When I first watched the FED UP documentary, produced by Laurie David and Katie Couric, I admit that some of the info I knew, lots I didn’t, and lots more made me squirm. But then, that’s what a good documentary should do. I have such a heightened awareness of the hidden sugar in our foods, and how it’s all marketed to us, that it’s really changed how I read labels and how I shop.
It’s not that I’m going to be replacing chocolate cupcakes at birthdays with candles in slices of eggplant — our readers know that we’re definitely not anti-sugar around here when it comes to treats — but as a consumer, I do want to be aware of what we’re eating, and more importantly, what my kids are eating. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, I highly recommend it.
Over the past year, advocates of the film have encouraged more screenings of the film in schools, where kids may be most influenced when it comes to eating habits. So I like that the FED UP team has responded with a brand new Food Education Kickstarter that just launched to help provide FED UP educational kits to as many classrooms as possible.
The campaign aims to give hundreds of thousands of individual teachers educational materials plus unlimited use of the film to show in schools (which, by the way, will make lots of food companies very unhappy), as well as a 60-minute shortened classroom version of FED UP, plus a study guide.
They’re especially hoping to provide this kit to teachers in lower income communities where kids are more severely at risk for Type 2 Diabetes and obesity, with fewer resources to reverse the trend.
A donation as little as $15 gets one kit to teachers who would otherwise probably pay for a DVD out of their own money. More donations…more kits.
I remember when my then second-grader watched Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and how that alone got her thinking about what she could do to help make other kids healthy. This is presumably the same idea: Get info in the hands of teachers, and watch enthusiastic students set up their own healthy eating programs.
The FED UP Kickstarter is also aiming to bring up their own nutrition and healthy eating programs, and if the Kickstarter gets enough funding, even bring local food organizations (as in, not the soda lobby) into schools to work with administrators and do things like help set up gardening programs.
I will say the incentives you get for donating didn’t quite blow me away (despite the two “meet Sheryl Crow at her next concert” rewards which are already gone). But it seems, incentives aren’t the point of donating. If you want a Chipotle gift card or tote bag, go for it, but really this is about helping the next generation of kids to get smarter about what they eat. Because if they’re anything like my kids, they’ll help make all of us healthier too.
Check out the FED UP educational kit Kickstarter to learn more and support the campaign which ends Sept 30, 2015. If you’re a teacher you can sign up right now to get a kit at the FED UP website. They’re slated to ship by November.