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:


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.