Food / Garden News

MasterChef Junior Casting for Season 5

MCJ-castingMasterChef Junior? is looking for kids ages 8 – 13 (by April 1st) who love to cook and will be holding several open casting calls nationwide and in New York City!

When: Saturday December 12th, 2015 Time: 9AM – 5PM Where: Affinia Hotel, 371 7th Ave, New York, NY, 10001

How: For more information and to pre-register, visit

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Free Dream Kitchen Event in Meatpacking District

Free event in the Meatpacking District for the families of PS3:

Ben’s Beginners™ Dream Kitchen helps kids learn the skills they need to cook in a fun and artistic way. This event showcases a “Dream Kitchen” that was designed by kids, as well as crafting stations. Additionally, actress, mom and host of “The Real,” Tamera Mowry-Housley will be on-site from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. to share her tips on how to get kids of all ages into the kitchen.

We hope you will join us next week for this fun event.

To sign up, visit this link. For more information about the Ben’s Beginners™ Cooking Contest, please visit

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Agriculture Secretary calls for strengthening NSLP standards for Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act

Industry News NSLP Standards

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Your Produce Cheat Sheet

How long do fruits and vegetables last? Use this handy cheat sheet from


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Foodservice advocates, legislators reach common ground on Child Nutrition Reauthorization

eatingSchool foodservice directors won a qualified victory when lawmakers agreed to incorporate changes sought by FSDs and nutritionists in a bill reauthorizing the federal school-lunch program.

The integrity of the bill remains, with a few adjustments to help relieve challenges to FSDs, according to the School Nutrition Association, a trade group that represents school-foodservice professionals.

Among the concessions was an easing of contentious whole grain regulations, with the requirement rewritten to mandate that 80 percent of grains offered by schools participating in the federal school lunch program be whole grain rich, down from 100 percent.

View the full article here.

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Chancellor Fariña Announces New York Thursdays Program Bringing Locally Sourced Foods to Schools

Initiative Celebrates Locally Grown and Manufactured Foods Every Thursday

NEW YORK – Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced the launch of New York Thursdays, a new approach to school lunches that brings locally grown or produced foods directly to students in all New York City public schools every Thursday.

The program offers valuable benefits to schools, students, family farms and the environment. Part of a nationwide initiative spearheaded by the Urban School Food Alliance, New York Thursdays boosts student health and education, while strengthening the local agricultural economy and cutting carbon emissions.

“The health and wellness of our students is a critical foundation for success in the classroom and beyond, and New York Thursdays will provide students with healthy, locally sourced meals,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “The program is a great opportunity for us to celebrate locally sourced foods by incorporating them into our menus and brings a teachable moment to our students through meaningful conversations about food and the local economy.”

“As a farmer, it’s exciting for me to see locally sourced foods being incorporated into school menus and to know that students will understand where their food comes from,” said Richard Ball, New York State Agriculture Commissioner. “New York State has been working with its partners to promote our the State’s locally grown and produced foods, help our farmers and agribusinesses reach new markets and connect with our schools. The initiative will not only provide healthy lunch options for students, but also serve as a platform to educate students and raise awareness about New York’s agricultural economy.”

Starting in September 2015, all school menus have been modified to incorporate the locally grown and produced foods provided through this initiative. As of November, the average percentage of New York State products offered on Thursdays was 35%, as opposed to almost 20% on other days of the week, and new local product sourcing is in progress to increase the percentage of State products offered on Thursdays. The objective is to reach at least 50% State products on Thursdays by the end of the 2015-16 school year. DOE spending on local procurement of food in 2015 totaled $33.4 million, making up 17.5% of total food purchase expenditures for SchoolFood.

“I’m thrilled to launch a program that continues our innovative efforts to improve the healthfulness and sustainability of the food offerings provided to students,” said Deputy Chancellor Elizabeth Rose. “New York Thursdays

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