Karen Duncan, wife of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, visited Walker-Jones Education Campus in northwest Washington, D.C., on October 16 to celebrate National School Lunch Week as a part of the Department of Education’s “Fueled and Fit” campaign. Mrs. Duncan was joined by Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). For over 60 years, USDA has helped to protect the health and well-being of children across the country by providing them with balanced, low-cost or free lunches through the National School Lunch Program.
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To explore the “science of food,” Mrs. Duncan, Deputy Secretary Merrigan, and an enthusiastic group of elementary-age students participated in demonstration activities conducted by White House Chef Sam Kass and local Washington, D.C. Chef José Andrés in the Walker-Jones cafeteria. The chefs showed how some common foods can be altered into completely different substances through interactions with air.
Chef Andrés whipped carrot juice into a frothy cloud using an electric mixer and served the new, airy concoction to children with mini carrot sticks. Chefs Andrés and Kass then explored how air turns sliced apples brown, yet also allows bakers to make bread from the ingredients in dough. Perhaps the favorite demonstration of the day involved the transformation of milk into natural whipping cream, which was served to the children with fresh raspberries. After the demonstrations and food tastings, children enjoyed a lunch of fruit, vegetable pizza, and milk provided by the Chartwells food and nutrition services program.
National School Lunch Week ran this year from October 12-19, offering the opportunity to recognize school officials, food service professionals, and others who work to ensure that children are fueled, fit, and ready to learn every day.