"In 2005, we created Recipe for Success Foundation to translate research into action and change the way our children eat. Many of the finest chefs in town joined my effort and together we took a small step in the war against childhood obesity. Prevention.
In Houston, as in much of the rest of the country, the rates of childhood obesity are staggering. The loss of connection with food and the traditions of the table; reluctance to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and cultural preference for a meat-based diet; and reliance on processed food with a huge carbon footprint are some of the key contributing factors. We knew that creating a successful replicable program in Houston's stressed urban environment could impact the whole country, potentially saving billions in healthcare costs, but more importantly, rescue an entire generation of Americans.
We began in the schools, giving monthly hands-on classes that put children in touch with their food from seed to plate and we made it fun. We built the program from there to include after-school, summer camp, parent classes and community outreach. Our strategy is powerful. Children are changing their habits and attitudes, surprising themselves by trying and even liking vegetables that they would never even touch before. Parents report that their children now want to help cook and more often reach for the healthier option without prompting.
Seven years and more than 16,000 children later, we are poised to take our proven Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ program to national scale with an intensive train the trainer certification and curriculum support structure. At the same time we are expanding our activities in Houston to saturate every elementary school with our nutrition education program while we also ramp up some of our other initiatives that have been long simmering on the back burner: Eat It! Food Adventures books and TV show; Hope Farms urban agricultural project and the Hope Farms Rolling Green Market and a host of contests and tools to build community awareness and passion for change. We are in this fight for the long haul. The children are counting on us."