Those involved in the Good Food movement believe that if we are going to build a better food system, we need to promote healthier habits among our youngest eaters. Since 2005, Chicago nonprofit Purple Asparagus has put that belief to action, bringing its engaging food literacy program to children kindergarten to 2nd grade in selected Chicago schools.!
Purple Asparagus Head Spear Melissa Graham tells NBC 5’s Susan Carlson about how the organization makes a difference in the community by bringing important nutritional education to classrooms around the Chicago area.
“We have a special food and home focused Council today with Chicago Public Media’s Monica Eng. Amongst other delicious things, we’ll talk about the push from the White House to reinstate Home Ec as a core requirement and hear from Melissa Graham, head of Purple Asparagus, a non-profit that has spent close to ten years trying to get people closer to their food.”
“There is a “no yuck” zone in Melissa Graham’s house.
When Graham’s son Thor was 2, he suddenly morphed from an adventurous eater to a picky toddler. After making some mistakes, Graham decided to approach eating in the same way a parent would approach the topic of wearing a seatbelt.
Thor, now 10, was expected to eat what he was served. He wasn’t expected to like it, but he had to try it, and he couldn’t say “yuck.””
Speakers will cover everything from the proper way to install a car seat to understanding autism. Among them is person chef Alia Dalal, who works to educate kids about healthy eating through the non-profit Purple Asparagus.
“If you get your kids involved in meal-planning and actually cooking, they will be way more likely to try it,” said Dalal.
“As Healthy Schools Campaign transitions to a new campaign for wellness in Chicago, Change for Good, we’re looking back at the ways we’ve already made great progress — particularly through the three-year Go for the Gold campaign that ended this summer. One major accomplishment: increasing nutrition education opportunities for students. HSC was fortunate to partner on this with the “culinary adventure” educators at Purple Asparagus. Read on for more about this great organization!”
“A local health food activist is teaming up with a nutrition professor to help spread the word on good eating. Fresh Moves’ Julian Champion joins the Chicago Tribune’s Monica Eng to discuss the struggles of bringing healthy food to some neighborhoods in Chicago. How can people who aren’t eating fruits and veggies daily be reached on the benefits of dumping the junk food?”
“Our Conference theme this year is Your Choices Matter and for FamilyFarmed.org, one of the best choices we make is working to bring healthier, less processed foods into schools. We are big fans and supporters of the work Purple Asparagus does in classrooms exposing kids to better food choices. We’re excited to profile evaluators Sarah Rand and her colleague Amy Cassata and their work with Purple Asparagus…”
“Boasting an impressive list of sustainable features that helped it achieve its LEED Platinum certification, the building houses Green Exchange, where female business owners possess stories, experiences, and ultimately, a level of success in their respective fields that is second to none.”
“It happens every year after Thanksgiving. People have so much turkey and other leftovers after the meal, they don’t know what to do with it. This year, Purple Asparagus is helping come up with some ideas…”
“What do you get when you combine delectable food, art, a farmer’s market, music, and raising money for a good cause? You guessed it! Corks and Crayons — the annual fundraiser for Purple Asparagus held on August 26th in the beautiful Green Exchange Building.”
“At Purple Asparagus, we’re fighting this [obesity] epidemic by educating children, families and the community about eating that is good for the body and the planet,” says Graham. “We believe that [all children] should have the chance to discover new-to-them wholesome foods that will change the way they think about eating and preparing food.”
“If you’re not familiar with Purple Asparagus, it’s not only a vegetable that disappointingly turns green when you cook it, it’s an all-star local organization dedicated to helping families integrate healthy and sustainable eating into their daily lives.”
“Purple Asparagus is a nonprofit organization that educates children and families and the community about healthy eating. Founding Executive Director, Melissa Graham, is here with more about the program and food that is good for the body and for the planet.”
9. Melissa Graham She’s a sustainable cook, locavore blogger, and “head spear” at Purple Asparagus, a Chicago-based organization dedicated to teaching people about healthful eating. Among the non-profit’s core goals: Changing the way our children, and by extension, our families and communities, relate to food and all things associated with it.
Turning Purple for Kids’ Health
June 28, 2012
“It’s not about saying, ‘This is healthy food and you should eat it,’” Graham says. “There’s definitely a place for that but that’s not who we are. We’re about telling the story of food.”
“The jovial Nickelodeon star has kept busy promoting healthy eating habits to kids through his website KewlBites.com—an online destination for nutritious recipes and tips for living a healthy lifestyle. By partnering with local and national health organizations such as Chicago’s Purple Asparagus and The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Alexander is helping to change the food culture for young people. ”
“Inside the Fridge welcomes Melissa Graham. Melissa, a former attorney, is the founding Executive Director of Purple Asparagus, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to educating families about all things associated with good eating, eating that’s good for the body and the planet.”
“Visiting farmers markets and getting ready for Thanksgiving, you’ll likely encounter a dizzying variety of squash. Some of the more unusual varieties of gourds can be intimidating because many people simply aren’t sure how to use them.”
Interview With Melissa Graham of Purple Asparagus, The Lunch Tray, July 28, 2011. “Among the group’s core principles are propositions like, ‘Eating close to the ground is good’ and ‘Bringing children and families back to the table strengthens the bonds of family, no matter how extended’…”
“Believe it or not, there are varieties of asparagus that are purple in color, but that’s not what I’m talking about today. Purple Asparagus is an amazing local non-profit organization that teaches kids, families and the community about eating that’s good for the body and good for the planet.”
“Here at the Kenmore Live Studio Melissa Graham of The Purple Asparagus talks about her non-profit organization that teaches families and children about healthy, sustainable eating by focusing on nutritious, delicious, sustainable, and seasonal foods.”
Melissa Graham Wins 2011 Good Eating Award, Chicago Tribune, February, 2011. “All of these Good Eating winners have enhanced the food scene in Chicago with their accomplishments. Take a look at their impressive contributions.”
How Cool is That?, Rachel Ray’s Yum-O!, January 15, 2011. “Founded in 2005, Chicago-based Purple Asparagus is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing families back to the table by promoting and enjoying all the things associated with good eating.”
“The third-graders at Chicago’s McAuliffe Elementary School were a tough crowd. They liked the story of “Little Pea,” the twisted tale of a good little vegetable who tries valiantly to eat all his candy before having spinach for dessert…”
“Years before the First Lady’s Let’s Move campaign and Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, a small Chicago-area nonprofit called Purple Asparagus formed with a twofold goal: to create a community of people who cared about seasonal, sustainable food, and to spread that message to families with children…”
“Watch this episode of Conscious Living TV, as we attend Chicago non-profit, Purple Asparagus’ 5th annual fundraiser at Uncommon Ground restaurant. We chat with Melissa Graham, founder of Purple Asparagus–on the first certified organic rooftop farm in the U.S., peruse a farmer’s market run by kids, and enjoy plenty of yummy organic food.”
Growing Healthy Kids: Eat Your Homework, Edible Chicago, Spring 2010. “Edible Chicago explores the local and sustainable food movement while also celebrating the role that food plays in our lives.”
5 Reasons for Optimism on the School Food Front, Lettuce Eat Kale, May 06, 2011. “For now, a little roundup, a cheat sheet of sorts, to bring you up to date on recent developments. And don’t worry, even though it’s testing week in my town, there won’t be a quiz after you read this list.”
“Pinching your pennies, but still looking for earth-friendly produce? Here’s how to eat responsibly on a budget.”
5 Tips on Keeping Produce Fresh!, Medill Reports, April 29, 2010. “If you spend that extra time to put it away properly, you will be able to keep the produce fresher longer, protecting your investment.”
“Catch a free screening of What’s On Your Plate, a new documentary about kids and food politics … Both screenings–hosted by food photographer Grant Kessler and local non-profit Purple Asparagus–will be followed by group discussions about kids, politics and local food.”
Let’s (Re)Do Lunch, Mindful Metropolis, April 2010 – Growing Healthy Kids Takes Aim at the Health Crisis facing Chicago’s Kids, by Caitlin Murray Giles.