Transcription of the episode “Food injustice: The corporatization of school meals”

Transcription of the episode “Food injustice: The corporatization of school meals”

Amy H-L: [00:00:15] Hi, I’m  Amy Halpern-Laff.

Jon M: [00:00:16] And  I’m Jon Moscow. Welcome to Ethical Schools. 

Amy H-L: [00:00:19] Our guest today is Monica Chen, executive director of Factory Farming Awareness Coalition, a nonprofit that educates individuals and organizations on the impacts of our food system. A veteran teacher, Monica has worked  with students in elementary, middle and high schools, in San Quentin, and in the Navajo Nation. Monica is my colleague and my friend, and  I’m thrilled to have her on Ethical Schools. Welcome, Monica.

Monica C: [00:00:46] Thank you, Amy. Thank you, Jon. It’s wonderful to be here. 

Jon M: [00:00:49] So FFAC, Factory Farming Awareness Coalition, presenters speak to many thousands of students every year about factory farming. What are factory farms and why is it important for students to know about them?

Monica C: [00:01:04] That’s a really good question, Jon, and something certainly addressed at the beginning of every single presentation. We talk about how a lot of the idyllic packaging that shows cows, you know, smiling and on grass with sun is really a fallacy, that most of our food is coming from what’s called CAFOs or concentrated animal feeding operations, which puts thousands or tens of thousands of animals in a single space to maximize product and to maximize profit. And a lot of the ideas that we have around labeling are not true. So there’s this idea that free range, for example, is chickens just running around freely, but that’s unfortunately just not the reality. So we help to dispel those myths and we really try and make sure that we connect factory farming to a whole host of other environmental, social justice and public health issues. 

Jon M: [00:01:57] And why is it important for students to know? 

Monica C: [00:02:01] We might get more into my career later, but what I really love about FFAC’s work and connecting this to food is that everybody does eat. We always leave every single presentation with, I think, hope and action items, not just like what’s happening at a federal level, what the corporations are doing, but like on an individual level, like what we can be doing. And this is where individuals can have an impact because they do eat three times a day. So you are making choices and you get to choose, like if those choices are in line with your ethics, which is [inaudible] because this is the name of the podcast. 

Amy H-L: [00:02:41] School meals do raise many ethical issues, but before we get into them, could you explain how US schools began to serve food in the first place?

Monica C: [00:02:52] Sure I’d be happy to. So schools began serving food in as early, as 1896, early 1900s, but it was very ad hoc, just a few  cities or states. And then in the wake of the Great Depression, the federal government authorized the US Department of Agriculture to buy up surplus food from farmers and funnel it into school lunch programs. So this was a way for the government to, idealistically, like we want to help make sure that our children are well fed and this is going to help our economy. And then, you know, during World War II, those programs sort of faded. But then in 1946, we had the first school lunch act. And since then, this has become a huge business. At this point, more than $10 billion a year is spent on school lunch. So that just brings in a lot of corporate interests

Jon M: [00:03:45] I worked in Portland, Oregon in the late sixties and early seventies in collaboration with the Black Panther Party, and friends of mine in the Panthers said that part of the reason that the government started the breakfast program in schools was that the Panthers had started a breakfast program and basically it was embarrassing for the government to have the Black Panther Party providing breakfast and that they weren’t. And in Portland, at any rate, many of the students continued going to the Panther breakfast because the food was better and the atmosphere was better. It was a very loving and committed atmosphere. Is there more about the origins of the school breakfast program that you’d want to add to that? Or does that fit with what, you know?

That does fit with what I know. I’m not an expert on the school breakfast program, but it makes a lot of sense to me because I think that we’ve turned to schools for a lot of our social services at this point.

Why does school food tend to look pretty much the same in school systems across the country? 

Monica C: [00:04:53] I think if you, again, go back to the origins of the school lunch program and the purpose of it, it wasn’t just to make sure that students were well fed. It was because we’re trying to support the economy. And there’s very specific groups that the government heard from, various lobbying groups. So there is the beef industry that wants to make sure that, you know, children are eating beef. There’s the dairy industry, which of course is a huge one. You know, we can talk about checkoff programs, but basically there was, there’s a vested interest from these lobbying groups to make sure that students are consuming something very particular.

Amy H-L: [00:05:33] And that leads into dairy. Most Asian Americans, African Americans and Latinos are lactose-intolerant. They shouldn’t be drinking milk. So why do most schools continue to serve cow’s milk with every meal? 

Monica C: [00:05:47] That is a really interesting question. And that definitely goes into the checkoff programs where…well, actually let me back up a little bit, because what you’re saying is really important about who can consume dairy milk without having an allergic reaction. If you look at a map of the world and you’re looking at rates of lactose intolerance, some people will call it lactose normal because this is milk from a cow. It’s meant for baby cows, not necessarily for humans. There are no other species that really drink another species’s milk. It’s a very interesting phenomenon in the world. And Europeans are, for the most part, able to digest milk. Of course, there are some that can not, but a lot of Asians, a lot of Africans, a lot of Indigenous people are unable to digest milk. So milk is something that a lot of Europeans have included in their diet. When the Europeans colonized what’s called now the United States of America, they brought that sort of diet with them. And now a lot of people, including myself, right, because I’m not European ancestry, we’re trying to adapt to a diet that we’re just not as genetically adapted for. And I don’t know if I should tell this story now, but certainly as a teacher, I’ve thought a lot about what our students are consuming because dairy all across the country is considered to be part of a healthy diet when it comes to school lunch. In fact, if you look at the USDA standards, what used to be the food pyramid is now called “my plate” and there is a very specific circle on there. And it specifically says to drink milk, which is interesting again, because so many people struggle to digest lactose.

Amy H-L: [00:07:27] Monica, you mentioned checkoff programs. What are they.?

Monica C: [00:07:30] I actually don’t think that I can really like do a full story on checkoff programs. I know that they are essentially  government-created enterprises and they work by collecting funds through taxes from like farmers and ranchers, and then they funnel these dollars into research and advertising for that specific commodity. So in the case of dairy, right, they’ve turned this into marketing for like the “got milk?” campaign, right. Many of us have seen like the milk mustaches, certainly at the schools where I taught, you had to just have like celebrities just with milk mustaches as like major posters in schools. 

Amy H-L: [00:08:10] Yeah. I don’t even know if you are old enough to remember “the incredible edible egg” and and “Beef. It’s what’s for dinner.” 

Jon M: [00:08:21] So you live in San Francisco Bay area, which historically has set trends for the country on social justice issues. Has there been any pushback on cow’s milk? 

Monica C: [00:08:33] Yeah, I think so. It’s difficult, right, because the advertising associated with dairy is so pervasive and the connection specifically between becoming strong, like having strong bones, right, and calcium connected to dairy. I will say that dairy is a good source of calcium, but it’s also of like a lot of other things like fats that will lead to heart disease, high cholesterol, et cetera. There are other really great sources of calcium. And again, one of the largest problems with cow’s milk is just that so many people have trouble digesting it. So it’s difficult to make that mandatory for everybody. Here in the Bay Area, we’re a very diverse community, so it’s not just people of European ancestry.

 In my community of Oakland, there’s definitely a lot of Asian folks and Asian folks have no dairy. I mean, Chinese people in particular, do not have dairy as part of like the traditional diet. And it’s been interesting to  have conversations in the community because soy milk has always been a huge part of Chinese culture. And people in China are not known for having, you know, high rates of osteoporosis, which is important to note, because in American culture, we talk a lot about the connections with, if you have osteoporosis, then the solution is to drink more cow’s milk and Chinese people have not been doing that. So I think that that’s a very important point to make here in Oakland, specifically, Oakland  Unified has done some things where they’re trying to change, you what people are consuming, especially when it comes to school lunch,.There was a time, for example, when every single Oakland child in a classroom. Say there was a fourth grade classroom and there were 30 students, they would deliver like 30 cartons of milk to that classroom for breakfast. And, you know, even if not every single kid took the milk, right those cartons of milk were sitting out and so those were just thrown away at the end of the day, right. They, they were considered used, they were spoiled. And that’s just a ridiculous program. So I know that there’ve been efforts to do things like maybe sending fewer cartons of milk to the classroom, or, you know, at my school on the Navajo reservation, letting children drink water would be a great alternative as well. So there’s definitely conversation around all these topics. And I mean, I could go into even more detail about what, what counts as a vegetable or like, you know, what counts as a reimbursable lunch.

Amy H-L: [00:11:04] Sure. Go ahead.

Monica C: [00:11:06] Well, there are five components of a reimbursable school lunch, right.  And the five components are meat or meat alternate, fruit, whole grains, vegetables, and milk in order for a meal to be fully reimbursable by the federal government. A student must take three of the five components, including at least one fruit or vegetable.

So there’s been a lot of discussion about what constitutes a fruit or vegetable. I know we have talked about right, the whole like 2011 ketchup, is there enough tomato paste on a pizza to count as a vegetable, all that. And then, you know, you’re having to talk about, is this going to be food that is from a scratch kitchen, right. Some schools like have full on facilities where they able to like actually make foods, including my school on the Navajo reservation, but much more common now is “heat and serve .”So the schools will not even have an actual kitchen. The cafeteria staff is just taking premade things in trays and then heating them up and giving them to the students. 

Amy H-L: [00:12:07] So what counts as a vegetable? 

Monica C: [00:12:11] It’s actually not, not as terrible as we think. To my knowledge, a vegetable is what we think of. It’s just like, it’s not, it’s not always have the best quality is like my biggest qualm with it. At my school, the students would be consuming like green peas that used to be frozen, right. And so that’s our association with what a vegetable is. 

And so to Jon’s question, right. Here in the Bay Area where we’re so progressive, where we have things like the edible school yard and so many initiatives to make sure that every kid has a garden, it’s really about helping children understand that a vegetable that you grow, that’s like local, that, you know, you’ve gotten to grow and you get to taste it. Like that is a completely different experience from something that’s been frozen, came from far away. And really helping children understand that does have an impact on their health, for sure, right. Because there’s been so many conversations about obesity and also on their future food choices. 

Jon M: [00:13:10] I know in part from having worked with Amy now for a number of years and learned an enormous amount. I know that FFAC is not only concerned with the impact on people of drinking milk, for example, but also on the impact on cows. 

Can you talk just a little bit about, you said that the images of happy cows wandering the fields doesn’t have any relationship to real life. Can you speak briefly about what are some of the conditions on factory farms for cows?

Monica C: [00:13:45] Sure. Well, the first thing that I think is important to understand is that cows are not magical lactating machines. They need to have something first before they produce any milk at all. And this is an interesting point because sometimes I ask kids, where does milk come from? And they say a carton. Like that’s how disconnected a lot of children are from their food and where it’s coming from.

So I will ask the students, what does a cow need to do before she produces any milk? And the answer is she needs to have a baby, right. So as the first example of something that I think is really disturbing about dairy, mother cows are producing milk for this baby. If the baby were to continue to drink that milk right into adulthood, then how would the farmer or the corporation get any revenue?

Right. So the first thing that often happens is that baby is taken away and put into veal crates, right, where that baby might, you know, become veal. And they want to keep that baby very soft because they don’t want the baby to build up muscle so that the meat tastes better, which is very traumatizing for the animals.

Or maybe the calf has female reproductive organs. And then that baby will have the same miserable life as her mother and their bodies are essentially used for the benefit of people to consume their milk. And, they’re reimpregnated, you know, every single year. They’re kept often in very unsanitary conditions. They will develop, you know, terrible diseases and they are killed when their production is no longer as high as it used to be.

And I think that that’s really sad and it does connect to a lot of a[inaudible]. I love going to classes where we are able to put some sort of like feminist lens on this, because I think it is really interesting, right. That we’re using this female body until it cannot produce as much, right. Not even like, even if the body is producing a little bit, but if it’s less than like what we would perceive as like peak capacity, then there are people who are just making economical decisions at that point, like business decisions. We’re not treating these animals as though they are living , sentient beings. We’re treating them as units of production. And it’s that mindset that allows us to treat animals in a way that we would never imagine treating our dogs or cats. 

Jon M: [00:16:01] Do you find that many students have given thought to the impacts of the food they eat or the clothes they wear prior to an FFA presentation?

Monica C: [00:16:11] Sure. That’s a really interesting question, Jon. And I think that the answer, for the most part, is no because children, right, are not at the point where they themselves are making the choices. And we’re very cognizant of that in our presentations, right like when I was a child growing up, I wore the clothes that my parents bought for me and I ate the food that my parents bought for me. So when we’re talking about like, why we eat what we do, why do we eat animal products, for example, and the students are saying things like culture, right? Or taste or notions around health. I take all of that very seriously, access being a really big, important thing to consider, but what’s been really interesting to me as I’ve been doing this for years now, is that there is more consciousness that something is not right in the world.

When I first began teaching about climate change in particular, over a decade ago, it felt very abstract. This is around like the era of “An Inconvenient Truth.”  That’s more than a decade ago. And I remember watching that documentary and feeling very sad and concerned, but my immediate thought was like, but this is a far away issue, right. Like I had never seen a polar bear in my life. This whole idea that an island in the Pacific Ocean would be underwater is concerning, but it doesn’t impact my daily life. And now what, here in the Bay Area, you’re having children who are very aware that, “Oh, we’re not supposed to go outside because there’s so much smoke from these wildfires,”  and there’s a connection between climate change and wildfires. Or the students are really concerned because they’re not able to go to school because there’s a pandemic, right. And so there’s a very clear connection between pandemics and zoonotic diseases. So there is more awareness that something is not right and that there’s something that can be done. But I don’t think there has been before presentations, a direct link between their food choices and making an impact.

Amy H-L: [00:18:11] New York State has a culturally responsive and sustaining education framework, and many other states are adopting similar guidelines. How can educators raise issues around eating meat or dairy in culturally responsive ways?

Monica C: [00:18:28] That’s such a good question. It’s something that FFAC thinks a lot about because we’re really aware, for example, that like on the Navajo reservation, right, the children are consuming what they are given. And at my school, Mariana Lake Community School, every single child was given free lunch, right, so the dairy was what was available to them. I think that where I try to focus my efforts is just like on asking questions, right, thinking about like, when did this become normal? Like why are you eating this way? And I think that a lot of times people are afraid to talk about culture, but I really embrace those conversations. So when, you know, on the Navajo reservation, people are saying, we are people who eat Navajo fry bread, which is fried in lard, right. That’s an animal product, lard. I can understand that that has become a very common food on the Navajo reservation, and I think that it’s possible to still have a conversation about why that is, because that didn’t happen until the mid 1800s, when the Navajos were forced to go on a long walk in like winter, right. The government forced them in winter to leave everything behind and by forcing them away from their  native lands., they weren’t able to, you know, have a food that they were used to. So the government provided flour and lard and the Navajos used that to make fry bread, and now it’s a part of the culture. But again, if you go back further in time, what was a more traditional food is something like blue corn mush.

And Jon, you were asking thing about the Bay Area in particular. I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to Ohlone Cafe, which is based in Berkeley, just across from campus. I’m actually not sure how they’re doing because of the pandemic. I imagine it’s very difficult to operate a cafe, but for the last few years they have had that cafe. What I really love Vincent Medina saying is that he used to consume foods that he thought were ancestral, right, like corn and stuff like that. But really for the Ohlones, they’re the people who were here in what’s now called the San Francisco Bay Area,  that was not a native food. So going back further in time, like, what did he eat? And I love looking at his bowls of food because he says,like, I look at this and it should reflect the land and it’s true, right. I recognize these plants when I’m hiking, right. And I can see like, oh, these are these berries and these are these nuts. And look, the food that he’s eating looks like the land, and he’s actually become a lot healthier and lost a huge amount of weight because he’s eating ancestral native foods. 

Jon M: [00:21:07] So you mentioned your time teaching at a school in the Navajo Nation. In addition to the conversation about food that you mentioned, what were ways in which the school respected or disrespected Navajo culture?

Monica C: [00:21:20] Oh, that’s a really interesting question because Marianne Lake Community School is a BIE school, which stands for the Bureau of Indian Education, which is how it’s within the Bureau of Indian Affairs,  housed within the Department of the Interior. So this is theoretically a school that has a very close connection to Native people,Native culture. It’s not as though it’s a typical, you know, county school. I think that there are many folks on staff that are Native and are trying to bring in that cultural piece. And it’s done in like very subtle ways, right. I mean, especially at like some of the lower levels in elementary school, a lot of the kindergarten teachers and the aides, like you just see it happening in the way that the staff will communicate with the kids or talk to the kids, right. Like there’s so many aspects of culture to consider. 

I think actually that’s another point that I want to make just about schools. I think that we teach culture in a way that feels very superficial and it’s like, oh, you know, when you learn about China, Chinese people celebrate this one holiday, Chinese New Year. And they like red and gold envelopes. And that’s what I learned about China, by the way, growing up. And here’s Mexico, right. Mexican people celebrate Dia de Los Muertos and they eat tortillas. That’s like what Mexican culture is and that’s it. That’s a part of it, right. But culture goes beyond so much more than our holidays and our food. You know, like for me as a Chinese person, right, it’s like how we interact with people, how we sit, give our appreciations and show gratitude, how we take our shoes off when we enter our home. Like there’s all that aspect to it. So that can be, but isn’t always necessarily, fully integrated into the schools, although it can be. I think that really meaningful culturally responsive education like does try and make sure that like those practices are really just imbued in the culture of the school.

Unfortunately I think that a lot of Native schools in particular are considered failing or turnaround schools. There’s a lot of pressure because their test scores tend to be very, very low, which is concerning. But I think that the response to that has just been to focus a lot on meeting standards. And  my sense from when I was a teacher, and I’ll only speak for myself, I felt that the government didn’t trust the teachers. And so they were trying to prescribe things. So like our first curriculum was called Reading Mastery and literally Reading Mastery told me exactly what to say and exactly what the students should say in  response. And I would, I was told to like snap my fingers at certain times, and I’d have a lot of people watching me and they’d say, Monica, you snapped your fingers too high or you snapped your fingers too low. Like that was the kind of intense feedback then I was getting. And so, in the beginning, right, it was like, can you be teaching science? Can you be teaching about Native culture, whatever it is,  and all like those extracurricular activities? And the answer was pretty much like we need to focus on improving our test scores. Our tests are focused on math and reading. This is the very specific curriculum that you should be using. And because we were so regimented in our curriculum, it was really difficult to imbue culture, Native culture into our classroom.

Of course, I am recognizing that I’m not a Native person, so there are additional challenges there, but. It really felt like for me, I had to, I had to think of teaching Native education as like an additional thing. Or we would go to Navajo special classes 30 minutes, like once a week. So it was like the separate thing that the students are doing as opposed to something that’s happening in the classroom all the time.

Amy H-L: [00:25:01] At Ethical Schools, we have framed something we called the “universe of obligation,” which is a little different from a circle of compassion, which is about sort of what we care about. The universe of obligation more has to do with to whom do we owe something, you know, to whom are we accountable? And from our perspective, that includes all humans, both living now and in future generations, animals other than humans, and the planet. So how can schools encourage students to think broadly about the impacts of both individual actions, their own and others, and also institutional choices, to know that things aren’t just “They are this way because that’s how they’ve always been. ” 

Monica C: [00:25:55] Yeah, that’s, that’s a huge question. I would start off by saying that there is a reason why so many of us love working with youth and talking to youth, because that innocence, right, just like understanding and compassion and joy and wonder is magnificent to witness. And it reminds all of us adults, you know, every single day, that maybe things don’t always have to be this way,  right. We’ve become so conditioned. I love talking about that statistic. I think Sir Ken Robinson said that, you know, give a kindergartener a pencil and you say, what are the uses of this pencil?  And it’s, I don’t know, something like millions of possible things that a pencil can be. And by the time the kid is older, they can only think it’s a writing implement, right. Children are so special. And I love giving presentations about factory farming and our food choices to young kids because they’re not as resistant to, they haven’t been as conditioned to be like, Oh, I’m, I’m masculine. I’m a man. Like I need to eat meat. Any of that. They’re just like, Oh, I like animals. Animals are friends. Friends should not be eaten. Like it’s a very simple thing for them.

And I think that what we really try and do is disconnect our children from our food. And that’s, you know, not just happening within the classroom, but at the societal level, and you will go into a grocery store and they’ll say something more nebulous, like pork, right, as opposed to pig, right. We’re trying to disconnect the animal from the food. I think that being honest about like where food is coming from is a really important first step and making sure that children know that there are other alternatives that exist is critical and embodying that. I always remember that so much of the activism that I do isn’t always this conscious, you know, presentation. It’s just me living my life and being around so many young people. I know that they look up to me and that, that, you know, has some impact on them. They live their lives. So that’s what I would say like on an individual level, giving children the opportunity to learn about where their food comes from is key. Giving teachers the opportunity to relate to their students. This is going to be very hard by the way, in this coming year, with everything being virtual. I’ve been saying this during the teacher advisory council meetings, but I’m very concerned that all of those like special, like one-off moments though, oh, what are you eating for lunch? Like that’s all going to disappear in this virtual format, but I do hope that as schools transition online, they find ways for teachers to like be humans and be relatable to the students and have conversations beyond like, this is the exact standard that we are trying to teach that day, a là ,you know, Reading Mastery at Mariana Lake. 

And I think that on an institutional level, the students just need to know that they can contribute to something. So many times I think that, and it’s the same with voting, right, you’re just like my one vote doesn’t make a difference. But when it came to things like recycling, right. Once some people started recycling, then everybody started cycling and then that’s what impacted other people to recycle, right. Because the infrastructure was there, their neighbors were doing it. And then you sort of start to recycle. So where can we empower students to know that yes, they’re making good choices.

And also it has ripple effects to other people that can lead to that institutional change. I always say that, you know, me eating Gardein, which is a chicken alternative, has a very small impact in terms of the number of chickens that I quote unquote save, but I’m creating demand for that product, for that meat alternative. And now the stores know about it and cumulatively that is increasing demand for plant-based alternatives and that’s a really good thing and that makes it more accessible. And I’m excited about that. And certainly whenever I talk to students that are focused on institutional change on an economic level, I do bring this up and I will say, you know, on the Navajo reservation, my kids like only really had access to dairy milk, but the closest Walmart is now selling things like soy milk and almond milk, which is unbelievable, right. It really goes to, because there was demand for it from individuals, even in places like the Bay Area, which is very far away, but that contributed to Walmart saying, Oh, this is something that’s important to stock on our shelves.

Jon M: [00:30:24] How can the impacts of student choices, including things like what they buy and from whom, be integrated into subject matter curricular areas so that in addition to presentations, for example, how do science courses, how could science courses routinely be talking about some of these things or how could English or social studies courses consistently be talking about some of these kinds of issues and ideas?

Monica C: [00:30:56] Yeah, that’s a really interesting question and certainly something that I learned about in grad school, right. when we were  learning about thematic teaching, right. So if I was teaching about, I don’t know, space as an overarching subject, I can make sure that we’re reading about space. And there’s certainly lots. If you’re just trying to help children learn how to read, right, you can have them learn how to read using words like stars and moons and constellations. And then, you know, in science, you know, measuring out like the distances and learning about how this can relate to math. Like that’s thematic teaching right there.

I think that one thing that we really try and focus on at FFAC are the connections between food and other subject areas, right. So it’s not just a health issue, right. It’s not just talking about like pandemics and the antibiotics that we put in our food. We can also be talking about climate change and we can also be talking about animal welfare. We can also be talking about racism in this country, right, in the presentations. We talk a lot about environmental racism and like who is impacted and this can connect to immigrant rights. 

So, I think that the key is like identifying the standards and then as a teacher, or as a teaching team, really trying to be thoughtful about how you teach something because the standards are so basic, right. Llike at the third grade level, for example, the standard might be something like, make sure that students by the end of today can understand a lot of like, these consonant sounds, right. You can do that many different ways. It doesn’t just have to be the way that it’s always been done, you can be thoughtful about what you’re having the children read.  For me, I like to read Charlotte’s Web.  And certainly from Charlotte’s Web, there are a lot of conversations that can take place. So on the FFAC website, we have the standards that our presentations can address.

And we’re trying to be really thoughtful about the post-presentation lessons. So that includes like discussion questions, additional videos, and more opportunities to do project based learning. 

Jon M: [00:33:05] Is there anything you’d like to add that we haven’t talked about? 

Monica C: [00:33:10] I would just add that when I was a teacher on the Navajo reservation, it really was very alarming to me that we were forcing the students to drink cow’s milk. And the marketing really was very insidious because our school did not have a lot of resources. And for those lobbying groups to put out, you know, all the book covers that had Taylor Swift with her “got milk” mustache on them, right. And hand those out for free was almost genius on their part because they knew that we didn’t have enough resources. So if we wanted book covers, those were the ones that were available to us. I unfortunately see  like schools really grappling with this all the time. This came out, I think, more recently with a lot of the discussion around soda and vending machines, right. On the one hand, you know that childhood obesity is an issue.

But like those soda companies like Pepsi, they, they give so much money to the school. How can you possibly not have a vending machine, right. And then it always ends up being where a lot of the low income schools end up having these vending machines and the children are a lot more unhealthy, right. So I just wanted to stress that I think that there’s a very direct connection between marketing in our schools and a lot of the problems that we’re seeing.

Amy H-L: [00:34:29] We’ll be having Monica back to talk more specifically about Factory Farming Awareness Coalition, and how teachers and professors can arrange to have free customized presentations in their classrooms or their virtual classrooms. Thank you so much, Monica Chen of Factory Farming Awareness Coalition.

Monica C: [00:34:49] Thank you so much for having me.

Jon M: [00:34:52] Thank you, listeners, for joining us. We’re posting transcripts of our interviews to make it easy to pull audio clips for classes and workshops. Let us know how you’ve incorporated ideas from our podcasts or blog, or if there are topics you’d like to hear more about. Email us at hosts@ethicalschools.org. Contact us if you’re interested in professional development on social emotional learning and ethics for schools or afterschool programs in the New York City area. Check out prior episodes and articles on ethicalschools.org. We’re on Facebook and Twitter @ethicalschools and Instagram. Our editor and social media manager is Amenda Denti. Till next week. 

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