Titanium Spork Awards – Accepting Nominations

Remember my Spork post? And how I sort of poked fun at those who use titanium sporks? Well, Think Geek twittered me and asked if I wanted a titanium spork! I thought about it* and decided why not? When the package showed up, I opened it with glee. And then I noticed more than one spork! There were FIVE! What am I going to do with five titanium sporks?

My husband wanted one, “I’m taking this to work.” So that left me with four. Of course I’m going to keep one as a memento of this crazy journey and I probably will use it to eat, but I don’t want to lose it…

Now I have three. One for each of the three remaining months (April, May, June) of the school year before summer break (and short respite from the project until the Fall when I start back up).

Please nominate someone affiliated with the school lunch movement to receive a titanium spork for the month of April. It can be someone very well known or someone who is an unsung hero. Anyone making a contribution to children’s food and who would appreciate some recognition. Post your nomination in the comment section. I’ll close nominations in a week and then I’ll put up a poll to vote on who should get a titanium spork! The spork will go out in the mail at the end of the month.


*NOTE: The FTC requires that bloggers disclose receiving free stuff for review. I have to say that I decided to accept the sporks because I think they were given not so I would review them, but just for fun. Honestly I’m not sure how I would “review” a spork. It’s not your typical product. How would I give a spork a positive or negative review? “It got food to my mouth!” or “Food slid off it so it loses one star.” Full disclosure: they do look cool and they are light as a feather. Anyway, here’s the disclaimer.

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50 Responses to Titanium Spork Awards – Accepting Nominations

  1. Anonymous April 6, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

    I nominate Katherine Sims, Executive Director of Green Mountain Farm-to-School. She has dedicated her waking (and sleeping) hours to developing a model to change the way kids eat and support our local communities. Green Mountain Farm-to-School (GMFTS) is a non-profit in northern Vermont. It serves over 25 schools and senior meal sites with hands-on nutrition and agriculture education year-round, community building activities, and a system for purchasing food directly from farms.

    Katherine works tirelessly to reach more kids to teach them how to make healthy food choices for the rest of her life.

    She deserves a Spork Award! Check out what Katherine has started at http://www.gmfts.org

  2. stoplookingatfood April 6, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

    the first person that came to my mind was Jamie Oliver. Seems a little cliche and 'duh!', but for me, it was after watching Jamie's School Dinners (UK) that I knew of such a problem.

    I don't really know much of anyone else to mention, except you, Mrs. Q, but you've already got a spork for yourself. šŸ™‚

    Maybe Prof. Marion Nestle as well?

  3. Andy Bellatti April 6, 2010 at 12:38 pm #

    Definitely Kate Adamick of S'Cool Food.

  4. Quiltin' Jenny April 6, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    Jamie for sure needs to get one, and so do you…but two more? How to decide?

    For me, one of the most profound influences on trying to change my own child's food is Biggie at Lunch in a Box. Although she changed how I look at my own kids' lunches, that also made me re-think the school lunch and decide that it was worth it and necessary to pack a healthy lunch.

    I think Biggie and lots of other so-called "Mommy Bloggers" have made this issue their own for awhile, and softened the ground for the likes of Jamie Oliver and Michelle Obama. I would love for one of the first blogs in my reader to win one!

  5. stoplookingatfood April 6, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    hi Mrs. Q, i just came across this from one of my blog feeds. not sure if you've seen this, but looks like it deserves a nomination!

    http://www.chewswise.com/chews/2010/04/school-lunch-revolution-a-battle-on-the-front-lines.html

  6. Anonymous April 6, 2010 at 1:28 pm #

    Tara at healthytara.blogspot.com! That is one brave and intelligent young lady.

    Amanda V.

  7. Joy April 6, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

    I love these! Indeed I have heard they were an Australian invention, we call them splades (I think they originally were sharp along one side). My mum gave me the couple remaining from our set (from the 70's!) and I found them SO useful for so many meals! I went searching in op shops and found more, so I have 8 now. They are GREAT for curries and many other meals!
    Embrace your lovely gift!

  8. Anonymous April 6, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    I nominate Thianda Manzara, who has founded a nonprofit called Healthy Foods for Healthy Kids, which puts gardens in schoolyards here in Delaware. The kids grow the vegetables and then they eat them at lunch.

  9. A. B. England April 6, 2010 at 1:56 pm #

    I second Healthy Tara's nomination.

  10. Shannon April 6, 2010 at 2:23 pm #

    Healthy Tara definitely.

    Chef Ann Cooper. http://www.thelunchbox.org/ I like that this new site is aimed at school lunch programs so the recipes are scaled for 100 servings (if you want to make it for your family you can change the number of servings on the recipe calculator).

    Jamie Oliver is who I first thought of. I think many others are doing great work but he's getting more media coverage. I mean, he means well too, but media coverage helps a *lot* so for that alone, he deserves a spork šŸ˜‰

  11. Laura, Ben, and family April 6, 2010 at 2:39 pm #

    I nominate Sherrie Shippen from an itty bitty town called Menan.

    Let me explain a little about her. She works in an elementary school with the speech and ESL kids. She's never been able to finish her education to become professional, because she's too busy.

    Many days, she grabs lunch from the cafeteria, and brings it back to her desk to eat, because she's has too much to get done to actually take a break.

    She's not affiliated with school lunches, except she has to eat them at her desk every day with a little plastic spork, (and we all know how fun those are).

    Her students love her, and her children laugh when she accidentally brings home a tray from the school cafeteria (and has to return them in groups after she washes them, even though we know they'll rewash them anyway, but she can't return them dirty!)

    She's worked for the schools for so long, I believe firmly she deserves a spork award for the work she does teaching children every single day, with no recognition.

    Unlike teachers, parents rejoice when their children no longer have to see her … and she's never thanked for the many hours of work she put in for the children.

    I nominate her because she, like so many other "not quite professionals", work so hard every day so that our children can grow up healthy, happy, and normal.

  12. Devika April 6, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    @ stoplookingatfood: I second Mendy Heaps's nomination!

    I got tears in my eyes reading her story, and sadly I understand why Mrs. Q blogs anonymously now. I never realized how much is at risk for all the school lunch crusaders out there. My future children and I appreciate what you're risking for them!

    P.S. Mrs. Q got a shout out from The Slow Cook in their post about Mendy Heaps.
    (http://www.theslowcook.com/2010/04/06/a-teacher-crusades-for-better-school-food-and-gets-stomped/)

  13. BonzoGal April 6, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    Another vote for Healthy Tara, for trying to fix things for herself and others!

    And I'd say Jamie Oliver, but he's probably got enough money to buy his own titanium sporks…

  14. Anonymous April 6, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    I have a general question. I know you're working hard to protect your identity (and your job). Do any of your fellow teachers eat school lunch every day? Do you get any raised eyebrows when going through the line? Just curious, you're doing a great job!

  15. Dr. Susan Rubin April 6, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    Healthy Tara and Mendy Heaps are my top two. It's not their job like it is for Jamie O, Kate A and Ann C. and other great lunch ladies.

    Tara and Mendy are making bold moves and taking a stand, they're doing it out of a sense of what is right. Just like you, Mrs Q.

  16. Jeremy April 6, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    I also vote for Healthy Tara!

  17. bluets April 6, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    Just read about Mendy Heaps also… I support her nomination as well. Jamie Oliver also.

  18. James April 6, 2010 at 4:52 pm #

    Nick from What's for School Lunch? http://whatsforschoollunch.blogspot.com

  19. Danika April 6, 2010 at 5:19 pm #

    I further support the nod to Mendy Heaps!

    http://www.grist.org/article/a-teacher-crusades-for-better-school-food-and-gets-stomped

  20. Anonymous April 6, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    Way to go for Medy Heaps!! She's definately my top nominee, because she is at the front lines, facing the consequences of our righteous plight. I hope she finds comfort in her virtual world of support, even if it is lacking at her school.
    Thanks for all you do, too, Mrs Q!

  21. Healthy Tara April 6, 2010 at 6:22 pm #

    Wow thanks for the nominations!! :]

    I have to nominate Dr. Susan Rubin for Two Angry Moms (http://www.angrymoms.org/) and definitely Mendy Heaps as well. They're both such inspirations.

  22. Anonymous April 6, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    Jamie Oliver and Michelle Obama, but I don't how well that would fly sending that to the white house…

  23. Anonymous April 6, 2010 at 6:47 pm #

    Titanium…. Do you even know how many tons of earth and water was wasted to make those hypocrital things???

    GOD!!!, And everone here whines about packaging waste… WTF!?!

  24. Christina Luglan April 6, 2010 at 7:10 pm #

    I nominate Antonia Demas. Antonia Demas has taught food studies in a variety of educational settings to people of diverse ages, ethnicities, and economic backgrounds all of her life. After graduating from Godard College with a B.A. in Community Nutrition, she worked for 20 years in food education before completing a Ph.D. at Cornell University. In 1999, in cooperation with distinguished colleagues dedicated to the improvement of the long-term health and education of children, she founded the Food Studies Institute. Dr. Demas has received national recognition for her research in food studies. In 1994, her food education curriculum won national awards for the Most Creative Implementation of the Dietary Guidelines from the US Department of Agriculture and Excellence in Nutrition Education from the Society for Nutrition Education. In 1999, the curriculum was published as Food is ElementaryĀ©. Articles by Dr. Demas on the topic of achieving acceptance of healthy, low-fat, meals in schools have been published in New Century Nutrition and the American Journal of Cardiology among others. As a consultant and speaker, Dr. Demas works with schools, non-profit organizations, vegetarian societies, and corporations across the country. Television and radio appearances have included interviews with Charlie Rose on PBS TV in 1997 and on an NPR special, ā€œMaking Contactā€ in 1999. In addition to her work in food education, Antonia walks six miles each day and is a gourmet vegetarian chef.

    Antonia's Food is Elementary curriculum is being taught in our local elementary school here in Trumansburg, NY and in over 2000 schools across the US. Antonia is a resident of Trumansburg, NY

  25. Chrissi April 6, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

    Biggie at Lunch in a Box. She's the reason I began packing lunches for my underweight cyberschooler – because pretty food made him want to eat it!

    Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

  26. Anonymous April 6, 2010 at 7:34 pm #

    I fourth (or fifth or sixth?) nominate Healthy Tara. Her blog was inspiring and I hope she sticks with what she's doing b/c one day she will see change.

    Mrs. Q – I learned of your blog yesterday and just read it end to end. Thanks for all you're doing, risking, and creating. p.s. my favorite post of yours was on the celery flower. It was so moving.

  27. k a t April 6, 2010 at 7:50 pm #

    Ed Bruske from grist.org, I feel like seeing his food posts in an environmental context helps people get the connection food has to all our other concerns.

  28. Anonymous April 6, 2010 at 8:26 pm #

    Mendy Heaps

    This article sharing her story just came out this morning:

    http://www.grist.org/article/a-teacher-crusades-for-better-school-food-and-gets-stomped/

  29. Anonymous April 6, 2010 at 9:26 pm #

    I too vote for Jamie Oliver. Or perhaps whoever started Share Our Strength, because that's a pretty cool organization seeking to end child hunger in America.

    http://strength.org/

  30. Anonymous April 6, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

    Ms. A from Brave New Lunch
    Ed Bruske The Slow Cook
    Healthy Tara
    Mendy Heaps

    Mrs. S

  31. GlamMacGyver April 6, 2010 at 10:19 pm #

    Definitely Jamie Oliver for coming over from England, caring enough about our kids to push an extremely uphill battle and bring awareness! I don't even have kids, but I do worry about the future of our country and want kids to feel good about themselves by eating healthy! So important!

  32. Iā™„blogs April 6, 2010 at 10:26 pm #

    Jamie Oliver, definitely. Also, Jill Richardson over at La Vida Locavore. And Michelle Obama for trying.

    Tamara at BuzzFood: Feed the Obsession

  33. angela April 7, 2010 at 12:56 am #

    i nominate alice waters. she helped start the edible schoolyard at king middle school in berkeley ca. each student attends 12-30 sessions in the edible schoolyard kitchen and garden classroom. there are nearly 1000 kids who attend the school. they have started and affiliate program in new orleans.

  34. Liz Greenberg April 7, 2010 at 12:59 am #

    I nominate Alison Forest, who runs the best hot lunch program in the state at Brewster Pierce Elementary School in Huntington, Vermont. She uses local products as much as possible, home bakes bread products with whole wheat, does nutrition presentations in the classroom, and plans theme lunches about once a month (Chinese New Year, The Very Hungry Caterpillar lunch, an early settlers themed meal, etc.)

    Best of all is that the kids in her school EAT the food she prepares. Allison is involved with the school garden and some of the produce she serves is food kids have picked at recess out on the playground! I have seem kids scarf down brussel sprouts, tofu, you name it.

    Her program pays for itself (except for her health insurance, which is part of the school budget) and she is involved in fundraisers for the hot lunch program throughout the year including a recent Dim Sum brunch, served on a weekend. Every school deserves a hot lunch program like this, and Allison is living proof that it is possible.

  35. Anonymous April 7, 2010 at 2:33 am #

    I nominate Kids ReThink New Orleans Schools who are working to improve school food in New Orleans. As you may have seen in the media, following Hurricane Katrina, our kids in New Orleans were served FROZEN ham sandwiches and the like. While things have improved *modestly* since then, these Kids crafted recommendations, such as my personal favorite "NO MORE SPORKS!", that address their concerns about eating school lunch. The work of these kids is inspiring and offers a glimpse of hope for the future.

  36. Mrs. Q April 7, 2010 at 2:35 am #

    WOW! Thanks for all the great nominations. I think I might have to close comments on this post! This is really fun.

  37. Dr. Susan Rubin April 7, 2010 at 2:39 am #

    Bravo to the re-thinkers of NOLA!
    Here's a little you tube video they made

  38. Stephanie April 7, 2010 at 5:39 am #

    Jamie Oliver!

  39. Linda April 7, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    I also wish to lend my support and my vote to Healthy Tara!

  40. Anonymous April 7, 2010 at 4:52 pm #

    I vote for Mrs. Obama, she is working hard to bring much needed change.

    Great idea Mrs. Q I look forward to the next few months to see who wins!

    I will finish school and my student teaching in 18mos and believe that you are breaking the way for change in our schools. I am a vegetarian and healthy eater and I believe kids in our schools should have these same rights.

  41. Anonymous April 7, 2010 at 7:37 pm #

    Jamie Oliver
    The Saline Area School District has stopped Birthday snacks because they were always cupcakes or cookies, snacks during snack time are supposed to be healthy and teachers are no longer supposed to use food as rewards (No candy).

  42. Jessica April 7, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

    I would like to nominate the BRAVE NEW LUNCH blog!

  43. Jessica April 7, 2010 at 9:56 pm #

    Another GREAT nomination:
    The Farmer's Daughter, an organic school lunch delivery service in the Winston-Salem/Germanton area of North Carolina. Just check out that menu! This is what all school lunches should be!
    http://www.organiclunchkids.com

  44. Anonymous April 8, 2010 at 2:13 am #

    Jeremy Miller from the blog "Chico, Sustainable"

    http://www.norcalblogs.com/sustainable/2009/12/breakfast-pizza.html

  45. Stephanie April 8, 2010 at 4:32 am #

    I nominate Jane Holloway–the ultimate lunch lady, hairnet and all. She works in a small town in Indiana and tries very hard to keep up with the new rules for feeding kids, getting them to actually want to eat the food, and just being there for them. It was the highlight of my day for 7 years to go through her lunch line for real food like beef and noodles or turkey manhattan. Sure, she served us that glossy pizza too, but she served it with love and corn which is a real vegetable.

  46. Anna Airport April 8, 2010 at 5:24 am #

    I just read a CNN iReport story on Mendy Heaps, a teacher in a school outside Denver, CO. I really think what both of you are doing is important, and I hope it gets enough attention to really make some change!! I was heavy during school years too, because bad food was available and more appetizing, and I'm behaviorally addicted to the same crap I ate then. Maybe someday I'll get away from pizza and ice cream for good!

    Here's the article: http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-429801

    And congratulations on your Sporks! šŸ™‚

  47. Anonymous April 8, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    Nomination for Librarian Chick, Stacy Reed, for providing a list of free educational resources for all ages over at http://www.librarianchick.com

  48. Molly Thompson April 8, 2010 at 7:11 pm #

    I nominate Aubree Durfey, the Americorps VISTA volunteer for our Gallatin Valley Farm to School group (http://gvf2s.wordpress.com/). She has done so much for our fledgling organization over the past year – organized the school-based local foods fundraiser, started our website/blog, created a network of local food champions in our area, worked with the school's central kitchen to get local farmers' products into our school lunches, dressed up as a squash (or was it a pear?) to teach kids about healthy foods, and hosted a flock of chicks and ducks in her living room while nursing a sick hedgehog back to health. And she does it all with a huge smile on her face. Plus, she would think the spork was way cool and would definitely use it!

  49. waffocopter April 8, 2010 at 10:43 pm #

    I'm not nominating anyone. Just wanted to put in my two cents. I have bought a titanium spork for a friend (also bought at Thinkgeek) and am so happy that Thinkgeek reads this blog and decided to give you some sporks. Just really funny (but cool!) for them to do so.

  50. Shelly R April 9, 2010 at 12:48 am #

    I want to nominate my 12 year old daughter Sydney. After reading though this blog, watching the episodes of Jamie Olivers show, and finding out where our meat comes from, she has decided never again to buy her lunch at school, or eat meat (anything with a face)again. She says the food here looks better than what she gets at school and I feel awful for letting her buy it for so long. She now packs avocado sandwiches, home made hummus and pita, and brown rice sushi with carrots, avocados and cucumbers. I live in a meat eating area where nearly all the kids are overweight and it breaks my heart. If you sent her the spork, she would use it at school and spread the word to the other kids about what is really in what they put in their mouths.
    Shelly
    rosscodes@gmail.com

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