Powerful ideas and practical actions from YES! Education, supporting teachers and feeding the next generation with stories, curriculum, tools and resources
Powerful ideas and practical actions from YES! Education, supporting teachers and feeding the next generation with stories, curriculum, tools and resources
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YES! Magazine

January 2014 :: The Joy of Real Food   Facebook Like button Twitter Follow button

“Did you ever stop to taste a carrot? Not just eat it, but taste it? You can’t taste the beauty and energy of the earth in a Twinkie.”
—Astrid Alauda

Dear Educator,

Happy New Year! Each new year, a friend of mine chooses a one-word intention instead of a collection of resolutions. What would your word be?

If your word is “joy” or “healthy,” you will find stories in our most recent issue of YES! Magazine, “How to Eat Like Our Lives Depend on It,” to help you rediscover the joy of real food.

This newsletter offers classroom-ready curricula, take-action activities, and an award-winning film on the truth about factory farms from Sustainable Table. I am also excited to share winning essays from our Fall 2013 writing contest.

Like the contents of this newsletter? Like us on Facebook today, where you’ll get our take on today’s education issues and classroom resources.


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Jing Fong
Education Outreach Manager


Sustainable Table logoSustainable Table

Sustainable Table celebrates local sustainable food, educates consumers about the benefits of sustainable agriculture, and works to build community through food.

YES! recommends Sustainable Table, a program of Grace Communications Foundation, for its well-rounded resources that educate and motivate people of all ages to take good care of their bodies and our planet. We are delighted to share its new series “Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It,” practical ways to reduce food waste, and the internationally award-winning film, “The Meatrix.” Grace’s water footprint calculator will get you thinking about how much water you use, and how water is connected to so much of your life.



DJ Cavem.Fresh and Fly: Denver Rapper Teaches Kids to Be Gardeners, Not Gangstas

In his video, “Wheat Grass,” HIP HOP artist Ietef Hotep Vita, known as “DJ Cavem Moetavation” is armed with a boom box and a message for kids to cultivate the earth. The Denver native who grew up surrounded by poverty, candy, and soda was influenced by his sharecropper heritage to grow food. Now, through his music, he is growing a following of green students. This is DJ Cavem’s story.


Art from Saying Grace Around the World poster. Artist Nikki McClure.Home Cooking Improves Your Health (Infographic)

We spend less time in the kitchen than ever, but, according to Michael Pollan cooking is “the single most important thing you can do for your health.” Get all the juicy facts with this eye-popping infographic.

The Page That Counts graphicThe Page That Counts

Who’s more likely to get to the top—an Appalachian Trail hiker or a Mt. Everest climber? Wondering how far the robot “Vomiting Larry” can hurl puke? The Page That Counts is your students’ source for odd and fascinating statistics.


No Impact Project green building man graphicHealth Effects of Caffeine (Infographic)

Did you know that kids aged 12-17 are the fastest growing population of caffeine consumers? This infographic shows which countries consume the most caffeine and highlights some not-so-savory side effects of your morning coffee. For a bonus math lesson, help students convert kg to lbs.

Gratitude Infographic for November Newsletter. Jazz in America

In celebration of Black History Month, take your students back to 1920s New Orleans with curricula from Jazz in America. Listen to the Dave Brubek Quartet play “Take Five,” Ella Fitzgerald sing “How High the Moon,” and recordings of other jazz greats, as you explore the history, sounds, and meaning of jazz.


Kind Spring music video Being Kind 2013 ThumbnailHow Cooking Can Change Your Life

This short, animated video featuring food guru Michael Pollan compares the way people cook at home with the way corporations prepare food. You and your students will be shocked and amazed at the difference!


Visual Learning, Right 2 Dream Too, homeless tent housing.With These Hands

Ask these three questions about this photo: What do you notice? What are you wondering? And, after uncovering some facts, What’s next?


Winners of the Fall 2013 Competition

We’re delighted to feature the four winning essays from our fall competition, plus literary gems that caught our eye. Participants read and responded to the YES! article, “Growing Up in a Kenyan Slum Taught Me the Real Value of Stuff,” a story about Simon Okelo’s decision to simplify his lifestyle after becoming an American consumer inundated by choices. Congratulations to our essay winners, and a big thank you to all writers who submitted an essay.
Read the winning essays »

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Each quarter, we take on today’s critical issues with a fresh and positive point of view. Our stories fuse powerful ideas and practical actions, and inspire people to create a better world.