2012 annual membership meeting
Meeting recap: Childhood nutrition from many viewpoints
On April 24 more than 475 PCC members and guests met at St. Demetrios Hall and were treated to a wonderful meal. All the recipes, along with a report by nutrition educator Nick Rose on the nutritional value of the menu, are on the 2012 annual meeting page.
Board chair Carol Binder and CEO Tracy Wolpert reported on the co-op's solid financial health and shared operational highlights of 2011. Their year-end reports are linked from the annual meeting page on our website, as is the official 2011 annual report
On behalf of the 2011-2012 nominating committee, chair Rick Riehle spoke to the members about the nominating process and introduced the four board candidates to the members.
Our education topic for this meeting was childhood nutrition and we heard from three area experts:
- Benjamin Danielson, M.D., is a pediatrician at Seattle Children's Hospital and is director of the Odessa Brown Children's Clinic
- Erin MacDougall, Ph.D., is program manager of Healthy Eating and Active Living for Public Health, Seattle & King County
- Ellen Gray is executive director of the Washington Sustainable Food and Farm Network (WSFFN). Gray manages WSFFN's "Fresh Food in Schools" project
We also were very happy to hear from one of our teenage members who is concerned about the impact of poor nutrition and the lack of nutrition education for her peers. Here is an excerpt from her speech:
Growing up, my family was conscientious of what we ate. Now that I'm older, I can fully appreciate the emotional, physical and academic benefits of eating the way I have. Between sports practices, play auditions, and after-school clubs, teenagers are more apt to choose easier, prepacked food options. Students are not aware of how nutritionally devoid their hasty decisions might be.
I, after embracing a gluten-free diet, bring lunches courtesy of PCC: chicken salads from the deli or soup from the hot bar. Of course, the school's versions of "healthy" options are available for purchase as well. Boxed salads with breaded chicken and bread rolls are provided, as well as a salad bar with iceberg lettuce and vegetables, which are only distinguishable based on color and shape, not taste. Another "healthy food" favorite is non-fat, high-fructose corn syrup-laden yogurt.
Comparing my own experiences and that of my peers, it is evident that after eating a nutritionally dense lunch I am equipped with better focus, more energy, an ability to regulate stress, and a more positive attitude toward my studies and the day as a whole.
There may be no easy solution, but improving school lunches and increasing nutritional awareness is, based on what I've observed, critical to allowing students to fully excel in school. After all, we all learned in kindergarten that "you are what you eat" our next step is learning exactly what to eat in order to be who we want to be.
Kim Bussing, graduating senior, Issaquah High School