She's known for her wide smile and unflagging perkiness, but this week Rachael Ray used her self-described "big Sicilian mouth" to speak up for school lunches as she lobbied US senators on Capitol Hill, according to The New York Times.
While Jamie Oliver has used a petition drive to urge America to toss their junkie snacks and eat wholesome foods and Michelle Obama has nurtured a White House garden to push locally-grown veggies, school nutrition is Ray's own personal cause celebre and she's using her expertise and passion for food to promote healthy eating in school cafeterias. In the past, she's helped the New York City public schools upgrade their menu to healthier fare, trading white elbows for whole wheat pasta in its mac-and-cheese and serving a chicken taco made with roasted chicken, ratatouille rolled in a whole wheat flatbread.
Tonic remembers school lunches as consisting mostly of warm cartons of milk and cold slabs of meatloaf (with gelled gravy). Eeewww. But the celebrity chef, talk show host and cookbook author wants to do whatever she can to improve the dietary habits of America's school children today. However, she claims that it's hard to serve healthy foods when federal reimbursement rates for are too low, so she is putting her mouth where her she hopes the money is — with the legislators.
To Rachel, Tonic says, "Bonne chance and bon appétit."