Going from “Fed Up” to “Fired Up:” Teaching Kids About Soil Health & Nutrition

Kids Gardening

Of all the surprising statistics in “Fed Up,” a movie that shines a harsh light on childhood obesity in the United States, one really stands out:

Up to 80% of public schools have some sort of contractual arrangement with a provider of fast food, from Coke and Pepsi to McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut and more.

With many children eating up to half of their daily calories in school this is a worrisome statistic indeed. But where does the fault lie?

This is a controversial and complicated question. Rather than assigning fault we should be focusing our attention on creating long-reaching change.

Part of that change begins with the people (and the corporations) that grow our food. Sadly, most children today don’t even know what really nutritious and delicious fruits and vegetables taste like! Most of the produce that is grown for conventional grocery stores and food distributors is grown in soil that has been treated with synthetic fertilizers to compensate for the fact that they’ve been woefully depleted of essential minerals and trace elements.

Minerals that aren’t in the soil aren’t in our food—and food without minerals doesn’t just fail to provide proper nutrition, it also doesn’t taste very good! Minerals are what create the sweetness, flavor and nutrition in our food.

So is it any wonder that—given the choice between a greasy slice of pizza or a limp and tasteless salad—kids will choose the pizza, every single time?!

If you’ve read our previous blog post (“What Do Rock Dust and Recess Have to Do With Getting Kids to Eat Better?”), you’ll know that we believe that teaching kids about the link between soil health and good nutrition is essential to our future. That’s why we are proud to lend our support the Seed to Table Program by donating nearly 1,000 pounds of our all-natural volcanic basalt product to the program.

Based in Sisters, Oregon, the program’s mission it is to increase health and wellness of students and families, specifically decreasing obesity, by providing equal access to nutritious foods and offering opportunities in garden based wellness, science and art education. One of the best ways to introduce children to great-tasting, nutritious food is to teach them how to grow their own fruits and vegetables in soil that has been remineralized with all-natural volcanic rock dust. Rock dust is Mother Nature’s own way of making minerals available to plants in the balanced form they need to thrive. In a sense, rock minerals are to soil health what prebiotics and probiotics are to human health.

“Thank you, Cascade Minerals, for your donation of Remineralizing Soil Booster to the Seed to Table Program! It is a fantastic product and we are already seeing results! Being able to integrate a local product such as volcanic basalt and its micronutrient properties into our curriculum has allowed students to gain a larger understanding of geological/soil processes and nutrient requirements of plants in Central Oregon!”

The conclusion? If we want kids to EAT better, we have to TEACH them to GROW things that TASTE better!