Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rachael is a Ray of hope now. She is the very successful celebrity chef on TV that doesn’t look like a chef. Not a large man or someone with a foreign accent cooking up snails. She has the looks of the girl in the third row in class with the nice smile but not really noticeable because she’s not the hot blond or the dorky smart one with glasses. She’s just ok.
Well, for a girl that never went to culinary school, she has become highly successful. Born in 1968 in Massachusetts, raised around food all her life, she made sandwiches and pretty much stuff anybody could make in the kitchen. But then she started marketing her “30 minute meals” and wrote several cookbooks along the same idea of a meal quick and easy. She now has a few Emmys for her show on TV.
In addition to all her books, programs and products she has gone a step further to devoting some of her time to charity. She established Yum-O a nonprofit organization, to educate young people and their families about the importance of good nutrition and to help feed American children in need.
This year she is in her 6th year of her popular TV show. She has become so influential that her first guest this season was a former President of the U.S., Bill Clinton. Why? Because they are both very committed to children’s food issues. She has a thing called The Children’s Initiative which has been around for 4 years now that has three goals. To eradicate hunger, childhood obesity and a scholarship program.
President Clinton is in a program with her through his campaign called The Alliance for a Healthier Generation. He appears on her show at times to promote healthier children. Other guests are well known actresses like Salma Hayek and Celine Dion. What is so great about her now is her using her fame and voice to lobby politicians to fund good programs of food for school children.
She realizes that everyone is poor now and can’t afford the high prices of fresh fruits and vegetables. Kids are eating too much pizza and pasta because it is a lot cheaper to buy and can be the main contributor to our obesity. She wants to bring culinary arts to the schools. Kids need to learn how to cook. You used to learn this stuff from mom but either she is working all the time or working out at the tennis club these days.
As soon as you improve a kids diet they tend to perform better in all other areas of their life. Areas like better self-esteem, they stay in school and get better grades. She is providing simple recipes for free on line to all schools that fit with the guidelines of nutrition in school budgets. She even wants the schools to plant gardens as part of their curriculum and use their produce in the school kitchens for their meals. Does that mean no more fish sticks that go straight into the trash?
Yes, the ordinary girl at school has extra-ordinary plans for American children and we should support her causes because they are all good and her ordinary food recipes are good too. Many chefs have exotic designs and art works for food choices or cook stuff still with high fats or sugars. Her simplicity works.
I hope she could hook up with some other Presidents or CEO’s of food companies and spend time to revamp all the boxed foods on the store shelves to drastically stop using so much sugar and fats in our foods.

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