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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Year of Plenty

Study Claims Jamie Oliver’s School Lunches Improve Test Scores

The Times Online in England has an article up reporting on a 2 year study on the impact of Jamie OIiver's efforts to improve school lunches on test scores.

Eating Jamie Oliver’s school dinners improves children’s performance in tests, according to researchers who claim that the celebrity chef’s campaign to improve school food has had more impact than government literacy programmes.

The findings of the two-year study indicate that scores in national curriculum tests at 11 rose in English and science at schools where Oliver’s menus were introduced.

Control schools, where junk food was still available, showed smaller or negligible improvements, researchers said.

Here's an interesting tidbit;

The academics failed to find evidence that the campaign specifically helped children on free school meals — a measure of social deprivation.

“On the contrary the campaign seemed to have affected most the children from richer socio-economic backgrounds,” the study said.

Oliver is trying to innovate some of the same changes he helped start in England in the U.S. with his TV show Food Revolution. Check out the video clip above for a scene from one of the first episodes. If you're interested in the future of school lunches in the U.S. you'll be interested to read up on some legislation working it's way through congress called The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

Year of Plenty

The Year of Plenty blog was created by Craig Goodwin in the winter of 2008 to chronicle the experiences of his family as they sought to consume everything local, used, homegrown or homemade. That journey was a wonderful introduction to people and movements in the Spokane area who are seeking the welfare of the community through local foods, farmers markets, community gardens, sustainable transportation, and more fulfilling and just patterns of consumption. In 2009 and beyond the blog will continue to report on these relationships and practices, all through the eyes of a family with young children. Craig manages the Millwood Farmers' Market, is a Master Food Preserver and Pastor at Millwood Presbyterian Church. Craig can be reached at