GRAY TV: A nutritional trendsetter, Sen. Murkowski growing lettuce on Capitol Hill

Things are getting green in Senator Lisa Murkowski’s (R-AK) Washington, D.C. office. Inspired by an Alaska renewables innovator, Murkowski is growing vegetables in her office waiting room for all to see. Murkowski says fresh vegetables should always be accessible.

“We can be growing lettuce year-round in a Senate office,” said Murkowski.

She is a nutritional trendsetter on Capitol Hill. Three buckets, a pump and some seeds; Murkowski is eating green in D.C. She wants it known that if one wants to eat healthy; he or she can do so for cheap. Something she says has been a problem in her home state...

“I was talking to a young child once who didn’t realize that a banana was yellow because the only kinds of banana she ever saw were brown,” said Murkowski.

Murkowski says there needs to be more nutrition education. She says the dark and cold in Alaska make it difficult, but innovation will help.

“We can be doing more as a state making sure that we have healthy foods available, and affordable healthy foods,” said Murkowski.

Some say change needs to come to our food systems in schools. Maximilian Merrill policy director at the National Farm to School Network says the root of the problem is a culture of convenience.

“A culture of ‘go, go, go, go’ and not really identifying with…that eating is a part of life,” said Merrill.

He says lawmakers like Murkowski play a big role in getting children to eat healthy. Between supporting local food systems and getting the bigger companies to cooperate, Merrill is optimistic that American schools are headed toward healthier habits.

“This is not just a…whim or a trend, it’s a movement and people want to establish these local economies but also these nutritious foods in their school systems,” said Merrill.

Merrill and Murkowski are hoping to have grow-your-own vegetable systems in every school across the U.S. To get those schools eating healthy, one idea is to team them up with local farmers, which could also help the economy.

By:  Peter Zampa
Source: Gray DC