of Thought

NESTS could become the education model of the future
by Paul Glover

Despite dedicated teachers, many Philadelphia public schools are so irrelevant to students’ lives that most enrollees (up to 88 percent) drop out. State curricula and testing serve bureaucracy only. To fix this mess, a green school system that relies on neighbors to teach and the larger community to donate resources is now beginning.

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How-To: Have a Healthy Lunch

Foods that will satisfy and energize
by Katie Cavuto-Boyle MS, RD

As the quest for healthy food in the cafeteria continues, consider taking the matter of feeding your children (and yourself) into your own hands. We asked Philly food celebrity Katie Cavuto-Boyle for some guidelines to help us make the brown bag delicious and nutritious.
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Book Review: What to Eat

What to Eat
by Marion Nestle
North Point Press; $16

Marion Nestle, author of Food Politics and nutrition professor at New York University, has been fighting the good food fight for years now, and her latest book continues her critical approach to what we put in our bodies. What to Eat sounds like a question, and the book provides many, many answers in over 600 pages.

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Book Review: Food Matters

Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating With More Than 75 Recipes
by Mark Bittman
Simon & Schuster; $24.95

Mark Bittman has been many things in the world of food: chef, traveler, writer and, now, advocate. With Food Matters, Bittman has come around to the sustainable food movement and offers a book with a mixture of the stick and the carrot.

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Recipe: Local Ingredients at Cafe Estelle

Taste the homestyle flavor at this open-kitchen eatery
by Stephanie Singer

On the evening that his grandmother, Estelle, passed away, Marshall Green told her that he would open a restaurant and name it after her. That promise was fulfilled on November 1, 2007, when Café Estelle opened its doors. Located between Spring Garden and Callowhill Streets, the restaurant is set back off of 4th Street in the 444 N. 4th condo building.

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Book Review: Edible Schoolyard

Edible Schoolyard: A Universal Idea
by Alice Waters
Chronicle; $24.95

When Alice Waters used to drive by the Martin Luther King Jr. middle school near her neighborhood in Berkeley, CA, she thought it was deserted. The schoolyard looked abandoned, overgrown with weeds and cracked concrete. After mentioning the use—or rather, misuse—of vacant land in a newspaper article about her restaurant, Chez Panisse, and criticizing the school for wastefulness, the school principal challenged Waters to come up with a solution.
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How-To: Sew a Button

by Reesha Grosso

There’s no right or wrong way to sew a button. As long as the button stays put, you have done your job. If you have lost your button, check the hem for extras, remove one from somewhere less conspicuous, or buy a button of the same size (look to the other buttons on the garment for guidance).
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Recycling Challenge: the Mattress

by Samantha Wittchen

Even in the world of landfilling—a world created by unwanted and discarded items—mattresses are unwelcome residents. They’re bulky and difficult to compress, and they frequently damage landfill machinery. Nearly 40 million mattresses are discarded each year, and with each mattress occupying up to 23 cubic feet, that’s over 900 million cubic feet of landfill space, or Lincoln Financial Field filled to the top row of seating nine times.

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Policy: Queen of Green

Philadelphia’s new director of the Office of Sustainability has an important goal: Make ours the greenest city in the U.S.
by Natalie Hope McDonald

In some ways, she has it easy. As the city’s new director of sustainability, Katherine Gajewski has walked into one of the most progressive posts in the mayor’s office during a time when more people than ever are talking about eco-conscious issues.
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Profile: Fancy Footwork

A local shoe designer gets LEED-certified 
by Natalie Hope Mcdonald

When it was time to expand its headquarters, shoemaker Dansko put its best foot forward and went green. The footwear designer may be best known for its comfortable clogs, sandals and shoes inspired by traditional Danish design, but as of this year, this suburban Philadelphia-based company was awarded LEED Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, thanks to a multi-million-dollar building project at its new 80,000-square-foot headquarters in West Grove, PA.
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From the Editor: Food, For Thought

When I was a freshman in high school, two soda machines were installed in our cafeteria. School lunches cost a dollar, but the truly rebellious kids bypassed the lunch lines entirely and would buy a soda for 50 cents and two 25 cent bags of chips. Katie Cavuto-Boyle (p.37) would not have approved! One day, however, I couldn’t resist the forbidden fruit (fructose?), and, after leaving the brown bag lunch mom had packed at home, ate the soda/chips combination. Hours later, I felt awful, and in one of those rare moments of teenage self-awareness, I vowed to never do that again.
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