This Former White House Chef Has a Great Idea for Fixing Schools

“Proper education is not possible without proper nutrition.”


“What can we expect our kids to learn if their diets are full of sugar and empty of nutrients?” That’s the basis of former White House chef Sam Kass’ 2015 TED talk, which was released on the website last week. Kass, a self described “food policy guy,” believes that in order to improve schools, we must first focus on kids’ nutrition. Hungry students, he points out, struggle to learn.

Watch the TED talk here:

In the first season of the Mother Jones food politics podcast, Bite, we asked Kass about his work with the Obamas on school nutrition. He praised the administration’s efforts to promote healthy eating—but he also mentioned one thing the president could have done to fix food and didn’t.

Listen to the episode here:


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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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