Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Food for Thought: Party to the Max

As can be seen in today's edition of Tattle, the controversy over the crap kids are being fed as school lunches continues to rage. Meanwhile, the USDA just released its latest dietary guidelines, pushing more strongly than ever the concept of basing our eating around plant-based foods. And a bunch of artists and record producers have been working, with some success, to tie the two together on a CD called "Healthy Food for Thought: Good Enough to Eat"

Food for Thought: Party to the Max

As can be seen in today's edition of Tattle, the controversy over the crap kids are being fed as school lunches continues to rage. Meanwhile, the USDA just released its latest dietary guidelines, pushing more strongly than ever the concept of basing our eating around plant-based foods. And a bunch of recording artists have been working with local record producers, and with some success, to tie the two together.

Back in October I mentioned a CD called "Healthy Food for Thought: Good Enough to Eat" that was put together by a Philly-area team and features pro-bono contributions from people ranging from Julian Lennon, Moby and Sweet Honey in the Rock to local folks such as Gene Shay, Kathy O'Connell and yours truly. The point of the album was to have fun exploring healthy plant-based food options for kids, with the proceeds goingn to the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food.

So is the album any good? Well, on Sunday we'll see if it's named Best Spoken Word Album for Children, as it's been nominated for a Grammy. (Could be a tough battle, considering "Healthy Food..." is up against sentimental favorite Anne Frank among others.) To celebrate the nomination and the general release of the CD, a party was held at the end of January in the studio of the artist who contibuted the cover, a fellow by the name of Peter Max.

Earth to Philly was in attendance at this event, and though we didn't get a chance to say more than "Hi, love your work" to Mr. Max we did meet plenty of people with a commitment to childrens' nutrition and got to sample some great plant-based food from NYC vendors. (As it was the day before Vegan Pizza Day, I was pleased to chat with the owners of "Slice: The Perfect Food" about their delicious and creative vegan pizzas.) In addition to the riotously colorful paintings and posters all over the walls, there was musical entertainment by many of the artists including Tom Chapin.

The music was festive and the general ambience pretty loud, so it wasn't until we emerged from the party that I was able to get some listenable audio from Paula Lizzi and Kevin Mackie, two of the masterminds of the album. I also wound up getting some sound bites (hey, a title for the next CD?) from Amie Hamlin, Executive Director of the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food, on how the whole thing turned out. Check out this five-minute podcast (MP3, 4 MB) to feel as if you're - well, not at the party per se, but on the sidewalk right outside, right afterward!

Earth to Philly wishes good luck to the producers with the Grammys (Feb. 13), and thanks to everyone who pitched in to get the word out about healthy school food.

About this blog
Earth to Philly is a weblog focusing on earth-conscious technology, trends and ideas, from a Daily News perspective. We look at the "green" aspects of your home, business, food, transportation, style, policy, gadgets and artwork. If you have a Philly-related story, Click here to let us know about it!

The experts at Philadelphia's Energy Coordinating Agency answer your energy questions in our regular feature Stay Warm, Stay Green. Send in your question or questions to energy@phillynews.com.


Look for Jenice Armstrong to supply tips on green living as well as occasional columns on the subject of Green. She also blogs at Hey Jen.


Becky Batcha stays tuned for the here-and-now practical side of conservation, alternative energy, organic foods, etc. - stuff you can do at home now. Plus odds and ends.


Laurie Conrad recycles from her ever-growing e-mailbag to pass along the latest travel deals, fashion statements, household strategies, gadgets, cool local events and other nuggets of interest to those who appreciate a clean, green world.


Vance Lehmkuhl looks at topics like eco-conscious eating, public transportation and fuel-efficient driving from his perspective as a vegetarian, a daily SEPTA bus rider and a hybrid driver, as well as noting the occasional wacky trend or product. Contact Vance with your 'green' news.


Ronnie Polaneczky sees the green movement through the eyes of her 12-year-old daughter, who calls her on every scrap of paper or glass bottle that Ronnie neglects to toss into the house recycling bins. Ronnie will blog about new or unexpected ways to go green. She also blogs at So, What Happened Was...


Sandra Shea and the DN editorial board opine on any green-related legislation or policy. And we'll pass along some of the opeds on the subject that people send us.


Jonathan Takiff will be blogging mainly about consumer electronics - those things that we love to use and that suck too much energy. He'll spotlight green-conscious gizmos made in a responsible fashion, both in terms of materials used and the energy it takes to run them.


Signe Wilkinson draws the comic strip Family Tree, which follows the Tree family as they try to live green in the face of nattering neighbors, plastic-wrapped consumer products, and the primal teenage urge to spend vast quantities of money on hair care products of dubious organic quality.


In addition to these updates from our newsroom bloggers, watch for an occasional feature, Dumpster Diver Dispatches, from Philadelphia's original "green" community of artists, the Dumpster Divers. You'll learn about creative ways to reuse and recycle while you reduce, and about the artists who are making little masterpieces from what others throw out.

  • Dispatch #1: Margaret Giancola's rugs from plastic bags
  • Dispatch #2: Dumpster Divers in City Hall (Art in City Hall series)
  • Dispatch #3: Wild wood, New Jersey
  • Dispatch #4: Dumpster Divers award winners announced
  • Dispatch #5: From sweaters to colorful cuddling
  • Dispatch #6: Green artists retake South Street Sunday
  • Dispatch #7: Isaiah Zagar: He's a Magic (Gardens) Man





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