2013-10-23 14:40:59 - On 5-12 of October within the “Journey to Health” project of Social and Industrial Foodservice Institute, Russian, American and Serbian children, teachers and parents held international round tables, met with farmers and presented at the “Golden Autumn” exhibition in support of healthy eating and organic farming — necessary conditions for the health of future generations. Famous American student Birke Baehr became a special guest and participant of the activities.
Week of “Children of the World for Healthy Food” started with a visit to farms, rural and urban schools of Mordovia — the region of developed system of school meals that actively participated in the competition for the best letter to Birke Baehr.
In Mordovia Birke with his family and Omsk friend Vova Ott has a meeting with Anatoly Katkov on his stud farm, visited Kazhaev family — the family of agricultural workers that welcomed guests with extraordinary hospitality and offered them an abundant lunch of domestic products. The Agrosoyuz OJSC livestock farm complex pleasantly surprised Birke with the fact that even in industrial environment cows can get healthy nutrition and be regularly pastured.
A village school in Krasnoye Selce also gave
the warm welcome for guests. In the school garden Birke planted an apple tree, then he tasted the school lunch — the usual for other school students.
“I want the same lunch in our schools, too!” — said Vova. According to Baehr's opinion, many U.S. schools, unfortunately, can not provide such lunches with natural ingredients.
The final event in Mordovia was the round table in the Saransk School #24, where Russian students had an opportunity to talk with Birke Baehr and his family in an simple and easy atmosphere. Children asked Birke many questions and got to know how the Birke’s healthy diet hobby absolutely changed the way of life of his family. It turned out that Baehr family live in an eco-village, they have no TV for more than a year, and they still spend their time interestingly and make their contribution to society. The meeting was finished with the traditional “Great Big Crunch”.
“If I moved to Russia, I would choose Mordovia” — concluded Birke at the end of his visit to the Republic.
The key event of the week was a round table “Children of the World for Healthy Food” in Moscow School #1959, that took an active part in the competitions of the “Journey to Health" ( schoolfoodforum.ru/static/puteshestvie-k-zdorovyu/
Round table gathered a lot of people: in addition to the director and students of School #1959, Baehr's family and Vova, it was visited by Yasmina Radosavljevic, a student of the oldest Serbian agricultural school “Valjevo”, the delegation of Moscow school #1148, Gazprom OJSC Educational Center, and Saransk school #30, representatives of Social and Industrial Foodservice Institute and Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, Moscow State University of Technology and Management, Research Institute of Hygiene and Health Protection of Children and Adolescents of RAMS, LavkaLavka farmer cooperative, the Union of organic farming and other organizations.
At the round table children demonstrated their serious attitude to healthy food, organic farming, stressed out the importance of the thematic studies, meetings and other events dedicated to this problems.
“Our school applies the HACCP standard — said Jasmina Radosavljevic. — The educational program includes the special discipline — organic nutrition in cattle-breeding, fruit-growing and agriculture. Some Serbian schools included the organic production in the educational process as an experiment, but it is expected that in the future it will continually evolve and take an important place in the nutrition and health of people and animals.”
Serbian agricultural school invited children to visit its Farmer-recreational and cultural summer camp.
According to the results of the round table, participants adopted the resolution to create an international movement in support of a healthy diet. All the participants were solemnly accepted to the international organization “Kind Children of the World” and crunched together with the domestic apples.
The next day Birke, Yasmina and Vova participated in a video-conference with Kyrgyzstan students:
“We did not expect such an interest of our children. — says Nadezhda Frank, the participant of the meeting, head of the School Meals Programme of UN WFP in the Kyrgyz Republic. — Children told that they already had ideas of the round tables, days of healthy eating in their own and other schools, days of healthy salads, etc. — such an ideas was created in an hour after returning to school. I think we also have to engage in this trend — to find our one birkes, to held a meeting of ambassadors of healthy food and exchange students, and other activities.”
Then Birke Baehr spoke at the “Social Innovation” conference and Impact Day 2013, where he told the participants his history.
“I am sure that everyone can make a contribution to the change of the world. Whether it will be farming or something else — it doesn’t matter” — concluded Birke, being the youngest member of Impact Day 2013.
Birke also told about the importance of organic products and natural foods for children at the round table in the Public Chamber and at the conference within the “Golden Autumn” exhibition. Both of the events were devoted to the development of organic production in Russia.
“We propose that both of the bills — about the food in educational institutions and about organic farming — have the complementary norms. The first one should indicate the institutions for appliance of organic products, and the second — should indicate people who should use them at the first place, — proposed Vladimir V. Chernigov, the president of Social and Industrial Foodservice Institute NNO ( www.orgpit.ru
). — Birke has very good argument about the high cost of organic products. He says: "You either pay the farmer or the doctor.”
After a busy week Bayer's family was able to relax in good company of the Cook&Talk project and learn the recipe of vareniki and borsch, that they liked so much.
- Social and Industrial Foodservice Institute Non-profit Non-governmental organization, www.orgpit.ru
- “Journey to the Health” project and School Food Forum, www.schoolfoodforum.ru
- School #1959 Children of the World, 1959.shkola.hc.ru
With the support of
- Department of Education of Moscow, www.educom.ru
- Ministry of Agriculture of Russian Federation, www.mcx.ru
- Agroindustrial Processing production company, www.agropererabotka.ru
- Vneshniy resurs LLC, www.vnres.ru
- International conference “Social Innovations”, www.sir-conference.ru
Social and Industrial Foodservice Institute is engaged in the development and modernization of the systems of social and corporate feeding in Russia and abroad. It collaborates with the United Nations World Food Programme (UN WFP) in 6 countries on the development programs of school meals. Among the priorities of the Institute — teaching children the basics of healthy eating. www.orgpit.ru
“Journey to the Health” project was developed by Research Institute of Hygiene and Health Protection of Children and Adolescents of National Centre of Children's Health Protection of RAMS. The aim of the project is to teach children the principles of healthy eating and lifestyle, as well as to develop their critical and creative thinking and motivation to take care of their own health and the environment. The project includes the issue of the Bulletin of school meals, playing active games with the kids, contests and special events. www.schoolfoodforum.ru
Birke Baehr is the famous American school student and supporter of organic farming, the speaker at the TED conference with the report on “What's wrong with our food system”, the author of children's book “Birke on the farm”, one of the ten young environmentalists who changed the world (Treehugger.com), he regularly participates in educational and outreach activities in schools and universities of USA. Video of his TED speech: www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JGVR-Glpks