Politics is as personal as every, day 4: Serving up fresh, local stimuls.

          When Hot Shot, our daughter, started kindergarten in the Portland Public Schools in the fall of 2009, guess what she got: a great teacher, a kick-ass best friend, and a morning snack of fresh fruits and vegetables grown at local farms.

          "Fresh fruits and vegetables grown at local farms?" you ask.  "How is that possible?"

          I'll give you a hint.  It starts with the letter S.

          Yes, that's right!  Can we all say it together boys and girls?  S is for Stimulus.

          Those were your tax dollars, sent directly from The Stimulus Plan to the Portland Public Schools so they could support local farms and feed students healthy morning snacks to get their brains and bodies growing.  It was the stated goal of the Schools not just to feed kids and support farms, but to expose kids to a variety of fruits and vegetables and, in so doing, expand the spectrum of healthy foods those kids are willing to eat.  Studies show that kids need to try a new food 10 to 15 times before their taste buds become acclimated to it.

          Hot Shot came home from school regularly saying, "did you know most kids in my class had never eaten cantaloupe?"  Or honeydew?  Or zucchini?  Or cauliflower?  Compare this to the number of times those same kids have eaten potato chips or Hostess cupcakes, or Mountain Dew.   As I see it, a little government sponsored affirmative action program for veggies is pretty much the only way cauliflower is ever going to gain any ground over cupcakes.

          So, I think I've lost track, but let's see: supporting local farms, filling morning bellies, and broadening the nutritious horizons of our young palettes.  Sounds like another Obama Stimulus win, win, win.  And she learned how to read that year too!

Liz Rose-Cohen

Foreigner in Buckeye Nation

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