We all like food that fills us up and tastes great.
"Food, glorious food," from the musical "Oliver!" vividly describes the difference between delicious food — which, to the workhouse boys' imagination, is "hot sausage and mustard," "cold jelly and custard" and "three banquets a day" — and gruel, which, just from name alone, isn't appetizing.
The universal message extended beyond the 1960s Broadway production, with variations in the film "Ice Age: The Meltdown," a "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" trailer and in the TV series "Family Guy," among others.
But moderation is crucial.
Thanks to a $4.9 million U.S. Department of Agriculture grant, eight college campuses across the country can spread the word about the danger of obesity and the benefits of eating — glorious — fruits and vegetables.
That includes the University of Florida, which will receive $557,000 in funding for the project.
Locally, elementary school students already are learning these lessons. Sodexo and the Okaloosa County School District's March 13 Future Chefs Competition at Walker Elementary School didn't just attract students hoping to be the next Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay, Paula Deen or Rachael Ray; it also taught contestants the importance of independence and eating healthy.
"Chef Remmi," Sodexo's student ambassador to health and nutrition, sums it up in a YouTube video: "Let's face it: You're always going to eat, so this skill (cooking) will serve you for a lifetime," she says. "Plus, besides cooking being a fun thing to do, you're eating healthier because you're creating yummy dishes with fresh foods, and you do it the way you like it."
With catchy names like Future Chefs third-place winner Kaitlynn Southard's "The Hammy Situation," that last part sounds about right!
And a sandwich that includes brown sugar ham, low-fat mayonnaise, nectarine salsa, parsley, cilantro and pita bread is easy on the body.
I was impressed by the students' poise and appearance. In each photo, these elementary school students look like true professionals.
Doesn't it inspire you to eat healthy, too? (Or, at least, don a toque, a white double-breasted jacket and checkered pants? What a way to unwind after work!)
Nevertheless, it's just one example of the Okaloosa School District's beneficial programs that will have lifelong effects.