A Lunch Tray Wednesday Buffet!

by Bettina Elias Siegel on February 19, 2014

In the old days on this blog, I’d serve up a “Friday Buffet” of news tidbits that didn’t fit anywhere else.  Today I’m bringing back the Buffet to share these little goodies with you:

Update on Chicken Petition

First, I wanted to let you know that our petition regarding chicken from China is now at 305,000 signatures and continuing to grow.  The petition, and the issue of Chinese chicken generally, will be featured in the Houston Chronicle this week and I’ll share that link on Facebook and Twitter when it’s up.  I will also be writing my own opinion piece for the paper (spoiler:  I don’t like chicken from China! :-) ) and will share that, too.

Two TLT Friends Nominated for IACP Cookbook Award

TLT friends Katie Morford (Mom’s Kitchen Handbook) and ChopChop magazine were both nominated for the prestigious IACP (International Association for Culinary Professionals) award for the cookbooks they released this year.  My past review of Katie’s cookbook is here, and of ChopChop’s here.  Congratulations to both of you!

Mom Activists Unite!

Real Mom Nutrition‘s Sally Kuzemchak had a great post yesterday on food activism, big and small.  It’s a needed reminder for all of us that “activism” can mean petitions and national campaigns, but also just asking your soccer coach to eliminate junk food snacks.  And, as I said to Sally in an email, sometimes the latter is actually a lot harder than the former, because you have to be tactful with someone you know personally — and will likely see again for a long time.

Interesting Twitter Convo

On a related note, throughout the day yesterday I was engaged in an interesting discussion on Twitter with colleagues Casey Hinds, Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, Michele Simon, Andy Belatti and Nancy Huehnergarth regarding this very notion of “mom activists,”as well as whether it’s OK to call someone a “mommy blogger,” whether women activists are marginalized when they highlight their personal motivations, what motivates each of us to do what we do, and more.  If you’re a Twitter follower, you might enjoy checking out our feeds from yesterday and feel free to chime in as well.

Wow. Wow. Wow.

Finally, I was so honored to be named one of the “15 Most Important Moms in the Food Industry” by Elizabeth Street yesterday, in a list compiled with the help of Robyn O’Brien, noted food activist and author of The Unhealthy Truth.  Since this list also included personal heroes like Michelle Obama and Laurie David, and stars like Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Alba, I’m really not quite sure how I ended up there.  But I am agitating for some sort of induction ceremony, just to be able to catch a glimpse of those awesome women in person!  :-)  Huge thanks to Robyn and Elizabeth Street for the honor.

Do You Love The Lunch Tray? ♥♥♥ Then “like” The Lunch Tray! Join almost 8,000 TLT fans by liking TLT’s Facebook page (and then adding it to your news feed or interest lists) to get your Lunch delivered, along with bonus commentary, interesting kid-and-food links, and stimulating discussion with other readers. You can also join over 4,200 TLT followers on Twitter, see my virtual bulletin boards on Pinterest and find selected TLT posts on The Huffington Post. And be sure to check out my free video for kids about processed food, “Mr. Zee’s Apple Factory!”

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Casey February 19, 2014 at 8:39 am

Thanks for the mention and it’s nice to be able to talk about this in more than 140 characters. If we are going to grow the movement for better food we’ll need lots of foot soldiers who will do the uncomfortable things like speaking up at PTA meetings, question serving soda at school parties, advocate to end junk food marketing to kids, etc. We must empower the nutritional gatekeepers (usually moms) to maximize their influence in this role not just for the good of their own children but others as well. I see it’s happening and appreciate your work and the others you mentioned in moving this forward.

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Sally Kuzemchak February 19, 2014 at 9:14 am

Thanks for including me Bettina! I read through some of the thread on Twitter. Men are so rarely referred to as “dads” in any kind of setting beyond the playground and schools. They’re not “working dads”, they’re not “daddy bloggers”, they’re not “dad activists”. I suppose you could see that as marginalizing women when they’re referred to as “mommy bloggers” or “working moms”–or you could also see it as marginalizing a man’s place in his family and diminishing that role. Being a parent certainly increases awareness of a lot of these issues, as well as the urgency for making them better to help not only your own child but ALL kids.

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Katie February 19, 2014 at 10:15 am

Congrats Bettina…what an honor for you and well deserved. And thank you. I’m thrilled about the IACP nominations for my book and video…and honored to be in such good company with Chop Chop and Kim Laidlaw’s book.

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Hanna Saltzman February 21, 2014 at 1:35 pm

Great update post! I checked out the twitter conversation (was thinking about the topic earlier this month when musing over starting #DadsNotLovinIt!). But in all seriousness, this is an important conversation to have. I’m not a parent yet, but I do think that parents have a unique and powerful role to play in food issues: they’re at the frontlines of their children’s health, they have the authority to speak up to elected officials and the public as experts regarding their kids’ health, and like Casey wrote above, they’re the ones going to the PTA meetings, seeing the junk food ads in schools, etc. I think that non-parents who care deeply about these causes (like me) can understand and embrace the importance of parents in this movement, while still being powerful advocates without the parent title.

The gender dynamics are really interesting here. As Sally points out, men are rarely connected to their parenting title, while women almost always seem to be – especially when it comes to blogs. I think the “mommy blog” phenomenon has become a symbol for the power of what parents can accomplish, in particular in regard to kids’ health – and perhaps even to symbolize the power of what online grassroots organizing and advocacy can accomplish. That symbolism seems to have led reporters/media outlets to mislabel all female bloggers as mom bloggers (e.g. it’s happened to Vani Hari & Michele Simon).

So I suppose for me the conclusion derived from this (rambling!) response is that the online momentum for food issues among parents is amazing; the advocacy work that mom bloggers and dad bloggers and non-parent bloggers are doing is incredible; the title “mom blogger” is fine for moms who want that title but not for those who don’t; and dads with blogs should be better recognized by readers and media for the role that parenting plays in their advocacy.

Thanks to all of you for your good work! (And Bettina, sorry that this response ended up a lot longer than planned).

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Bettina Elias Siegel February 21, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Don’t apologize, Hanna! I agree with all you’ve said here, and thank you for taking the time to share your views.

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Joe Klein (The Grocer) February 23, 2014 at 7:30 pm

Bettina;

Great job on banning Chinese Chicken! Please include Chinese Applesauce / Apple Juice too. Go into your local grocery store and try to buy apple juice that is not at least blended with Chinese Apples. (Hard to do) The best I found was 100% New Zealand Apples.

Be careful of Honey too. Most Honey except for very local honey, is blended from sources in the Far East. Sue Bee proudly proclaims 100% USA Sources.

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