Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Fighting for Food Education: Food Revolution Day 2015 Events Update...

Sharing with you a wonderful post by my fellow Jamie Oliver Food Revolution Toronto ambassador Mardi Michels. She captures the many fantastic Food Rev Day events we are all doing around our communities, school and homes. Please scroll down below to see what I have planned with schools on this day!  For Mardi's original post please read it here on her blog Eat Live Travel Write

An in-classroom “sprout growing” project. 
A mystery box vegetarian culinary challenge. 
Cooking with less-than-perfect “wonky veg”. 
A hands-on parent-child cooking class. 
A whole school cooking together.
A chance to win a family cooking class with Matt Basile at Lisa Marie Restaurant. 
Parents cooking with their kids and their friends at home and sitting down to enjoy a meal together.
What do all these things have in common? They’re some of the ways Toronto Food Revolution Ambassadors will be marking Food Revolution Day 2015.

Friday May 15th 2015 is the fourth annual Food Revolution Day – a day of global action created by Jamie Oliver and the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation to engage and inspire people of all ages to learn about food and how to cook it.

This year, Food Revolution Day is a global campaign to put compulsory food education back on the school curriculum. Jamie believes that by educating children about food and cooking, we can equip them with the basic skills they need to lead healthier, happier lives, for themselves and their future families.  With overweight and obesity statistics increasing at an alarming rate, and preventable diet-related disease claiming more lives earlier than ever before, it has never been more important to educate children about food, where it comes from and how it affects their bodies. Food Revolution Day is about getting kids food smart and setting them up for a long, healthy life.
How can YOU get involved in Food Revolution Day 2015?
Sign the petition. In late March, Jamie launched a global petition calling on the leaders and governments of G20 countries to make food education a compulsory part of every school curriculum. Sign up and spread the word at
Do your bit. Find a local Ambassador to see what’s being organized in your area (see over for more details on what the Toronto Ambassador team is planning)! Cook a meal from scratch with your kids using one of the official recipes. There are lots of ways to get involved!
Register a school. Get your local school to register online where they can download useful teaching materials and get involved in Jamie’s online cooking lesson on Food Revolution Day.
Don’t forget to share your photos and plans on social media #FoodRevolutionDay.

Food Revolution Day 2015 events in Toronto

The Toronto Food Revolution Ambassador team has put together a variety of activities and events to celebrate Food Revolution Day this year:
  • Dorothy Pang will host a vegetarian “mystery box” culinary competition for adults at Nella Cucina (Saturday April 25th, 5-6.30pm, free, open to the public, requires registration). 
  • Susan Ng and teachers at Northview Heights Secondary School will be preparing the official Food Revolution Day Squash-it Sandwich with 1500 students on Friday May 15th (see more below).
  • Linda Matarasso along with Susan Ng will host a healthy cooking demo featuring “wonky veg” at Hendrix Restaurant Equipment and Supplies (Saturday May 16th 2015 12pm – 3pm, free, open to the public, registration required).
  • Jen Farr will be hosting a Food Revolution Day Party at home on May 16th where she will teach over 30 children (aged 8- 12) to make Jamie Oliver’s Squash-It Sandwich.
  • Carol Harrison (RD) will be cooking with children at Bowmore Road Child Care Centre (Friday, May 15th).
  • Mary Hulbert will lead a cooking class for 20 children as part of the after school program at St. Alban’s Boys and Girls Club in west Toronto in the week leading up to Food Revolution Day.
  • Christine Barisheff has partnered with the Jean Augustine Centre for Youth Empowerment and Cirillos Culinary Academy for two exciting cook-off challenges in May!  On Food Revolution Day she will be in Ontario farm country educating two primary school classes on the importance of healthy eating!
  • Mardi Michels is preparing the official Food Revolution Day Squash-it Sandwich with her Grades 3-6 French classes en français in the week of May 11th using sprouts the boys will be growing in class donated by A.Vogel Canada specifically for use in the sandwiches! She will also be hosting a parent-child cooking classon Friday May 15th 2015, from 5.30 – 7.30pm ($5, open to the public, registration required) with Mary Catherine Anderson where participants will prepare a number of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution recipes then sit down to enjoy them together.
    KitchenAid Diamond Blender and smoothies

    This event is also proudly sponsored by KitchenAid Canada and participants will have the chance to win a 5-Speed Diamond Blender!

A family cooking photo contest for Food Revolution Day 2015

This year, Matt Basile of Lisa Marie restaurant wants to get families back in the kitchen and is offering the chance to win a private family cooking class with him at Lisa Marie restaurant. How cool is that?
To enter:
1. Take a photo of your family cooking together.
2. Share it on Instagram or Twitter mentioning @FoodRevToronto @fidelgastros and #FRDLisaMarie
3. Email a copy of your photo to mardi at eatlivetravelwrite dot com
Contest runs April 22nd – May 13th 2015 at 6pm EST.  Matt Basile and Kyla Zanardi will chose their favourite entry and the winner will be notified by email on May 15th 2015, Food Revolution Day! Prize will be a cooking class at Lisa Marie restaurant with Matt Basile on a date to be determined between both parties.
So what are you waiting for – let’s get cooking!
For more on what Mardi Michels is up to on Food Rev Day check it out on her blog post.

How Susan is fighting for food education – my Food Revolution Day 2015 plans

My mission is to get as many schools to participate as possible and get people to sign our petition to bring food education back into the school curriculum. This year I have three school events going:

1) My youngest son Matias' Montessori school- Forest Grove Montessori will be participating with all three classes- 50 students. The toddler class will be colouring the Food Rev Eat the Rainbow poster, and the two Casa classes will be learning about germination and photosynthesis by growing sprouts with sprouting kits and jars donated by A Vogel. This year A.Vogel Canada has generously offered donations of these sprouting kits to Ambassadors across Canada! I will be baking up Susan's Crispy Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Raisin Cookies for all the kids and teachers to have add some delicious fun to their day of food activities!

2) My elementary school classmate Ming Won has been a big supporter of mine since reconnecting after so many years. He is a passionate grade 7 teacher at Henry Kelsey's Junior Public School in Scarborough. This year his class of 27 students will be making the official Food Revolution Day Squash-it Sandwich. With his advocacy efforts at the school, he was able to bring in two other classes to join in on the hands-on session, with a total of 84 students, cooking while watching Jamie's on-line lesson on Food Rev day. The classes will work in groups with A Vogel Canada's sprouting jars. Ming tells me learning about growing your own food never grows old, and that the sprouting jar is very cool and a science lesson itself: mechanical separation, filtering, ecosystem with interactions of abiotic and abiotic factors...and nutrients! Chipotle Mexican Grill is a happy sponsor donating their delicious burritos to the participating students after the event for a fun Mexican-inspired school lunch! 

A Vogel Biosnacky Germinating Sprouting Jar

3) I am planning with Northview Heights Secondary School in Bathurst-Finch North York a large-scale hands-on event making the official Food Revolution Day Squash-it Sandwich with the entire school- 1500 students! If you read about Northview in the link provided you will see why they are the poster school for everything Food Revolution stands for. There are so many logistics at play here, but with the generous ingredient sponsorship from Sobeys, we can make it happen! This year Sobeys has offered support and donations to Ambassadors across Canada. I am really excited to work with the great Chef-teacher Dimitra who runs the school's culinary department. More details to come on this much anticipated event so stay tuned....

We are now over 700,000 in petition signatures. Won't you help us sign it and share it to make it a million..? Together we can do it to pave a better future for our children... 

My dream is to make a difference…
for our children now and tomorrow.
Equip them with solid skills, not just borrow
Food education at home, at school
Pass on how-to knowledge, that’s the tool
Important skills that must be taught
Life lessons gained that can't be bought
Too many suffer from not knowing
Cooking is the key to healthy growing
It's now we act to pave the way
To give our children a better day
A future that empowers choice
And it starts with our UNITED ONE voice
Parents, families, teachers, friends, please sign
To put this cause on top of mind
Together we can make a difference…
for our children now and tomorrow!

- Susan Ng

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