Lessons in nutrition, or lessons in exploitation?

See below to read Dole's announcement about its upcoming healthy food program:

Jan. 30, 2007

Dole Food
Company, Inc., today announced that it is partnering with national
organizations to launch a pilot program that will introduce innovative new
vending machines to schools featuring healthy food products. The new vending
machines will supply DOLE brand healthy foods such as fresh fruits and Fruit
Bowls(R), in conjunction with cafeteria-prepared salads, sandwich wraps and
milk, giving school children greater access to healthy and nutritious foods.
These machines utilize School Link Technology software.

To launch the first phase of this program, vending machines will be placed in
15 schools across four states in February. The schools are located in  Mesa, Arizona; Denver, Colorado; Shawnee Mission, Kansas; Corpus Christie, Texas and Conroe, Texas.

Dole Food Company, Inc., with 2005 revenues of $5.9 billion, is the world's
largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and
fresh-cut flowers. Dole markets a growing line of packaged foods and frozen
fruit and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research.

"The healthy school vending machine program is a natural extension of our
company-wide commitment to promoting healthy food choices for overall
well-being," said Richard Dahl, president and chief operating officer of
Dole Food Company, Inc. "Statistics show that children do not eat enough balanced,
nutritious meals. It is especially hard for kids in schools, where meal and
snack options are usually limited. We are excited to be working with School
Link Technologies to provide these vending machines to students."

Studies show that while many Americans want healthier snacks, they often find
such options are less available. Dahl spoke of the importance in providing
healthier options to consumers, especially children, stating, "Dole's duty
as a responsible corporate citizen is to help educate children about the
importance of a balanced diet, and make sure they have access to the healthy
foods that are good for them," said Dahl.

All of the snacks and meals chosen for the vending machines are USDA approved
and reimbursable under its guidelines. The machines will allow students to skip
long lunch lines, while also making breakfast and snack occasions available,
all reimbursable by USDA National School Lunch and National School Breakfast

At present, healthy vending presents an opportunity to meet Dole's long term
goals: marketing meal and snack solutions that meet Child Nutrition
Authorization Act requirements (and the subsequent changes in nutrition
requirements in schools) and the Competitive Food Guidelines of the Alliance
for a Healthier Generation; and assisting in the development of universal
solutions to school health and wellness programs.

Dole is partnering with the National Dairy Board, Wurlitzer, in-Team consulting
services and School Link Technologies to launch this program. The team expects
to expand the program to additional schools later this year.



re: Lessons in nutrition, or lessons in exploitation?

Putting in healthy food in schools while exploiting Dole workers abroad is what I call "whitewashing the problem".
Just like Wal-Mart being a contributor to its favorite charity, while ignoring the horrendous conditions the workers of the Chong Won factory are enduring, while on strike, right now.

I am still visualizing a union for these people and Visions of Hope to all those continuously exploited, around the world.

From talking to people on public transit, I have witnessed that the majority of the public do not know about the horrific exploitations that are happening around the world.

Metro International newspaper is a fast growing paper read by public transit riders. I would like to see more information on the exploitations in the world put in our local newspaper, a short up-to-date daily list of what is happening. (The idea is not a new one, just take a look at the up-to-date information we are fed about Hollywood.)
The website and email address would be included which would allow for commuters to gain information, ask questions or rant a little.

If we consume products made through some process of exploitation, this should be stamped on the product, like a warning label.
"Warning, this product was made by child labour, purchase it if you have no conscience."

Of course, this labelling will not occur, (but why not, cigarettes have a warning label!)
The public needs to know about the exploitative events taking place at this very moment.

We have a responsibility to care for the world, everyone and everything in it. If we feel that we are powerless, at least we can take the time to visualize some goodness to come into the Dole situation, for example.
These people need to know there is Hope, and hope can be a mighty force.
We, the consumers need to tell them, or show them we see their anguish, by not purchasing the products in which they have been exploited.